Musical type or category. Style terms (e.g. jazz, be-bop, classical, grunge, rock, flamenco, etc.) group music works primarily by the characteristic use of the elements of music. Some style terms are both style and eras, for example “classical” refers to both a time period (era) and characteristics of the music of that time period (style.)


Within the broad categorisation of genre it is possible to draw further distinctions between constituent groups and identify them as particular styles. For example, ballet (genre) may be identified as romantic, classical or modern in style. More specific styles may relate to the country or origin or the company or community by whom the dance is performed. Choreographers also have their own distinctive styles (which may change and develop over time).

Visual Arts

Distinctive or characteristic manner of expression that is influenced by context or time frame such as Impressionism, Postmodernism, 21st century contemporary art, animation.

Media Arts

The organisation of media techniques, by the producers of media work, that creates a distinctive appearance, mood or tone, through the choice and manipulation of all elements of construction. Producers may develop an individual style or adopt a known style.


Style in drama refers to the distinctive identifying elements of particular dramatic texts. There are three dimensions of style: historical, performance and personal style.

  • Historical style: refers to the distinctive uses of language, approaches to subject matter, themes, characterisation and dramatic action that can be linked to particular times and contexts. For example, Theatre of the Absurd, Theatre of Realism.
  • Performance style: refers to the ways of approaching dramatic text in performance – two major performance styles are representational and presentational styles. (See Presentational Drama and Representational Drama)
  • Personal style: the distinctive use of voice, posture, gesture and body that can be associated with a particular actor or director. Style can be observed in performances, direction, design and the application of conventions to dramatic texts. This includes the work of particular practitioners like Bertolt Brecht, Robert Wilson and Barbara Kielhofer