What Is EDM and What Is Techno?

Many are confused between EDM and Techno. EDM refers to all genres within this broad category including Techno, House, Breakbeat and Trance music.

Techno music is an electronic genre which often features rhythmic guitar-based instruments and is produced for DJ sets with an approximate beat per minute count of 120 to 150 beats per minute, usually featuring common time (4/4).


Techno is an electronic music genre which originated in Detroit Michigan during the 1980s and can be defined by repetitive beats, synthesized sounds, futuristic aesthetics and fast tempos (120-144) of 120-144) beats per minute (bpm). Techno was initially developed by middle-class African-American youths experimenting with drum machines and European synth pop. Techno is known for its glacial synthesizer melodies accompanied by rapid machine rhythms that give its sound its unique sound that sets it apart from other dance music genres.

Origins are difficult to ascertain given that techno has evolved through many subgenres since its first appearance. It gained widespread recognition during the 1990s with the arrival of production software which allowed more artists to produce and distribute their works independently, creating an array of sounds and styles.

Techno is composed of several key elements, including bass lines, synthesizers and a four-four time signature (common across electronic music genres). Snare drum hits every quarter note pulse; there is a clap or open hi-hat every other eighth note pulse – an arrangement often used in disco, funk and house music but special to techno due to synthesizers and drum machines.

Techno has spread beyond Detroit to become one of the most widely accepted dance music styles worldwide, particularly Germany and Eastern Europe. Influences have included Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream – among many others – who pioneered this genre.

Techno is often described as minimalist music, due to its emphasis on rhythm and beats rather than melody or harmony. Additionally, techno was one of the earliest forms of electronic music using digital sound processing techniques.

Techno is best recognized by its trademark reese bass sound, created by Detroit producer Kevin Saunderson in his 1988 track, “Just Want Another Chance”. Listen to A Guy Called Gerald’s classic UK techno anthem “Voodoo Ray” or Plastikman’s “Fuk” to witness these deep basses at their most intense. Additionally, techno uses an unusual 909 closed hi-hat sound to add tension and grit into its groove.


Electronic music encompasses any style performed using electronic instruments; however, there are two primary subgenres of this style known as techno and house. Both styles have roots in American and European dance music as well as influences from rock, synth-pop, funk and disco; furthermore they’ve also been heavily influenced by classical, jazz and other genres – making them highly adaptable styles to be used in any modern music production process.

Techno originated in Detroit, Michigan during the late ’70s and early ’80s as an amalgam of German electro-pop, house, krautrock, and electronic rock music. One of its early pioneers was Juan Atkins who collaborated with Rik Davis as Cybotron; their debut single “Alleys of Your Mind” was released by Cybotron in 1981. Other pioneering techno musicians included Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May, both of whom established independent labels to release their works.

These artists laid the groundwork for what has now become an array of subgenres of electronic music that have gained global appeal. One characteristic that distinguishes each genre is its beats per minute (BPM). Downtempo electronic music typically operates at 90 BPM while house has around 110, trance between 120-140% BPM and techno anywhere between 135-135%.

Techno has more of an electronic feel than other forms of electronic music, typically featuring more synthetic melodies and rhythmic bass lines that repeat themselves and can become highly repetitive and rhythmic. Techno is also famous for its complex beat patterns which draw heavily upon drum machines as well as other types of electronic hardware such as keyboards, samplers and drum pads to form its signature percussion and beat patterns.

Techno has given birth to numerous influential subgenres such as acid, minimal, and hardcore techno. Unfortunately, its classification can be challenging if one is unfamiliar with its history or definition; an easy rule-of-thumb would be that techno has a more robotic sound; however, given all its different sub genres it may be hard to identify the difference. Listen and judge for yourself is ultimately the best way of distinguishing it all!


Both genres of music have been heavily influenced by disco and other dance music genres. Additionally, both styles often draw influence from experimental forms of music such as avant-garde jazz and krautrock. Furthermore, digital production techniques allow artists to produce more complex tracks while exploring varying sounds and experimenting further with sound design.

Techno music is an electronic genre which emphasizes rhythmic repetition as opposed to other musical elements, typically 4/4 time (4 quarter note pulses per bar) using repetitive sequences of notes for a beat. Sound creation often relies on synthesizers while music synthesis allows distinctive timbres. Harmonic practices tend to be neglected in favor of repetitive rhythmic sequences while melodies rarely surface during performance.

Juan Atkins and Derrick May were pioneers of Detroit techno who were early adaptors to emerging technology to push the limits of electronic music production. Utilizing drum machines, synthesizers, sequencers and sequencers they created new styles of music that stood out among its contemporaries – and inspired many subsequent artists to expand their creative boundaries as a result of their groundbreaking work.

Techno has had an outsized effect beyond dance music and into other genres as well. Its influence can be felt across several different music subgenres and styles; synthpop and new wave have used elements from techno to create catchy pop melodies; its influence also extends into Hip Hop with artists such as Run-DMC and Beastie Boys experimenting with electronic instruments and sounds.

As electronic dance music’s popularity has skyrocketed, producers have become adept at crafting increasingly complex and polished songs. Increased accessibility of production tools enables aspiring artists to produce music at home while online platforms have provided access to an international market for producers.

Techno is often distainful to many listeners; others, however, find its rhythmic complexity relaxing and enjoyable as a means of getting into the groove and feeling its beats. Techno music raises heart rates, blood pressure, and adrenaline levels and can create a feeling of energy and excitement, as well as increase focus and concentration which are essential in any physical activity.


EDM stands for Electronic Dance Music and it encompasses everything from techno to trance to house music, which has caused much confusion within its target audience as they think all genres fall under this one umbrella term. However, it’s essential that people understand there are distinct genres within EDM that should not be lumped together under this heading.

Techno music typically features faster tempos than house, typically between 120 to 150 beats per minute (BPM), as well as more repetition and darker sound signatures than other electronic genres.

Some can enjoy listening to this style of music while others find it too repetitive and dull. This could be because its complex, irregular rhythm is hard for their brains to understand or adjust to, leaving some uncomfortable or anxious.

Techno music may not appeal to everyone due to its loud, chaotic nature; this can make it hard for some listeners who prefer more soothing or relaxing forms of music to concentrate.

There are countless artists that create electronic music, including Bonobo, Four Tet and Steve Aoki who are widely recognized. Many musicians also tour with these tunes live. Furthermore, several websites provide downloadable electronic music at no cost.

The Internet has enabled anyone with a computer to produce and distribute music. This has resulted in its commercialization, which should concern true music fans. Furthermore, its ease of creation may lead to oversaturation with inferior tracks that lower overall quality; this trend must be stopped so as to maintain integrity across musical genres.