I am researching about music genres but I am confused if instruments played in music help in determining its genre?
What could be the differentiating features in genre recognition of music?
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Yes and no.
It mostly depends on the age in which the genre was born, but it should be noted that some labels often used as "genres" are more vague "instrumentation-based" (and, technically, not actual genres): it's pretty obvious that "Opera" requires singers, "Symphonic" can't be played by a percussion duo, and "Electronic" cannot be done without electronic instruments.
It is true that, usually, a genre is defined by the instruments that generated and popularized it:
As long as the genre-era instruments are used, any instrument can be used even if it's not one that is generally associated with the genre:
Things get a bit weirder in the modern genres: on one side, some genres are really "vague", and on the other hand there are hundreds of very fragmentized "microgenres", which are controversely strictly defined.
"Pop" music is more a concept than a genre, also defined by its intention other than its music. "Jazz" is more than a century old, and it's valid for New Orleans' music done with marching band instruments in the 1910s as well as when played with electronic instruments. I won't even try to talk about "Rock".
Some genres of electronic music are defined by the age (and instrumentation) of their composition: songs that sound as 80-90s pop are considered "retro-pop" if written after that period. Some metal sub-genres are defined by specific usage of drums and guitars that have more than 6 strings.
Some genres are even specific to the lyrics: consider Christian metal.
So, in summary, the genre can also be determined by the instruments, but instruments alone can not determine the genre.
My position is that genre comes from audience. Country is what Country fans listen to. Opera is what Opera fans listen to.
It isn't that Country is in 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4, and Rock can be in 4/4 and more odd meters because those are genre rules. Country is about social dancing and the dancers want songs they can dance to. Rock audiences are less about that and (dependent on subgenre) more willing to be musically challenged, so songs with odd meters, like "Whipping Post"'s 11/8 or "Turn It On Again" in 13/4.
The base Rock band has one or more guitars, one bass, one drummer and vocals. I can name Rock bands without vocals, without guitar and with two drummers, two bassists, keys, accordion, sax, various brass instruments, flute, mandolin, electric and acoustic violin, sitar, theremin and a long pipe and a propane torch, listed as a propane-o-phone. It is not limited by instrument.
Jazz is generally various brass instruments, a small drum kit, acoustic bass and piano. Some bands have lots of electric instruments. One band I know had tablas, classical guitar and oboe as the main instruments. It is not limited by instrument.
The genre whose instrumental choices seem most tightly constricted is Bluegrass. You should expect mandolin, fiddle, acoustic guitar, banjo and acoustic bass. Bill Monroe has had accordion and snare drum on his recordings. It is not limited by instruments.
Composers know that audiences associate different instruments with different emotions and use that in their compositions. I feel that guitar can express melancholy, for example, but movie scores are more likely to use something like a french horn for that.
Genres are audiences and built on audience expectation.
I would say it's the other way around. Instruments (weakly) determine genre. Given a piece of music, people like to classify into some specific genres. Sometimes based on the instrumentation. As mentioned before, a piano concerto needs a piano and a contrasting sound source, usually an orchestra.
Nevertheless, an orchestra playing "You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille" doesn't change it from a country waltz. (Using the melody as a symphonic theme does though. This is less common now due to copyright considerations.)