Genre

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Genres are currently supported in MusicBrainz as part of the tag system.

Some tags (the ones in the genre list) are automatically read and presented as genres. The list is expanded according to user requests, so if you feel a genre is missing, request it by adding a style ticket with the "Genres" component.

Genres are subjective, so just like with any other tags, you can upvote and downvote genres you agree or disagree with on any given entity, and you can also submit genre(s) for the entity that no one has added yet.

API

The method to request genres mirrors that of tags: you can use inc=genres to get all the genres everyone has proposed for the entity, or inc=user-genres to get all the genres you have proposed yourself (or both!). For example, to get the genres for the release group for Nine Inch Nails' Year Zero you’d want https://musicbrainz.org/ws/2/release-group/3bd76d40-7f0e-36b7-9348-91a33afee20e?inc=genres+user-genres for the XML API and https://musicbrainz.org/ws/2/release-group/3bd76d40-7f0e-36b7-9348-91a33afee20e?inc=genres+user-genres&fmt=json for the JSON API.

Since genres are tags, all the genres are also served with inc=tags with all the other tags. As such, you can always use the tag endpoint if you would rather filter the tags by your own genre list rather than follow the MusicBrainz one, or if you want to also get other non-genre tags (maybe you want moods, or maybe you’re really interested in finding artists who perform hip hop music and were murdered – we won’t stop you!).