Electronic dance music EDM , also known as dance music , club music , or simply dance ,  is a broad range of percussive electronic music genres made largely for nightclubs , raves and festivals. It is generally produced for playback by DJs who create seamless selections of tracks, called a mix , by segueing from one recording to another. In the late s and early s, following the emergence of raving , pirate radios and an upsurge of interest in club culture , EDM achieved widespread mainstream popularity in Europe.
In the United States at that time, acceptance of dance culture was not universal; although both electro and Chicago house music were influential both in Europe and the United States, mainstream media outlets and the record industry remained openly hostile to it. There was also a perceived association between EDM and drug culture , which led governments at state and city level to enact laws and policies intended to halt the spread of rave culture. Subsequently, in the new millennium, the popularity of EDM increased globally, largely in Australia and the United States.
By the early s, the term "electronic dance music" and the initialism "EDM" was being pushed by the American music industry and music press in an effort to rebrand American rave culture. Various EDM genres have evolved over the last 40 years, for example; house , techno , dance-pop etc.
Stylistic variation within an established EDM genre can lead to the emergence of what is called a subgenre. Hybridization, where elements of two or more genres are combined, can lead to the emergence of an entirely new genre of EDM. In the late s bands such as Silver Apples created electronic music that was intended to be danced to.
Author Michael Veal considers dub music , a Jamaican music stemming from roots reggae and sound system culture that flourished between and , to be one of the important precursors to contemporary electronic dance music. Dub producers made improvised deconstructions of existing multi-track reggae mixes by using the studio mixing board as a performance instrument.
They also foregrounded spatial effects such as reverb and delay by using auxiliary send routings creatively. Despite the limited electronic equipment available to dub pioneers such as King Tubby and Lee "Scratch" Perry, their experiments in remix culture were musically cutting-edge. It featured layering techniques and incorporated elements of world music , deep bass lines and harmonic sounds. Hip hop music has had some influence in the development of electronic dance music since the s. This technique was further used to manually loop a purely percussive break, leading to what was later called a break beat.
Turntablism has origins in the invention of the direct-drive turntable ,  by Shuichi Obata, an engineer at Matsushita now Panasonic. In , George McCrae 's early disco hit " Rock Your Baby " was one of the first records to use a drum machine ,  an early Roland rhythm machine.
It became the first well-known disco hit to have a completely synthesised backing track. Other disco producers, most famously American producer Tom Moulton , grabbed ideas and techniques from dub music which came with the increased Jamaican migration to New York City in the s to provide alternatives to the four on the floor style that dominated.
Euro disco continued evolving within the broad mainstream pop music scene. Synth-pop short for 'synthesizer pop';  also called 'techno-pop'   is a subgenre of new wave music  that first became prominent in the late s and features the synthesizer as the dominant musical instrument.
It was prefigured in the s and early s by the use of synthesizers in progressive rock , electronic , art rock , disco , and particularly the " Krautrock " of bands like Kraftwerk. It arose as a distinct genre in Japan and the United Kingdom in the post-punk era as part of the new wave movement of the late s to the mids. The Human League used monophonic synthesizers to produce music with a simple and austere sound. After the breakthrough of Gary Numan in the UK Singles Chart in , large numbers of artists began to enjoy success with a synthesizer-based sound in the early s, including lates debutants like Japan and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark , and newcomers such as Depeche Mode and Eurythmics.
The development of inexpensive polyphonic synthesizers, the definition of MIDI and the use of dance beats, led to a more commercial and accessible sound for synth-pop.
This, its adoption by the style-conscious acts from the New Romantic movement, together with the rise of MTV , led to success for large numbers of British synth-pop acts including Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet in the United States.
The emergence of electronic dance music in the s was shaped by the development of several new electronic musical instruments , particularly those from the Japanese Roland Corporation. The Roland TR often abbreviated as the "" notably played an important role in the evolution of dance music,  after Afrika Bambaataa 's " Planet Rock " , made it very popular on dancefloors. During the post-disco era that followed the backlash against " disco " which began in the mid to late , which in the United States lead to civil unrest and a riot in Chicago known as the Disco Demolition Night ,  an underground movement of "stripped-down" disco inspired music featuring "radically different sounds"  started to emerge on the East Coast.
