What Is Contemporary Music?

If you’re wondering what contemporary music is, you’ve clicked in the right place. In this article, we’ll talk about its background, definition, and characteristics.

Without further ado, let’s get right into it:

What Is Contemporary Music?


The contemporary music period is said to have followed the modern music period. It is said to be from the late 1900s to the present day.

Contemporary artists in the early days were known for making use of dissonance. They also didn’t follow a lot of the musical laws that have been put in place prior to this period.

However, the term “contemporary” was mainly used to refer to the time period rather than the style of music played. This is because this type of music wasn’t restricted to any music form. Whether pop, jazz, funk, or rock, once they are released in the stated time period, they are referred to as contemporary.

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Based on the explanation above, you can already tell its definition. It is any form of music that is current or modern. Also, some define contemporary music as music that is created based on issues that are current.


  • Dissonant harmonies.
  • Complex rhythms.
  • Percurssiveness.
  • More use of brass and percussion instruments.
  • Use of electronically created and synthetic sounds

The above are a few characteristics that can be attributed to contemporary music. However, they might not be present in all compositions.


So, the next time you are asked this question, the perfect answer is “any music that was released between the last quarter of the 1900s and the present day”.

Is it current? It’s contemporary. Does it come from modern concepts? It is contemporary. Is it unlike the formal kind of music? It is contemporary. Basically anything new and fresh is contemporary.

We believe that at this point you no longer have any confusion as to what contemporary music is and how to identify it.

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