A suite (pronounced 'sweet', French for 'a sequence') is an arrangement of short movements, either self-composed or taken from someone else's composition.
An overture is a piece of composition that acts as the curtain-raiser to the opera.
A concerto is essentially made of three movements, that are created solely for the purpose of letting the soloist instrument shine out. This is unlike a symphony, where all instruments perform in unison.
Ballet is orchestral music that is based on dance movements. This type was created and nurtured during the Romantic era.
Incidental music is directly related to stage music; it provides the motion to an act. The sections are short and often repetitive.
Chamber music is musical work composed specifically for a smaller instrumental arrangement (smaller than an orchestra).
The most popular type of classical music to come out of the Baroque era was the opera. It's an orchestra set to an entire play. The composition can be created to accompany an act or display the emotions of a character on a colorfully constructed background.
You also have two other types in this category: vocal music and solo instrumental music. Vocal music may or may not be accompanied by instruments, while solo instrumental music is not accompanied by anything.
Apart from the above 'types', you also have the major 'styles' of classical music: Renaissance, Baroque, Romantic and Contemporary (or neoclassical). Each movement or era can be distinguished through chronology and the location of their origin.
The one great push for music into the whole rock band scene was arguably done by The Yardbirds. The band includes the three guitarists that helped shape rock music - Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. Each member contributed heavily to the band as well as creating entire separate realms of rock, namely the band Led Zeppelin (founded by Jimmy Page).
All in all, rock can be largely sub-categorized into the following types or styles. Bear in mind that they are more of less styles of rock rather than completely different genres, and that an artist or a band can be found in more than one style (like Led Zeppelin can be found under hard rock, psychedelic rock and folk rock. Queen falls under progressive rock and glam rock).
Alternative rock is anything that peaked for brief periods of time and was out of the ordinary, even by rock standards. This includes grunge, indie, new wave, punk and goth to name a few. Alternative rock can be defined more through movements rather than individual bands.
Art rock, which is the early form of psychedelic rock and progressive rock. It is led by the bands Exploding Plastic Inevitable, Pink Floyd and The Jimi Hendrix Experience (Jimi was also known as the pioneer of acid rock).
Arena rock, which is just a different way to see the greater rock bands of old: under heavy lighting, dynamic stage acts and crowd inclusion. The style focuses more on the stage (like Woodstock) than any band in particular.
Metal is perhaps the branch of rock with the most number of offshoots. It is believed to be initiated by Black Sabbath. It also includes Iron Maiden, who are a part of the heavy metal movement called New Wave of British Heavy Metal.
Glam rock can encompass a wider range of other styles of rock, and add feminine detailing and promiscuity. This includes David Bowie, Queen, Elton John and T. Rex. There's also glam metal with Alice Cooper and Aerosmith.
These main styles have a wide array of sub-categories, giving you hundreds of styles in rock music, like death metal, British invasion, southern rock, roots rock, college rock, Christian rock, etc.
Mississippi delta blues came from the Mississippi delta region. It's the oldest known form of blues as a genre, from which other forms later evolved. Artists included in this style are Muddy Waters and Memphis Minnie (When the Levee Breaks is a perfect example of the delta blues).
Chicago blues came next, when the delta musicians started traveling to the big city to look for a better life. Which is why Muddy Waters can be considered as both a delta blues man and a Chicago blues artist. The biggest difference between the two styles is the use of electric guitars and a slightly faster pace in the latter.
Texas blues came out after America saw how big Chicago blues was getting. The style was made famous by artists like Lightnin' Hopkins and Freddie King.
Blues rock was one of the last big blues styles to hit it big. It's largely inspired by the Chicago blues and started in the 1960s by bands like Creedence Clearwater Revival and ZZ Top.
Ragtime was the most popular form of jazz. It started in the late 1800s and included heavy use of the piano. It was a little different from the other jazz styles because it was formally composed, rather than improvised. Check out 'Shoe Tickler Rag' and 'The Maple Leaf Rag'.
New Orleans jazz started in that city and focused on collective improvisation.
Chicago jazz is where the swing really started swinging. It's characterized by a fast hip-swerving rhythm fronted by a solo sax improvisation.
Bebop is all about nonsensical syllables that are more percussive than literary (like the Bill Cosby memes). Bebop came after the swing era and around the start of WW II.
Cool jazz is a direct response to the then-declining bebop jazz. It was more classical and formal.
Smooth jazz is one of the last styles implemented. It is heavily influenced by R&B and funk.
Scat jazz is a form of vocal jazz similar to bebop. Check out Ella Fitzgerald.
The full list being too big, I've mentioned the bigger categories of electronic music.
You have the house and lounge music that falls under ambient music. Electronic rock uses instruments like the etherphone and the mellotron
Then you have the big styles meant for dancing, like disco, eurodance, electronica and techno.
There are also experimental styles like industrial music and glitch.
Dubstep is a relatively new addition (late 90s) to the genre, which branches out into brostep and wonky.
The list also contains vague styles like chiptunes (video game music) of which nintendocore is an offshoot.
Listen to artists like Chemical Brothers, Infected Mushroom, Bassnectar and Daft Punk to get an idea of electronic music.
The other group can be collectively called folk music or folk revival music. It is commercially successful, credible to artists who exist and are relatively new (since the 19th). The sound is derived from the folk songs of old (usually sticking to one style) and the lyrics are created wholly by the artist or drawn from the folk song itself. Artists that have made folk music include Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, Lead Belly, Pete Seeger and Joan Baez.
Bluegrass is heavily influenced by American traditional music or roots music. It was created by Irish and British immigrants that landed in Appalachia. The name actually comes from Bill Monroe's band Bluegrass Boys, who are from Kentucky, the Bluegrass State.
