Genres of Electronic Music

Electronic music is music created using electronic or electrical means. Generally, this style of dance music emphasizes rhythm and energy over more traditional genres like jazz or classical.

Drum beats are often the foundation of electronic styles, though some may feature other elements such as chord progressions and melodies.


In the mid-90s, there emerged a distinct movement toward music that combined pop elements with electronic dance genres. This style of music, known as progressive house, emerged out of rave and club scenes across UK, US and Europe.

The North of England was a hotbed for this new type of music, led by Alexander Coe (Sasha) and Shelley’s in Stoke-on-Trent. Sasha mixed progressive trance tracks with piano-driven Italian house to create an eclectic sound that fit the heavy party scene in the area.

As time passed, music evolved and DJs adopted a more fluid style of mixing from track to track. Production remained synth-heavy but also became more melodic and dramatic. Notable names in this era included Booka Shade, M.A.N.D.Y, Michael Meyer, Trentemoeller and Gui Boratto – some of the most influential DJs for this period.

Progressive music still thrives today and continues to draw a wide following. However, there have been some shifts over the last few years as some DJs have moved towards more Electro-oriented versions of Progressive House. Furthermore, new subgenres are emerging which will further diversify this genre even further.

For example, some of the more psychedelic styles of progressive music have recently gained momentum and artists are drawing influence from the early 90s. Artists are blending progressive house with psy trance and ambient techno to create unique forms of progressive music.

It’s essential to remember that progressive house is an amalgamation of many genres and has many subtleties that make each artist unique. The styles can differ greatly between countries, so it’s essential for artists to find their own voice when creating this genre of music.


Trap is a musical genre born out of Atlanta, Georgia that blends electronic dance music (EDM) with traditional hip hop to create an unmistakable sound that’s difficult to define but impossible to ignore.

Trap music is distinguished by heavy bass sounds created with a drum machine. Commonly, this is an Roland TR-808, though samples from percussion instruments may also be utilized.

Trap music has several distinct elements that set it apart. For one thing, trap is typically played at a high BPM of 140 beats per minute, which helps producers craft fast hi-hat patterns over an underling groove.

Gangsta rap themes are common in its lyrics, similar to other hip-hop subgenres. Topics covered may include drugs, violence, money and sex but can also cover a range of issues.

Furthermore, many trap artists use mumbled autotune vocals that make the lyrics difficult to comprehend for non-English speakers. This results in songs with poor lyrical flow and an overall less captivating listening experience.

Trap music varies in tone; some artists take on a darker outlook while others keep things lighthearted and humorous. The best trap rappers tend to be those from the streets who have an authentic connection with their community.

Trap artists often deliver powerful live performances. While the style and personality of each artist will differ, the overall mood tends to be intense and aggressive. While this genre may be hard for some listeners to get on board with, those who are open-minded will find that trap music offers a powerful outlet to express anger and frustration without harming anyone else.


Trip-hop is an electronic music genre born out of Bristol, United Kingdom as a subgenre of breakbeat rave. It’s distinguished by its blend of hip-hop and “moody downtempo” elements.

Trip-hop music, also referred to as “trip-hop inspired music”, encompasses many forms and can often be described as moody, psychedelic or experimental in nature.

This style can include elements such as looped bass and synth samples (often slower tempo but not always), echos/flanging, scratching and hip-hop based beats, along with lyrical themes of disillusionment/trust.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, dance-based listening music began to reach a more mainstream audience through artists such as Shadow, Tricky, Morcheeba, Morcheeba, the Sneaker Pimps and Massive Attack.

Though its popularity waned during the mid-2000s, electronica remains a popular genre. Its roots can be traced back to an underground movement in Great Britain that spread throughout Europe and beyond.

Though many artists from this era have moved away from trip-hop, it remains an integral part of culture. Some artists such as RJD2 still draw inspiration from the sounds and styles of the ’90s in their songs today.

Trip-hop has already had an influence on many other genres, so it is likely there will be a return soon as people search for new ways to express their creativity. However, this won’t happen immediately as there are already too many other styles which have been heavily influenced by it.

Of these acts, Portishead stands as the most iconic. Their debut album Dummy brought together hip-hop production with moving vocals from Beth Gibbons. This groundbreaking work helped shape the genre’s image.

Tropical House

Tropical House is an increasingly popular genre of electronic dance music that draws influences from deep house, dancehall and balearic house to create a relaxed, carefree vibe.

Thomas Jack in Australia first created this genre. His trips to the islands inspired him to create music that captured the feeling of a tropical vacation and has since become highly successful within the music industry, quickly becoming one of the most beloved genres worldwide.

Tropical House music comes in many varieties; some are slow and relaxed, while others are more upbeat. Instrumental songs often feature synthesizers while acoustic instruments like steel pans or other Caribbean percussion may also be included.

