What Defines Electronic Music?

Electronic Dance Music, or EDM, is a genre that combines digital and analogue musical equipment to produce danceable songs that sound precise and full, unlike many acoustic genres that need significant audio engineering to sound clear.

EDM originated in the mid-1980s when DJs began using sampler-sequencers and bass line generators to craft beats, leading to a revival of modular synthesizers from early 1960s designs such as Eurorack.


Electronic music is composed using various sound resources–microphones, electronic oscillators (that create basic acoustical waveforms like sine waves, square waves and sawtooth waves), complex computer installations and microprocessors–recorded on tape and then edited into permanent forms that are played back through loudspeakers alone or combined with traditional musical instruments.

Electronic music as a form of composition was first pioneered during the early 20th century when composers first explored its possibilities through electroacoustic composition. This period marked its official recognition as a valid compositional activity rather than simply as a means for producing sounds.

At this time, composers experimented with various devices including electronic organs (which produced new tones), theremins, and early synthesizers. Some also engaged in circuit bending – altering existing equipment to generate novel sounds – creating something called “new music.”

This was an essential innovation in the history of electronic music, enabling musicians to produce more complex and dynamic sounds with existing equipment rather than having to resort to more costly devices such as synthesizers or samplers. Its ripples could be felt across numerous styles such as musique concrete, industrial music and dance music genres.

Digital audio technology was another transformative development in the mid-1980s, making available to musicians and producers for use. This allowed composers to explore more sound resources and produce new styles and genres like techno, house, and EDM music.

This trend has led to a dramatic surge in electronic music artists and DJs, many of whom are not traditional musicians. Thanks to affordable digital recording systems, home computers, and the internet, electronic music is becoming an accessible hobby that allows anyone to become an artist.


Electronic music refers to any composition or performance which incorporates or uses electronic processing technologies, including recording and editing on tape as well as computer technology.

Electronic music has historically been associated with Western Europe and Germany, although the US and Japan have both made significant contributions. Recent advances have helped make electronic music more widespread and mainstream:

First was the creation of electronic instruments designed to create new sounds not possible with traditional musical instruments, including the theremin invented in 1920 by a Russian scientist; Ondes martenot created in 1928 by French musician and scientist; and trautonium devised in 1930 by Germans.

In the 1960s, another important breakthrough for electronic music was the advent of synthesizers – devices which enabled musicians to produce unique sounds and melodies without relying on another composer for accompaniment – revolutionizing musical production and inspiring many composers alike.

Tape recorders were instrumental in popularizing electronic music among a wider audience and allowed people to explore its depths more fully. Composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen used tape recorders as part of an electronic music studio they established in Cologne at this time, which established future developments.

These innovations paved the way for early electronic music genres such as synth pop to emerge during the 1970s. Later, artists like Kraftwerk began using synthesizers to produce techno.

This new genre gained immense popularity during the early 1990s and remains widely present today. It has spawned several subgenres such as trance music – which mixes techno with house – as well as commercial raves which have become more common across both America and abroad.


Electronic Dance Music (EDM), also known as EDM, is a genre of popular music composed by using electronic instruments and software. EDM typically takes the form of loud speakers playing distorted drums – this allows DJs to perform it at higher tempos (140 to 160 beats per minute).

Electronic music stands out as being distinct in that many styles are specifically created to facilitate dancing, making use of deliberately inorganic sounds and timbres that were produced using early 1980s Roland gear (like their 303 bass synthesizer and 808 drum machine) or samples taken from previously recorded recordings.

One characteristic that distinguishes Electronic Dance Music (EDM) songs from others is their strong rhythmic compositions, making EDM songs instantly appealing to partying audiences of all kinds.

EDM stands out as being a genre that typically features live performances with musical instrumentation such as piano or guitar thrown into the mix – something relatively recent that has expanded EDM’s appeal significantly.

Ambient music is a subgenre of electronic music that emphasizes mood, texture, atmospheric layers, and tonality. First created in 1917 by French composer Erik Satie and later popularized in the 1970s by John Cage with his minimalist approach focused on sound and musical timbres.

There are also various subgenres of electronic music which can be classified differently, such as trip-hop – which incorporates elements from multiple genres for an intense psychedelic experience.


Electronic music encompasses an ever-evolving collection of musical styles that has come about over recent decades. While some genres may share similar sounds and vibes, each has its own distinct identity.

EDM (electronic dance music) is one of the world’s most beloved genres, drawing fans together for dancing crowds across house, disco, techno, trance, drum ‘n bass, trap and dubstep genres.

EDM (Electronic Dance Music), also referred to as “rave”, has quickly become a global sensation since its advent in 1997. Composed and produced at DJ booths or by musicians, EDM has since grown immensely popular and now stands as one of the primary forms of mainstream music today.

Drum machine music fuses hip-hop and funk rhythms, typically using Roland TR-808s, to produce breakbeats that sound like they belong in both genres.

Electro-music, another electronic dance music subgenre, combines synthesizers with distorted drums. It’s often described as having an aggressive sound which some critics may even describe as having industrial strength.

This genre also incorporates ambient and synthesized noises, often taking inspiration from Kraftwerk, techno and industrial music sonic palette. It can provide a highly complex and intense musical experience.

Prodigy, Depeche Mode, the Chemical Brothers and Goldie are among the best-known performers of electronic music. Furthermore, other subgenres like acid house, big beat and trip-hop have emerged due to this style.


Electronic music refers to any style and genre produced through combining electronics with traditional instruments, such as dance music, jazz, rock music or classical. Also referred to as electronic or digital music, electronic music may be performed either through computer systems or analog instruments like pianos and trumpets.

A sampler is a digital musical instrument that uses sampling technology to produce sounds. This allows musicians to play back sounds from an array of sources – piano or violin notes, five-second bass guitar riffs from popular songs or found sounds such as ocean waves. Samples are loaded onto computers or digital storage devices before being played back through sampler programs such as MIDI keyboards or sequencers or another trigger device.

Electronic music began developing during the early 20th century. Its roots lie in technology developed between World Wars I and II, particularly electrical recordings (later referred to as phonograph records) and audio tape technology.

Synthesizers and computer-controlled keyboards were instrumental in further developing electronic music; tape recorders helped bring this medium into mainstream use.

Karlheinz Stockhausen and Hans Schaeffer were pioneering artists who experimented with altering sounds through pure electronic means; their works can be heard both as concert pieces as well as movie, theatre and TV soundtracks.

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