Honky-tonk is a type of pub music that is derived from ragtime. The style is more about country and blues songs that refer to the honky-tonk pub life (southern pubs, the kind that would keep a mechanical bull), like Hank Williams' 'Honky-Tonkin'' and 'Honky-Tonk Women' by The Rolling Stones.
Rockabilly is basically of "rock n' roll" and hillbilly music. It can be considered a part of both the genres. It started out in the 50s and is popular to this day.
Outlaw country focuses on the 'outlaw' image and music of the Wild West, like Willie Nelson's Shotgun Willie.
Alternative country is like alternative rock; it covers everything country that isn't mainstream. It's difficult to call an artist's entire work as alternative, usually it's only a part of their work.
Funk can be considered to be a part of R&B. It includes James Brown (the creator of funk) and Earth, Wind and Fire. The music is primarily meant to be danced to.
Contemporary R&B is music that fits into the R&B category after the 80s.
Soul is a style generated from a heavy influence of gospel music on blues and R&B. The style was largely created by Ray Charles.
Neo Soul is almost like soul, except it includes influences from hip hop, rap and pop. It's basically an R&B style that started in the late 90s.
R&B is also classified through the setlists that radio stations play, spawning branches like urban adult contemporary and urban contemporary.
The music is divided into two parts, DJing and rapping, although both of them are regularly used together. DJ Kool Herc and many others started the art of turntablism, which includes disc-scratching, sampling and crowd control using live audio techniques.
Hip hop has an incredible number of styles, each bringing something different to the table.
the evergreen freestyle rap
the popular gangsta rap
the experimental branch, Avant garde hip hop
the rave scene's ghetto house and ghettotech
the incendiary political hip hop
the geeky nerdcore
Christian hip hop
And the whole scene is divided into the East Coat and West Coast hip hop!
The second wave (aka two-tone) was the opposite of what happened in the first wave. Britain's grip on Jamaica was weakening, and Jamaica responded in an explosion of culture. Their music (like Bob Marley and the Wailers, who are from the first wave) was being heard in both Europe and America. By the 70s, you saw bands like Madness from London, that created and promoted ska.
The third wave came in the 80s and was way more punk than 2-tone. It was faster in tempo and was liked mostly by skinheads.
Rocksteady is the name of the genre between ska and reggae. It was intended for dance, was much slower than ska and used offbeat rhythms. Alton Ellis is known as the Godfather of Rocksteady. You'll also find bands like the Skatalites and a number of popular ska artists in this style.
And then came reggae. The thing is, 'reggae' is used as the umbrella term for Jamaican music, not ska. So even though ska and rocksteady came before reggae, we call them a part of reggae, for the sake of convenience. So reggae basically takes all the most interesting elements from its past forms and melds them together to make the music of the Rastafari movement. Your prominent types of reggae music are:
Early reggae, which started in 1968. It had more elements of funk in it, making it groovy and often instrumental.
Roots reggae started after the 70s. It is the most popular form of reggae (read Bob Marley).
Rockers reggae is what you get when a rock musician gets into reggae. It's more aggressive, pumped up and heavier on the sound of the drums than its beat.
Lovers rock is the romantic version of reggae. While Bob Marley sung about loving the world, Maxi Priest sung love songs.
Dub music came out of the 60s reggae scene. It took all the recorded reggae stuff and electronically modified to give a more "trippy" experience.
The last big one was dancehall, which is more vocal (rapping often replaces singing) and follows a live band that produces the 'riddim' (rhythm).
Raggamuffin is a sub-style of dancehall (more electronic), reggaeton is an urban mix of reggae (Sean Paul, Daddy Yankee. Reggaeton can also be a part of Latino music) and reggae-fusion is a mix of reggae and the genres popular in America, like R&B, jazz and hip hop.
You also have a few vague styles in reggae, like ragga metal (raggamuffin and metal), Nyabinghi (Rasta ceremonial music using special nyabinghi drums), dub poetry and toasting (talking over a riddim rather than singing).
The older Latin music was all about instrumentation with a more percussive feel. The vocals would follow in and out with the instruments, but they were usually never more important than the instruments. Here are the types of Latin music, divided mostly by the demographic that enjoys them.
Mariachi is Mexican folk music played by bands. It is the urban version of the more traditional Son style.
Norteño is another rural Mexican genre that became popular amongst the Mexican and American urban population. It is a type of ensemble music that uses accordions.
Tejano (aka Tex-Mex) is a crossover style created on the borders of the U.S and Mexico. It combines mariachi and country (sometimes also blues) and relies heavily on acoustic guitars.
Samba is dance music related to the same dance style. It originated in Brazil, uses short key signatures and fast rhythms to set the pace for the dance.
Duranguense is another Mexican style that is popular in both the U.S. and Mexico. It is a derivative of Norteño.
Vallenato (which means "From the Valley") is the folk music from the Caribbean. It uses the accordion along with traditional Colombian instruments.
Flamenco is the most popular type of Latin music. It is also the most simple one as it uses only three things - the guitar, vocals and hand-clapping. It is directly related to the flamenco dance form and the art, as a whole, is considered Spanish national heritage.
This category will contain all the culturally rich music that isn't mainstream, like traditional Turkish music, Inuit throat singing, Celtic music, the Indonesian gamelan, gypsy music, exotica, Enka and Caribbean music.
Regardless, new age music is the one genre where there is absolutely no need to divide it into types. The music is supposed to be explored by experiencing it yourself. It won't guide you to any meaning. It only helps you get to your own.