Tropical House music has seen the success of artists like Kygo and Robin Schulz, who helped bring the genre into mainstream success with their constant releases of new songs and remixes.

Tropical House artists continue to gain popularity with their distinct styles. It’s no wonder why this genre is such a hot topic within electronic dance music circles.

This music is very soothing, with melodies that use simple pentatonic scales to reduce dissonance and create an upbeat atmosphere. The tempo of these songs usually ranges between 100-115, which is slower than most house music genres.

There are plenty of websites and channels that offer an impressive selection of songs and artists. Some top options to check out include Soundcloud and Spotify – these platforms are always great places to discover new tracks from the tropical house genre.


Vaporwave is an electronic music and visual art style that emerged in the 2010s. It’s characterized by its slowed-down samples of smooth jazz, elevator music, R&B and lounge as well as other 80s/90s genres, often associated with an ironic or satirical take on consumerism and pop culture.

Vaporwave has an individual aesthetic, featuring a hybrid of retro-futurism and contemporary netart imagery. This can include pastel color palettes, checkerboard patterns, retro video game images as well as 3D-rendered objects and cyberpunk tropes.

Vaporwave heavily draws inspiration from capitalist symbols, such as call centre hold music, advert scores and the commercial netherworlds of small-town America, out-of-town retail parks and shopping centres; whether it’s a sample of dopamine hit or an analogue to a perfect buy, these sounds serve to glorify and exchange capitalist goods.

No wonder then that vaporwave has spawned several subgenres, from Mall Soft (sounding like the soundtrack to an old-school mall) to Blank Banshee’s harder, darker work. Vaporwave isn’t just about musical experimentation; it also serves to make socially aware commentary on consumerism and politics.

Vaporwave has no definitive aesthetic, although it is sometimes described as “nostalgic & futuristic” or the “chillwave for Marxists.”

In an age of overproduced and often cheesy music, vaporwave stands out for its uncompromising approach to electronic music – which has earned it a dedicated fan base.

Electronic music differs from more traditional styles in that its composer must anticipate how electronic processing affects it – much like orchestrating or piano composition, but on a smaller scale.

The chorus is typically the fullest and most complex section in a song, carrying its main message and musical themes while at the same time serving as its source of energy and intensity.


Techno is an electronic music genre that first surfaced in Detroit during the 1980s and was heavily influenced by synthpop, house music, funk and futuristic science fiction themes. Its hypnotic beats and use of drum machines helped establish rave culture – an all-night dance party event where raver music would often feature heavily.

Rave parties were held in abandoned warehouses or other locations where people could express themselves freely and creatively, powered by MDMA (ecstasy). Raves provided an escape from everyday routine, while techno became its soundtrack, providing its unique mix of rhythmic beats with basslines and electronic instruments like synthesizers.

Techno artists were often experimental with their approach, abandoning traditional song structure elements that had formed the basis of Western classical music in favor of creating dynamic, multilayered tracks with an element of movement and momentum that brought energy and excitement to dance music fans alike. This helped give techno a strong appeal among dance music listeners.

Techno is known for incorporating drum machine beats as well as synthesized sound effects and vocal samples, with a minimalist approach allowing the listener to focus more closely on rhythm and melody with less instrumentation layers than other dance music styles. Techno’s core rhythm usually falls in common time (4/4), meaning four quarter-note pulses per bar, with each pulse typically featuring either a kick (bass drum beat), snare or clap sound, or open hi-hat sound before or on each second and fourth pulse of each bar.

Due to its increasing popularity, techno has given birth to sub genres defined by primary instruments used and overall feel of tracks. Acid techno, minimal techno and industrial techno are examples of these sub genres. While still following basic core concepts from original techno, these evolved into completely distinct sounds with their own individual sounds and feels.

Techno has since expanded and evolved, creating new sounds and genres – such as Trance, Tech House and even dubstep – with its influence seen throughout dance music culture and among its followers who continue to rave out in streets and clubs alike. Its signature beats have long become part of dance music culture; today its members remain revered staples.

Deep House

Deep House music originated in Chicago and has since spread worldwide. It is characterized by slower tempos ranging from 110-125 beats per minute, creating an enjoyable listening experience with its slow tempos and relaxing and immersive listening experience. Deep House also includes lush basslines and smooth, melodic vocals which give this genre its distinct sound that stands apart from other electronic genres.

Deep house music is easily identified by its 4/4 kick pattern, which provides a consistent rhythm that makes it easy to dance along to. Furthermore, deep house uses various percussion instruments to add depth and dimension, setting itself apart from other genres like electro house or dubstep. Deep house is more subdued than other electronic styles because it doesn’t use as much noise or intense synthesizer sounds to produce its soundscapes.

