American music birthplace geography


From Jazz to Blues to Hip Hop and Rock ‘n Roll, there are many styles of music that populate the United States. The following map depicts the geographic location(s) where these varied forms and their sub-genres have germinated across the country. In some instances, a music form was born in one particular locale, while others grew out of multiple cities. Clicking on the music eighth note icon will open it and identify the place and form of music that was born there. Cities where multiple music styles were born require zooming in closer to separate the icons.


As the map indicates the Lower Mississippi Valley or Mississippi Delta Region, stretching from Memphis to New Orleans, can easily be considered the principle nexus of musical development in America.  Other important centers of music include Chicago, Detroit, Greater New York, and Southern California. Also of note, is the numerous areas where few, if any significant new music forms have been created. While there may be local traditions being played there, they have not been popularized enough to achieve a critical mass to broaden their appeal.


Historians have yet to pinpoint the specific locations where certain music forms were born. Therefore, these have not been included on the map. In addition, those genre of music that primarily developed outside the United States are not included. This includes Punk Rock, Classical, and others. As always, any additions, suggestions or corrections to this post are welcome. Enjoy!



If you would like to learn more about the history of various music genre, here are a few book resources available on*

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*A small commission is earned from purchases that are made using these links to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


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