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The term traditional music is often used as a broad classification of music genres that contrasts with classical music and popular music genres (see Musical genres) as referring to genres founded neither upon any theoretical canon nor upon any mass commercial medium. The term has tended to replace folk music, which has come to refer to European rural genres and contemporary American styles based upon these. The term ethnic music, which gave rise to the discipline of ethnomusicology, has also tended to give way to the term "traditional". Nevertheless it can be difficult to draw clear lines even between these few terms.[1] Indigenous music refers to the music of ethnic groups whose region has been occupied by later migrants: it has no strictly musical definition.


  1. Alison Latham (ed.) The Oxford Companion to Music, OUP 2002, articles "The Classical era", "Folk music" and passim.

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