In music, Americana is a loose subset of American folk music, that is perhaps best defined as "classic American music"—ranging in style from roots-based bluegrass to alternative country, gospel, blues, zydeco, and other native forms. One of the main reasons Americana is used to describe such a wide variety of musical genres is because of the diverse range of cultural influences which is called American. For example, traditional Bluegrass instrumentation consists of the banjo which originated on the African continent, guitars from Europe, fiddling styles which have their roots in traditional Irish and other Gaelic fiddling techniques, and yodeling from alpine regions of Europe.
As an umbrella term, Americana is often linked to genres such as outlaw country, alt-country, and has also developed into newer musical forms, including the growing subgenre Gothic Americana. Today, the Americana Music Association compiles and publishes airplay charts of a number of radio stations that have adopted an Americana format. The magazine-turned-website No Depression continues to be a useful source for reviews and other information relating to the genre.
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