Austrian composer and pianist Joe Zawinul was perhaps the greatest musical polymath of the 20th century. Polymaths, people with great knowledge and facility in multiple areas, are not especially common at the very top level of music. Typically, great musicians discover their unique style, or voice, and explore the new terrain they have opened up. Zawinul instead absorbed multiple styles and ethnic traditions, and opened up new terrain that way. He was the pioneer of what has now become a genre: world music, the blending of different musical traditions from different countries and ethnicities.