5 Example of Electronic Music Genres

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After World War II, music producers increasingly began using various electronic sounds and noises in their compositions. Delia Derbyshire from BBC Radiophonic Workshop is perhaps best known for realising the Doctor Who theme electronically back in 1963.

1. Techno

Techno has an expansive history in electronic music. Originating in Detroit during the ’80s, its signature mix of glacial synthesizer melodies with machine rhythms created a style which has since inspired various subgenres like house, dubstep and more.

Techno is now heard everywhere from large festivals to basement clubs around the globe, from massive festival stages to small underground spaces. Techno comes in all forms: fast or slow; minimalist or over the top; melodic or dark and austere. But no matter which style of techno music is being produced, some basic principles apply across the board.

One such principle is the four-on-the-floor beat. At its core, this pattern comprises kick drum beats on each quarter note in each bar with an accompanying kick drum roll or clap on second and fourth pulses and an open hi-hat sound every eighth note – making this pattern popular in other forms of music such as disco or polka.

Other components of techno are powered by sound synthesisers that have become essential tools for producers. Analog synths such as the Moog or Roland’s TB-303 produce their signature sounds by sending electric voltage through circuitry that generates weird yet captivating noises; now there are digital counterparts which mimic this behavior digitally, enabling even novice producers to produce professional-sounding tracks.

Techno is known for its deep bass lines, known as “reese bass”. Artists across the world have come up with variations on this sound such as Guy Called Gerald’s classic UK techno anthem “Voodoo Ray” or Laurent Garnier’s track “Man With The Red Face”. Crispy and tight hat sounds are also an integral component.

2. Dubstep

Dubstep, which originated in the UK, is an electronic dance music genre characterized by deep bassy drums and syncopated rhythms with frequent use of shuffled or incorporated tuplets to produce its signature stuttering effect. Dubstep tracks also typically include effects like reverb delay granular synthesization. Dubstep may feature “bass drops,” whereby an otherwise prominent bassline abruptly drops an octave or more, creating an audible shockwave effect that marks this genre’s unique identity.

Early dubstep pioneers like Skream and Benga were key in popularizing this genre by producing energetic tracks featuring cinematic flair and novel production techniques. Due to their success, other artists collaborated with them on remixes and single releases which helped further elevate dubstep’s popularity globally. As such, its influence quickly spread around North America.

This development was driven by the increasing availability of affordable and user-friendly computer technology that allowed producers to easily edit, synthesize, and play back recorded music – ultimately giving rise to various electronic dance music genres.

Dubstep has given rise to various subgenres that have established significant followings, most notably Grime and Glitchstep, which combine elements from other genres with its glitchy, unpredictable nature, such as glitch hop and breakbeat. Chillstep also stands out, providing dubstep rhythm with a chill out vibe for relaxation; furthermore Riddim provides similar sounds but with simpler, repetitive rhythms focused on sound design over beat manipulation and even some artists such as Burial have taken an atmospheric approach towards dubstep!

3. Electronica

Electronica music encompasses many distinct styles of electronic production. As one of the earliest forms to bring electronic production to popular culture, such as with Madonna, Bjork and Goldfrapp’s classification as Electronica musicians. Furthermore, this term covers any form of electronic production from Ambient through Trip-hop to Drum & Bass production.

Electronica evolved out of 70’s non-electronic disco, adopting its sound signature while adopting turntablist techniques and synthesizer sounds to create more exotic timbres.

One hallmark of electronica music is its use of samples. Manipulating audio data using samplers has long been used in influential electronic tracks – perhaps most famously by Daft Punk on their hit track “Aerodynamic”, who sampled Sister Sledge’s “Il Macquillage Lady” for their hit track ‘Aerodynamic”. They looped and processed it to produce their signature sound.

Numerous artists of both past and present have contributed to the growth of electronica genre, making its identity dynamic and ever-evolving in musical culture. Early pioneers of the genre like Aphex Twin, The Orb, Future Sound of London laid down foundation for various styles while contemporary pioneers like Bonobo, Tycho, Four Tet are pushing sonic exploration. Great electronica combines technical skill with an intuitive understanding of what sounds good – an approach called hybrid electronica!

4. House

House music became a global phenomenon during the 1990s with DJs such as Tiesto and Skrillex’s rise, along with large-scale festivals like Tomorrowland in Belgium and Ultra Music Festival in Florida and California. House can often feature distorted sounds with harmonically rich waveforms but can also feature vocal cuts, acoustic instruments and drum ‘n’ bass rhythms; its tempo may also differ significantly than traditional house.

One of the earliest examples of electronic music was Milton Babbitt’s Composition for Synthesizer (1961), written for a Columbia-Princeton electronic instrument. Through the 1960s and 70s, composers experimented with new musical forms and technologies including computers and keyboard synthesizers. Karlheinz Stockhausen joined Schaeffer’s studio in 1952 but had his own vision of how sound could be transformed and transformed. He focused more on authentic electronic music rather than traditional acoustic instruments and sought to achieve it through manipulating sounds using various techniques.

Trance was one of the major advances in electronic music that emerged during 1987 when British DJ Danny Rampling initiated a weekly party called Shoom at a London fitness center. This genre combines elements from progressive house and deep house with melodic radio-friendly lyrics and simple song structures for radio broadcast. Trance earned its moniker as drug music as some people use it to augment MDMA or ecstasy experiences.

5. Electropop

Electronic music encompasses an expansive spectrum of styles. Since the invention of computers and musical software has revolutionized how composers work with sound. Being able to store complete scores containing individual instrument parts on one machine gives composers much greater flexibility and creativity in creating their music.

Synthesizers have played an instrumental role in shaping pop music for over four decades. From Kraftwerk’s “Autobahn” and Herbie Hancock’s pulsing funk of “Rockit”, to Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder releasing dancefloor-friendly yet catchy melodies such as ‘Autobahn” or Herbie Hancock’s ‘Rockit”, synthesizers have had a dramatic influence. Especially during the 80s electronic music became more prevalent and featured artists such as Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder who released hits that bridged both dancefloor and catchy pop melodies.

Electropop music fusion genre that blends elements of pop and rock song structures with synthesized instruments and drum machines. It frequently features vocals that have been autotuned and distorted into cartoonish earworm sounds; references to 90s/00s internet culture; themes associated with identity politics or emo anxiety may be present as well.

As those looking to advance their production skills seek to take them one step further, familiarising themselves with advanced methods of creating electronic music is vital. From granular synthesis, which creates weird noises from basic audio samples, and modular synthesizers that patch together modules generating unique soundscapes to learning granular synthesis and modular synthesizer techniques for patching together different modules generating unique soundscapes, learning these methods will allow producers to produce more authentic-sounding electronic tracks. Even adding just small amounts of natural instruments can bring an organic and spontaneous feel, such as adding one bar instrumental breakdown or beat repeat sequences into a composition.