At one point in time, there was a genre labeled alternative music. These bands wrote music that was an alternative to the mainstream, such as Mtv, top 40, and the likes.

The idea was to write about what they wanted to, with full control of what they do, without the corporate pressure to make the album more marketable and commercially succesful. These bands like the others wanted to make money, but wanted to on their own terms.

Today the definition has been skewed into almost meaning quite the opposite. "Alternative bands" are the ones we hear on every modern rock radio station, Mtv and on television all the time.

Anything that is an alternative to whats more popular and in the mainstream fits in the true definition. This includes *some* forms of bluegrass, jazz, country, punk, ska, rock and many others.