Is "mainstream pop music" just a genre or genres?

Whatever it means, can I use it as below?

What kind of mainstream pop music do you like?
What kinds of mainstream pop music do you like?

  • 1
    The question 'What does mainstream mean' is clearly off-topic here as general reference. But the actual implications of the way the word is used within a given domain or sub-domain (pop music) are really more domain-related than general-English related. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 7 '15 at 10:41
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    In fact ODO actually references music in its entry for mainstream. However, whether music can be split into kinds or remains as kind is probably a valid question if it hasn't been asked before. – Andrew Leach Jan 7 '15 at 10:45
  • Technically, "pop" is short for "popular", and "mainstream" means, roughly, "the most common". So the term is (taken literally) kind of redundant. However, "pop" has come to mean a particular (rather broad and ill-defined) genre (that usually is assumed to exclude most "country" music, eg, even though country is, alas, quite popular). So it's quite confusing. – Hot Licks Feb 6 '15 at 12:46

There is not one universally agreed upon taxonomy of musical genres (though there have been efforts to create one). Most taxonomies recognize that musical genres can be classified in a hierarchical system. For example, the digital music store at Amazon.com has a top level genre (or "root genre") called Pop, and within that there are eleven sub-genres, including Dance Pop, Soft Pop, Euro Pop, Pop Rock, and Adult Alternative.

"Mainstream Pop Music" probably equates to Pop Rock, by Amazon's taxonomy.

To answer your question, music is a mass noun. Unlike count nouns, mass nouns have no plural form and cannot by used with numbers.

And yes, you can use either kind or kinds with music.

But here is another possible way to formulate your sentence:

What sub-genres of Pop Music do you like?

  • There's also plenty of overlap between genres. There's crossover between Country and Pop, so someone might answer that their favorite type of pop music is country. – Barmar Jan 8 '15 at 22:07

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