The definition of country music can change depending on the individual taste and geographic location of the person describing the genre. Most music enthusiasts can list the characteristics of country with far less difficulty since they may be easily identifiable and understood by a wide range of listeners. The multiple styles within this genre can render sounds that reflect the most traditional forms of music spanning to popular modern arrangements. As one listens, the basic core formula, which consists of a straightforward chord progression, a resonating chorus or bridge, and a memorable story, will most often be the foundation of country music songs.
Whether the song was written in a mountain cabin, a ranch on the plains, in a small bar or pub, or in a modern recording studio, the heart of a country song can be identified by the uncomplicated chord progression in its foundation. This characteristic can be appealing to a listener who feels more comfortable which musical structure that can be followed easily, heard with less effort and more enjoyment. To some listeners, jazz, classical or some forms of rock music can seem complex even though some country musicians' playing styles stand alone in the world of virtuosity. The underlying chord progressions of this music are commonly the canvas that exhibits their finest work.
Throughout the history of music, some of the most beautiful and inspiring country music arrangements contain a great chorus, or refrain where additional vocals or instruments to emphasize the mood or feeling of the piece join the primary vocalist. This part of a country song is most often the punctuation of the message the songwriter is delivering to the listener. The country music chorus can be the signature of the song combining brilliant harmonies and emotionally driven lyrics, which add to the unique quality, and truth of the genre.
Lastly, country music has always been known for the memorable stories that are told within its verses. Because most country songs are written by individuals raised in rural areas, exposed to economic and social challenges, or been motivated by an individual's spiritual foundation, the story within the song can prove to be emotionally moving, personally inspiring, and easily identifiable by anyone exposed to the same life experiences. Whether in traditional folk, bluegrass, Celtic, hillbilly or modern country, the story can be as touching as the most beautiful poem. These simple characteristics make country music a truly unique and special art form.