The news marks the biggest overhaul in the Grammys 53-year history. The number of categories is being cut from 109 to 78, making the competition much tighter.
Awards will no longer be given in such categories as rap performance by a duo or group; some of the instrumental categories in pop, rock and country; traditional gospel; children's spoken-word album; Zydeco or Cajun music album; and best classical crossover album.
"It ups the game in terms of what it takes to receive a Grammy and preserves the great esteem of with its held in the creative community, which is the most important element," Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
No music genres will be excluded from Grammy contention, but they may now be in broader categories.
Separate male and female vocal categories in fields like pop, R&B and country are among those being dropped. Men and women will now compete in each overall field. That is already the case in the field of rock, which does not have male and female vocal categories.
Other changes will require each category to have at least 40 entries instead of 25, and categories that receive between 25 and 39 will have only three nominations instead of four or five.
If a category gets fewer than 25 entries, it will be removed for that year, and if it happens three years in a row, the category will be discontinued and the material will find a new home in a related genre.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.