The Different Genres of Electronic Music

Genre distinctions can often be blurry and personal taste is key when categorizing music. With that in mind, we have provided you with some guidance by outlining each genre of electronic music here.

Originating from House, Hip-Hop and Techno music styles, electronica is an experimental, varied and artistic sound. Popular examples are Skrillex, Zomboy and Datsik who all embody this sound.


Disco is a style of dance music derived from other musical genres such as rhythm and blues, funk and soul. Initially popular in the 1970s, disco is considered to be one of the precursors to modern electronic dance music (EDM). Its rhythmic beat influenced many other types of genres, including EDM, trance and techno. Recently there has been renewed interest in disco music, with producers creating versions which combine elements from other electronic genres into its sound.

Disco is known for its syncopated beat that emphasizes accenting unexpected beats. Unlike rock or pop songs, most disco tracks contain bass drum hits every four beats (or every beat in four measures).

Disco is a genre with roots in African American culture and underground dance scenes for Black, Latinx and Queer people in cities such as Philadelphia and New York City. Its name derived from “discotheque,” an underground nightclub for dancing that existed at these underground locations; Disco’s rise was propelled by artists such as Barry White, Donna Summer and Earth Wind and Fire becoming immensely popular, as well as fashion featuring androgynous clothing and extravagant makeup styles.

Disco music had a tremendous effect on other musical genres, particularly country and easy listening music. Country singer Dolly Parton’s hit singles such as “Heartbreaker” and “Great Balls of Fire” show its influence from disco music; similarly, easy listening singer Barbra Streisand recorded a duet with Donna Summer in 1979 that reached number one on the U.S. Billboard chart with her song “No More Tears”.


House music is an infectious genre combining soulful melodies with infectious beats, drawing from influences like funk, disco, and garage music. House is known for its signature bassline and hypnotic rhythm – Calvin Harris and Alesso are two artists widely credited with popularizing this style among a wider audience.

House music differs significantly from disco by being more of a club-oriented genre. House emphasizes a four-on-the-floor beat and employs synthesizers to produce its sound; its signature electronic squelch sounds are usually produced using iconic models like Roland TB-303s.

House music typically features more complex rhythms and beats than its disco counterpart, often boasting upbeat or relaxing tempos; some varieties even boast distortion or harmonic content for added diversity – making this genre appealing to a wider variety of audiences.

Progressive house is a subgenre of house music that emerged during the late ’80s and ’90s, featuring an upbeat, melodic sound unlike other styles of dance music, drawing influence from classical, trance, techno as well as chord progressions with long builds – it even includes Sasha and John Digweed as artists who produce this genre!

Electro music, which is a form of house, is distinguished by the use of synthesizers. Compared with house, electro is faster paced and louder in its sound, drawing from elements from funk, rock, disco music as well as using different instruments and effects to produce its signature sound. Electro also utilizes distortion and harmonics for more distinctive results than other dance music genres.


Techno is an electronic dance music genre which first gained widespread recognition during the late 1980s. Influenced by funk, post-disco, futuristic fiction ideas and glacial synthesizer melodies with machine-like rhythms; initially popular in Detroit before spreading across Europe and becoming an international trend; it now includes subgenres such as acid techno, minimal techno and tech house.

Techno has its roots in underground scenes, often reflecting social and political issues of its time. Early techno artists such as Egypt’s Halim El-Dabh explored ways of merging electronic instruments with traditional folk music while creating immersive sonic landscapes that immersed listeners into an imaginative realm they created themselves.

Today, techno is one of the most beloved forms of electronic dance music (EDM), influencing numerous other genres as well. Madonna sought help from techno producers when creating her hit singles; one such producer-producer duo created Tom Odell’s “Another Love,” turning emotional vocals into an upbeat dance floor experience.

Throughout the ’90s, techno’s sound became even more complex and varied, with various subgenres emerging based on instrumentation or overall feel of each track. Hard and soft styles of techno were especially influential; each offered alternative approaches to techno’s core beat-driven core; hardcore was more aggressive while soft was more melodic; these alternative styles expanded reach of genre to new listeners while shaping its future sound in general and its many subgenres.


Hardcore music is a subgenre of electronic music that involves producers and DJs turning up the tempos with aggressive yet raw synth melodies that produce a harsh yet aggressive sound, usually combined with sawtooth kicks for kick drumming and aggressive sawtooth kicks for kick drumming, for an aggressive yet dark and relentless sound that has garnered itself an avid following.

Hardcore music has had an influence on other genres such as punk rock, thrash metal, post-hardcore and even pornographic content; and also generated its own subgenres like emo and hardcore techno. Furthermore, this term may also refer to certain forms of pornography with which it shares commonalities; though this link may only be tenuous.

Hardcore music may seem aggressive at first, but its appeal lies not in its violent or harsh sounds; rather, its roots lie in rave culture where strict rules are followed which gives hardcore an air of integrity that many listeners find appealing. As a counterculture movement that resists convention and creates a global community.

Early hardcore was distinguished by simple riffs and vocals, inspiring other musical genres reliant on similar sounds such as grunge and alternative rock. Many bands took an informal DIY approach to their careers using four-track recorders while selling records at gigs or through mail order.

Hardcore style music quickly evolved over time into jungle and drum & bass genres, before eventually shifting towards dubstep, two-step UK garage and grime productions. Today however, producers like Sefa and D-Sturb are working to revive its original form by pairing aggressive kicks with melodic elements.

Gabber hardcore was an early form of hardcore, distinguished by fast tempos and use of sawtooth kicks with distortion effects. Over time it would give rise to other styles like makina and hardstyle; its popularity eventually declined and hardcore became less focused on speed and more focused on melody – giving rise to new artists such as Dutch producer D-Sturb and British duo Turnstile.


Hardstyle is a fast-paced genre of electronic dance music that blends elements from hard trance and hardcore techno. The genre’s signature sounds include an intense kick drum that hits on every beat and faded or reversed bass effects which interplay with it to create rhythmic complexity, along with melodies produced from synthesizers as well as screeching or distorted leads; additional synth melodies provide added dimension to this vibrant genre which also includes vocal samples, panned synth stabs, and effects which elevate its high energy atmosphere further.

Hardstyle may cause anxiety for some listeners, yet its energetic sounds help create flow states for fans. Hardstyle fans support each other both physically and online through its immersive soundscapes that foster loyalty among them – not to mention its uplifting melodies that promote positive feelings and help create a sense of empowerment!

As hardstyle’s popularity increased, producers experimented with its sounds. Tempo was gradually increased to around 150 BPM and kick pitching (adding an extra beat to the kick drum) became widespread; at this time producers started creating what is now known as Nustyle; artists like Headhunterz, Wildstylez and Noisecontrollers can be considered pioneers of this era.

Since its origins, hardstyle has come a long way since. Today it encompasses multiple subgenres. Raw hardstyle recalls its older sibling hardcore with deeper kicks and more aggressive basslines; dubstyle, which fuses dubstep and hardstyle influences, features wobbly bass but keeps the intensity and pace of hardstyle; Euphoric hardstyle features melodies and storytelling using pitch-shifted kicks; artists such as Brennan Heart and Code Black use pitch-shifted kicks to achieve this style; ultimately hardstyle will continue its journey as its producers push the limits of technical production.