alternative music


: music that is produced by performers who are outside the musical mainstream, that is typically regarded as more eclectic, original, or challenging than most popular music (such as conventional rock, pop, or country), and that is often distributed by independent record labels

Examples of alternative music in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Both tracks appear on the group’s new set, the follow-up to 2019’s Father of the Bride, which took home a Grammy Award for best alternative music album. Mitchell Peters, Billboard, 3 Sep. 2019 Kid Quill mixes hip-hop, pop and alternative music and has performed at festivals such as Firefly, Electric Forest, Breakaway and Lollapalooza, according to the release. John Tufts, The Indianapolis Star, 19 Mar. 2024 Come out to the Regency Ballroom for an alternative music festival bringing together all kinds of subversive wanderers for two nights of performances on the punk-to-indie-rock spectrum. Brittany Delay, The Mercury News, 1 Jan. 2024 Earlier this month, Paramore won Grammys for best alternative music performance and best rock album, and Russell won her first Grammy award for best American roots performance. Mary Whitfill Roeloffs, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 Russell had won the Grammy for best American roots performance while Paramore won Grammys for best rock album and best alternative music performance earlier this month. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports,, 19 Feb. 2024 Minutes later, the trio (which also includes Phoebe Bridgers) returns to accept a second win for best rock song with the same track and soon after come back to accept alternative music album with The Record. Lyndsey Havens, Billboard, 5 Feb. 2024 Their album The Record won for best alternative music album. Carly Thomas, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Feb. 2024 In addition, the company also owns sports radio station WXYT-AM (1270), alternative music station WDZH-FM (98.7), country station WYCD-FM (99.5) and classic hits WOMC-FM (104.3). Detroit Free Press, 9 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'alternative music.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1974, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of alternative music was in 1974

Dictionary Entries Near alternative music

Cite this Entry

“Alternative music.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

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