WTF is ‘Fusion Music’ Anyway Beaver?

A good question – one that has many long, short and different answers depending on who you ask.

Jazz Fusion?

Jazz buffs might criticise me for talking about fusion music in the way that I intend to do, because ‘Fusion’ refers to a specific musical genre associated with jazz that developed in the 1960’s from combining elements of funk, r&b and rock music.

To those people I say in today’s globalised world, fusion music for me is a much broader concept than one jazz genre.

All Music?

Others say that ALL music is fusion music– because all music since the beginning of time developed from combining other musical styles. Flamenco came from Andalucian and Romanian music. Funk came from mixing soul, jazz and R&B. Salsa developed from blending North American jazz arrangements with Afro-Cuban rhythms, and so on and so on.

Great point, I agree with them. But surely at some point in the earliest of human histories (probably unknown to us) there must have been some pure, original forms of music uninfluenced by other music?

There is no doubt that musicians have been combining different musical styles to create new musical genres or ‘hybrid music’ for a very long time. Dearly departed legends Miles Davis and Fela Kuti are just two examples of countless such artists. The list of ‘named’ musical genres and sub genres just keeps getting longer.

I am simply a music lover and listener, without any claim to expertise in musicology. I could be completely wrong, but there are 2 things about fusion music that I’ve come to think…

1. What my ears tell me – that there are some music fusions that are more subtle than others, not even recognised by me.  Maybe they are just historical fact – the mixing of music styles that happened at some past point in time to make a certain new sound or genre.

Then there’s fusion music which is more obvious to my ears – a piece of music in which I can hear and identify the blend of two or more distinct musical styles. This is the music that I am drawn to and enjoy the most (if done well), because to me it sounds the most interesting and unique.

2. What my lifetime of experiences listening to music tell me – that regardless of how long it’s already been around for, the creation of distinctly identifiable fusion music, becomes more and more common to find. As time ticks on and globalisation of everything continues at a rapid rate, so too does the cross-pollination of musical styles and cultures.

That’s a super positive and exciting thing yes?  For me, yes – because it means the ongoing future creation of more unique fusion music sounds for listening and dancing pleasures.

Who Cares?

I shouldn’t forget to mention those who might say that any discussion about what fusion music is or is not, or about the long and constantly evolving list of musical genres and sub-genres, is all academic and a waste of time…music is music.

Maybe they’re right.

Beaver’s Fusion

Whatever the case, right now and for the purposes of this site, I’m talking about fusion music like this:-

Music which has a distinct mix of different musical flavors from different musical styles/genres, creating a delicious, interesting and unique musical meal.

If you’re interested in ideas people in music have about fusion, stay tuned to the evolution of ‘Fusion Music’.

What about you? Any thoughts or feelings to share about fusion music?

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