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|Other names||Country and western|
|Cultural origins||1920s, Southern and Southwestern U.S.|
|2023 in country music|
Country (also called country and western) is a music genre originating in the Southern and Southwestern United States. First produced in the 1920s, country primarily focuses on working class Americans and blue-collar American life.
Country music is known for its ballads and dance tunes (also known as "honky-tonk music") with simple form, folk lyrics, and harmonies accompanied by instruments such as banjos, fiddles, harmonicas, and many types of guitar (including acoustic, electric, steel, and resonator guitars). Though it is primarily rooted in various forms of American folk music, such as old-time music and Appalachian music, many other traditions, including African-American, Mexican, Irish, and Hawaiian music, have also had a formative influence on the genre. Blues modes have been used extensively throughout its recorded history.
The term country music gained popularity in the 1940s in preference to hillbilly music; it came to encompass Western music, which evolved parallel to hillbilly music from similar roots, in the mid-20th century. Contemporary styles of Western music include Texas country, red dirt, and Hispano- and Mexican American-led Tejano and New Mexico music, all extant alongside longstanding indigenous traditions.
In 2009, in the United States, country music was the most listened to rush hour radio genre during the evening commute, and second most popular in the morning commute.
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