Some of you may have seen this map already, but its’ a favorite of mine. Authored by Reebee Garofalo, The Genealogy of Pop/Rock Music chart has been praised by many scholars and music fans alike.
Covering the time period from 1955 to 1978, more than 700 artists and 30 styles of music are mapped in currents flowing from left-to-right. For each performer, the length of time that he/she remained a major hit maker is provided. The overlapping streams allow you to compare the longevity and influence of multiple artists for the same time period. The birth and genealogy of each stylistic category is presented, along with an estimation of its share of total record sales.
Genealogy of Pop/Rock Music is referenced in Edward Tufte’s, Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative (Graphics Press): “With intense richness of detail, this nostalgic and engaging chart fascinates many viewers (…) Also the illustration presents a somewhat divergent perspective on popular music: songs are not merely singles – unique, one-time, de novo happenings – rather, music and music-makers share a pattern, a context, a history.”