Electronic Dance Music (EDM) is an evolving musical genre which utilizes digital instruments and music technology to produce immersive songs. EDM is often considered an upbeat, uplifting genre and has led to several subgenres including dubstep, trap, pop, and alternative R&B.
EDM’s roots can be traced back to the early 80s when producers began experimenting with synthesizers like Roland TR-808 drum machines and 303 bass synthesizers – some of the earliest forms of dance music ever created.
Electronic Dance Music (EDM) has an intricate history. While many see EDM as being just another buzzword thrown around without much thought put into its origins or influences, its roots actually lie deep within multiple genres and styles of music.
Early 1970s artists started to experiment with new synthesizer technologies. These synthesizers could produce various sounds and were controlled by computers; these innovations allowed people to produce an array of musical styles and genres.
These new genres included progressive rock, funk and art rock; Kraftwerk and Mike Oldfield produced long-form pop songs using synthesizers as well.
These artists pioneered many genres that came to be known as electro, such as trance, techno and eurodance. These styles emerged throughout the 1980s and 90s in Germany in particular.
EDM was also greatly shaped by disco music’s rising popularity during the 1970s. Disco was an entertaining form of pop music characterized by various instruments and dance moves; it became a staple entertainment form across different communities and social classes.
In the 1970s, artists started using synthesizers in disco music. Artists utilized these machines to craft an unique style of disco that utilized various instruments while exploring new technologies. It often saw play in clubs where DJs would mix the tracks to compose new songs.
Unfortunately, synthesizer music was never particularly widespread due to their relatively expensive technology.
In the 1970s, new electronic devices became affordable to the general public and could be controlled via computers – making them accessible and cost effective to more people than ever.
These new electronic devices were an enormous source of inspiration for electronic musicians, leading to the emergence of subgenres and musical styles associated with EDM today.
One of the most prominent figures in this scene is Moby, who first made waves by experimenting with techno and breakbeat music before becoming one of the foremost proponents of popularizing electronic music with mainstream audiences.
Electronic music is a genre of dance music created using both digital and analogue recording equipment to produce its sounds. Composed usually using synthesizers, drum machines, processed samples, this allows musicians to compose songs with clear and precise sounds without using live recording sessions as their recording source.
Electro, in its original forms, combined elements from funk, early hip-hop, and New York boogie into its sound set. It was pioneered by Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May – collectively referred to as The Belleville Three.
In the 1980s, hip hop became increasingly fashionable among club DJs and producers, eventually inspiring other dance styles like house and techno to evolve as well.
Like many dance genres, techno does not typically incorporate vocals. Instead, its hallmarks include inorganic sounds and timbres with high tempo (130-150 beats per minute) and rhythmic pulses such as bass lines and percussion.
Electronic music has become a very popular trend across several genres of music, such as pop, rap, and rock. Artists such as Madonna and Taylor Swift have adopted electronic instrumentation into their songs.
Electro music includes various styles. Breakbeat, techno and trance are among the more prevalent.
Breakbeat EDM, one of the more prevalent subgenres of EDM, is an American house and hip-hop hybrid genre incorporating syncopated drum patterns along with other sampled and programmed beats and percussion. Often associated with fast tempo tracks that feature distorted kick drums as an element.
Trance music hails from Germany and has become an influential genre of dance music with its own signature sound set. Combining influences from genres such as disco, funk, soul and jazz with modern technology and electronic devices.
In the 1990s, trance became an increasingly prominent form of electronic music across Europe – particularly Berlin and Frankfurt where its creator Frankie Knuckles first pioneered it.
Style of music that features heavy basslines and powerful kick drums, often combined with melodic elements and atmospherics. It is typically classified as dark electronic dance music due to its high tempo and focus on heavy electronic dance music elements. Although widely popular across Europe, hard genre of dance music has slowly found a home here as well.
Electronic dance music (EDM) refers to a range of genres including house, techno, drum ‘n bass, dubstep and trance. Although each has distinct styles that differ significantly, all aim at getting people dancing and having an enjoyable time.
Many factors played an influential role in the birth and evolution of electronic dance music. Notable among these were the development of new electronic instruments that led to its creation as well as technological innovations that allowed composers to compose songs more quickly than before. Roland and Yamaha first introduced synthesizers, drum machines, and samplers into this arena of musical creation.
DJs began employing these instruments and equipment to play dance music in nightclubs – marking a monumental leap forward in dance music’s development and one which would shape its future forever.
This technology also made it easier for DJs to remix existing tracks and produce original material, giving them greater scope to experiment with various musical genres and sounds while expanding their sound palettes. As a result, new genres and styles emerged which are now common parts of dance music scenes across the world.
The 1980s was an influential period in the evolution of electronic dance music in Europe. Germany played an especially crucial role in developing techno and house, particularly within Berlin where clubs like Tresor were particularly influential.
An important contributor to the evolution of electronic dance music was the invention of the Musical Instrument Digital Interface, or MIDI, which allowed computers, instruments and other hardware to communicate directly with one another. The MIDI was an industry game-changer, but also inspired the creation of new electronic instruments such as Roland TR 77 Synthesizers.
These new instruments allowed DJs to craft an original sound and style that truly represented them, using software programs and digital audio workstations (DAWs). DJs could mix beats and samples on their own using DAWs.
Electronic dance music (EDM) emerged during the 1980s. This genre is distinguished by incorporating electronic sounds with classic dance elements such as vocal samples and rhythmic beats to form electronic dance music tracks.
Electronic dance music encompasses numerous subgenres. Some are popular in both North America and Europe while others remain lesser-known. Yet certain trends remain consistent throughout this genre that can help identify what’s currently trending in electro music vs dance.
Similar to other music styles, subgenres of electronic dance music fluctuate as its sound develops. Rock subgenres enjoyed peak popularity during the ’70s and ’80s while hip-hop reached its zenith between 1990 and 2000.
As is true for any genre, dance music trends are determined by a number of influences including culture, geography and artists who perform it. Such influences may lead to anything from energetic club tunes to quieter more contemplative tracks.
Electronic dance music (EDM) can be traced back to Germany in the 1970s when two young men from Kraftwerk became fascinated with synthesizers and drum machines, becoming obsessed with rhythmic patterns and sequencing that would eventually develop into what we now call electronic dance music.
Initial inspirations of EDM music included funk, New York boogie and early hip-hop; however, its sound quickly evolved into an industrial, ’80s style sound that combined all these styles (such as percussive “hard” sounds that became staples).
EDM began being used as an umbrella term to encompass a range of commercial-sounding stadium-style dance styles around this time, such as big sweeping progressive house (Swedish House Mafia), hard blare electro house (Steve Aoki), and clean tough beats and riffs of dutch house (Afrojack).
Mashups were an integral component in the evolution of electronic dance music during its formative years in the late 1980s and early 1990s, serving as an invaluable means to blend vocals of one song with instrumental components from another. DJs would frequently create these remixes as part of their DJ sets. Mashups proved essential in shaping EDM in those decades.