What Genre Is Frank Sinatra’s Music?

Frank Sinatra’s main genre is best classified as “traditional pop” or “classic pop.” However, his songs also straddled between “easy listening,” jazz, swing, and big-band.

Defining the genre of Frank Sinatra can be a bit challenging. While most casual fans consider him to be a jazz musician, this is partly because he performed with the best-known jazz musicians of his age. However, Sinatra certainly did not fall into jazz as his primary genre.

Sinatra first became popular during the Big Band era of American music, which dominated jazz in the early 1940s. His popularity continued through the Great American Songbook era of the 1950s.

Traditional Pop

Sinatra can be best considered as a pop musician. However, this genre refers specifically to the popular music that existed before the rock and roll era and is often referred to as traditional pop or classic pop today.

Other Genres of Frank Sinatra

In reality, however, Sinatra’s music transcends a single genre and straddles a variety of genres. Some of the genres that his music falls into include:

  • Traditional Pop: Perhaps the primary genre that Sinatra performed in.
  • Easy Listening: This genre was particularly popular between the 1950s and 1970s. Songs like “I Won’t Dance” can be considered to fall into this category.
  • Jazz: This is the genre that Sinatra is best associated with. While calling Sinatra a jazz musician is a hotly debated topic, it cannot be denied that many of his songs fall under some level of the jazz genre. These include songs like “That’s Life” and “Girl from Ipanema.”
  • Swing: Swing music can be considered a subgenre of jazz or a variation of jazz music. It was particularly popular in the 1930s and 1940.
  • Big Band: “Big bands” were essentially jazz bands made up of ten or more musicians. These jazz bands dominated the American music scene – particularly the jazz music scene – in the early 1940s. The popularity of big band music coincided with Sinatra’s initial rise to popularity, and many of his songs are big band songs. These include popular songs like “New York, New York” and “Fly Me to the Moon.” In fact, Sinatra started his career as a big band singer and played with various big bands, including the Tommy Dorsey and Harry James bands.


We hope this article has served as a good opinion to the hotly debated topic of Frank Sinatra’s genre!

Do you agree with the above, or do you think he should be classified under another genre or sub-genre? Write it in the comment section below!

Brian Clark

Brian Clark

I’ve been a writer with Musician Wave for six years, turning my 17-year journey as a multi-instrumentalist and music producer into insightful news, tutorials, reviews, and features.

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