My favorite genres are:
- Orchestral (Symphonic) because I get to hear how all of the instruments sound in different situations, which is why I like Mahler and Bruckner. This is also one of the reasons I don't like Brahms very much is because his Trumpet writing a terrible and his orchestration was much too "classical/early romantic" in terms of color and texture.
- Chamber Music (anything Brass+Percussion, Brass+Percussion+Organ, Solo Brass+Organ, with emphasis on Baroque era). This one I'm a little more perticular with in that I'm partial against horn and tuba solos (due to the fact that I was quite literally forced to play them "full time" in Band when I specifically told the directors I only wanted to play them "part time"). As a trumpet player who also plays in my Parishs' Masses (Catholic, if you really care. Not Lutheran or Anglican), I just love the seemingly simple music that floods this genre. That, and I LOVE trills (especially when I'M the one playing them...another reason I love Mahler so much, his brass trills).
- Celtic New Age. My favorite 3 are Enya, Loreena McKennit, and Enya's sister Moya Brennan. Their voices are just so well used and they can all compose fairly well and make decent arrengements of various folk songs from the Brittish Isles. One of the few times I don't dislike arrangements.
- Mediaeval choral music. This stuff is so simple and at the same time so complicated. The best part is that there is little to no heavy operetic vibrato in most recordings of these pieces.
My least favorite genres are:
- Solo Piano/Piano Feature (including concertos). While there are a few piano concertos (Beethoven 5 and Mendelssohn 1), sonatas (any by Mozart), and general solos (I know Enya did a few, and Satie is very good with piano writing) I like, the piano has been used and written for so many times that it just gets old, at least organ solos can use various stops, but piano is just endless hammering of strings. That, and about 70% of concertos are probably for piano, with the rest being given to violin, 'cello, or clarinet, and the scraps going to the trumpet, tuba, harp, english horn, oboe, bassoon, anything contrabass, and so on.
- Rap (and Hip-Hop). While it used to be a legitimate genre in it's beginning, the mainstream "sex-drugs-gangsta" stuff has polluted it so much that it's extreamly hard to find anything else, and unlike Opera (which is almost always similar in moral topic), there is no musical value outside the rhythm of the words. In it's diffence, it has notable literary value.
- Country (not Bluegrass or Folksong). While you can clearly hear the words in this genre, most of the songs are like Vivaldi concertos. Once you've listened to a few, you've listened to them all. The instrumentation, the twangy vocals, lyrics talking about the same things, etc...
- Band (Concert Band, Wind Ensemlbe, Symphonic Band). While I believe that in the far future that Band music will become equally as popular and respected as Orchestra and String Ensemble music, this genre has alsmot no pieces of any value to work with. Anything that's worth playing is usually transcriptions of an already popular non-band pieces, marches, the suites by Holst, and the band pieces of Charles Ives and William Schuman (of which there are too few). With the exception of educational music, everthing, and I mean everything else is the "contemporary" crap that composers such as Ticheli, Granger, Vaughn Williams (his band music), and Rick Kirby. Pierre le Plant is mostly folk medlies otherwise, a very overused band-music technique, and everything by Robert W. Smith is the same thing with different titles. Anyway, I digress and end my rant on this genre.
- Clarinet Solo/Feature. This one's just because I don't really like the clarinet's sound that much. With the exception of the Bass and lower clarinets, the timbre is just too whiney for me.
- Marching Band/Pep Band. This genre is just bad arrangements of pop-tunes or poorly writen original pieces that are probably bad arrangements of pop-tunes that were thrown in the trash. This is art at it's lowest point.