Soul and funk music forms the backbone of this style, but it also features its own distinct sound. Soulful house draws its inspiration from soulful musical heritage while creating its own distinct sound – its less upbeat and aggressive than other house subgenres with more advanced production techniques; slower tempos and soulful melodies make this ideal for dancing!

Although some artists choose to produce their tracks themselves, others enlist ghost producers as an aid to make music faster and cheaper than ever before. Ghost producer services can save both time and money while still creating professional-sounding tracks to meet any artistic need. Ghost producers are easily found online and provide artists with high-quality and professional-sounding tracks at competitive rates.

Deep house music finds its roots in early 1980s disco and soul music. It can be traced to Larry Heard who first produced “Mysteries of Love” in 1985 – his work inspired by lush jazz melodies, funk grooves and soul sounds to create deep house. Through Heard’s contributions, deep house evolved beyond its Detroit techno roots towards more organic soulful sounds.

Deep house music remains increasingly popular today. This relaxing yet soulful genre has gained ground at clubs and festivals around the globe; among its major pioneers are Kollektiv Turmstrasse, Maya Jane Coles and Kruse & Nuernberg as examples of those leading this style.

Progressive House

Progressive house music takes listeners on an emotional journey through rhythm and melody. Its distinctive musical structure features an extended build-up to heighten tension before culminating in an explosive crescendo of sounds produced with synthesizers. Progressive house is an expansive genre that draws listeners in with intricate melodies that transport listeners on an immersive musical adventure.

Progressive house songs differ from most club hits in that they typically last longer and typically feature a slower tempo of 120 or 135 beats per minute, giving listeners ample room to explore and develop throughout. Progressive house tracks often also incorporate orchestral elements such as strings, brass instruments, horns, etc. for added anticipation for listeners.

Progressive house tracks rely heavily on drum beats to establish a driving rhythm and establish an enjoyable groove. Although kick drums may feature heavily, their dominance should not dominate like in other genres of electronic music. A drummer should keep the beat steady while adding variations – changing snare/clap sounds or adding splash cymbals on beats 2 and 4, or simply altering pitch for depth to the groove are just a few ways a drummer may modify sound while keeping steady beats steady.

Progressive house is known for incorporating various keyboard and synth sounds that serve as melodies within songs, from simple melodies to complex harmonic structures. These melodies often serve to complement other elements within the track such as its bass line which may contrast against more relaxing piano or lead synth elements.

Progressive house encompasses numerous subgenres, from trance and melodic techno to progressive house. Over the years, its sound has developed further while remaining popular due to its emotional appeal; such success has even inspired artists who create their own interpretations of this genre.

Are you interested in exploring what makes progressive house unique as an audio production technique? Consider signing up for Ask Audio’s Dance Music Styles 114: Progressive House course. In this 21-tutorial series led by Adam Pollard, expert Adam explores its defining characteristics before delving deeper into arrangement, structure and production techniques – including sidechain compression, filter sweeps automation MIDI effects.


Electronic music refers to any form of musical composition created or modified through electronic means, while more specifically it refers to genres utilizing synthesis (the manipulation of sounds using electronic means). While any piece can be altered through electronic means, for it to qualify as electronic music the composer must anticipate how that transformation will impact their work and have an understanding of how this transformation may alter or transform their piece.

Electronic instruments have made gradual inroads into modern music since their introduction. At the turn of the 20th century, avant-garde classical composers like Karlheinz Stockhausen used electronic technology to experiment with new techniques and modes of expression such as musique concrete (where recorded sounds on magnetic tape were edited together and composed into musical pieces) while Japanese avant-garde composers Toru Takemitsu and Minao Shibata independently considered ways electronic technology might be useful for the creation of musical pieces.

After World War II, experimental electronics became widely accessible and affordable. Sony was founded in 1946, and by 1950 commercial magnetic tape recorders had been introduced for sale; soon afterwards came electronic synthesizers. Both Toru Takemitsu and Karlheinz Stockhausen utilized synthesizers as instruments of composition in classical music composition.

Throughout the 1970s, notable musicians such as Ultravox, Gary Numan, Cabaret Voltaire, The Human League, Visage Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Daniel Miller Pete Shelley Norman Iceberg Thomas Dolby Severed Heads Yazoo began using synthesizers in their music – known as new wave. Kraftwerk are widely considered pioneers of electronic music by using synthesizers to symbolically celebrate modern technological alienation while celebrating it through song.

Recently, thanks to affordable computers with their ability to store and play audio files, music production is easier than ever for all. As such, a wide range of percussive electronic dance music ranging from techno, house, trance, drum ‘n bass, industrial dance music, dubstep Jersey club etc. is now produced. These styles of music can often be heard at nightclubs, raves or DJ sets as part of live mixes.