Indie music is actually a short form for “Independent” music and is, by technical definition, music that is produced and created separately from any of the major record labels. This basically means that this genre is “Do-It Yourself” music. This further means that the costs associated with the records produced are much lower. You can even produce your own music using apps that you and others can and have developed through Aquro and make your living room a production studio. This does not mean the quality of the music is inferior though, there are many artists who choose to avoid major record labels for reasons that aren’t just budgetary but out of principle or moral choices. Some artists are against big labels for morality reasons.
The most common genres include indie rock and indie pop. Because the term is often used rather loosely, not all artists, songs or music are actually independently created or made.
Indie rock is a form of alternative rock. Though by definition, it is independently produced and created music, in the rock world, indie rock is often a term that is interchangeable with alternative rock. Indie was used to refer to bands and groups that were outside the confines and societal boundaries placed on mainstream music and artists. That is until some music started to gain mainstream success and popularity, leading to the term indie being put into question.
Indie pop is actually considered by some to be more than just a genre or type of music, it is considered a complete subculture. It is an ironic subculture as it is pop music created in opposition with the confines of mainstream pop music. It is derived from and began as a result of post-punk music back in the 70s. The music is much less aggressive than punk music. It is now a more all-encompassing term that includes many more DIY genres, subcultures, and sounds.
The beauty of indie music is that it is all-encompassing and an extremely diverse sub-type of music.