The sound that emerged originated from P-Funk  the electronic side of disco , dub music , and other genres. Much of the music produced during this time was, like disco, catering to a singles-driven market. In the early s, electro short for "electro-funk" emerged as a fusion of electro-pop , funk , and boogie. Also called electro-funk or electro-boogie, but later shortened to electro, cited pioneers include Ryuichi Sakamoto , Afrika Bambaataa ,  Zapp ,  D. Train ,  and Sinnamon. Planet Rock was followed later that year by another breakthrough electro record, " Nunk " by Warp 9.
In , Hashim created an electro-funk sound with "Al-Naafyish The Soul "  that influenced Herbie Hancock , resulting in his hit single " Rockit " the same year. The early s were electro's mainstream peak. According to author Steve Taylor,  Afrika Bambaataa's Planet Rock serves as a "template for all interesting dance music since". Some made and played their own edits of their favorite songs on reel-to-reel tape, and sometimes mixed in effects, drum machines, and other rhythmic electronic instrumentation.
The hypnotic electronic dance song "On and On", produced in by Chicago DJ Jesse Saunders and co-written by Vince Lawrence , had elements that became staples of the early house sound, such as the Roland TB bass synthesizer and minimal vocals as well as a Roland specifically TR drum machine and Korg specifically Poly synthesizer. Silk 's " Music is the Key " , have also been cited. In the mid-to-late s, house music became popular in Europe as well as major cities in South America, and Australia.
The electronic instrumentation and minimal arrangement of Charanjit Singh 's Synthesizing: Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat , an album of Indian ragas performed in a disco style, anticipated the sounds of acid house music, but it is not known to have had any influence on the genre prior to the album's rediscovery in the 21st century.
In the mid s house music thrived on the small Balearic Island of Ibiza, Spain. By , house music had become the most popular form of club music in Europe, with acid house developing as a notable trend in the UK and Germany in the same year.
Both places became synonymous with acid house, and it was during this period that MDMA gained prominence as a party drug. One of the first Detroit productions to receive wider attention was Derrick May's " Strings of Life " , which, together with May's previous release, "Nude Photo" , helped raise techno's profile in Europe, especially the UK and Germany, during the — house music boom see Second Summer of Love.
It was like something you can't imagine, the kind of power and energy people got off that record when it was first heard. Mike Dunn says he has no idea how people can accept a record that doesn't have a bassline.
I'd play 'Strings of Life' at the Mudd Club and clear the floor". Ironically, the only Detroit club which really championed the sound was a peripatetic party night called Visage, which unromantically shared its name with one of Britain's oldest new romantic groups". Within a year, in summer , up to 25, people at a time were attending commercially organised underground parties called raves. Trance emerged from the rave scene in the United Kingdom in the late s and developed further during the early s in Germany before spreading throughout the rest of Europe, as a more melodic offshoot from techno and house.
Structured vocal form in trance music forms the basis of the vocal trance subgenre, which has been described as "grand, soaring, and operatic" and "ethereal female leads floating amongst the synths". Closely related to Uplifting Trance is Euro-trance , which has become a general term for a wide variety of highly commercialized European dance music.
Several subgenres are crossovers with other major genres of electronic music. For instance, Tech trance is a mixture of trance and techno, and Vocal trance "combines [trance's] progressive elements with pop music". AllMusic states on progressive trance: "the progressive wing of the trance crowd led directly to a more commercial, chart-oriented sound, since trance had never enjoyed much chart action in the first place. Emphasizing the smoother sound of Eurodance or house and occasionally more reminiscent of Jean-Michel Jarre than Basement Jaxx , Progressive Trance became the sound of the world's dance floors by the end of the millennium.
Critics ridiculed its focus on predictable breakdowns and relative lack of skill to beat-mix, but progressive trance was caned by the hottest DJ. By the early s, a style of music developed within the rave scene that had an identity distinct from American house and techno. This music, much like hip-hop before it, combined sampled syncopated beats or break beats, other samples from a wide range of different musical genres and, occasionally, samples of music, dialogue and effects from films and television programmes.
Relative to earlier styles of dance music such as house and techno, so called 'rave music' tended to emphasise bass sounds and use faster tempos, or beats per minute BPM. This subgenre was known as "hardcore" rave, but from as early as , some musical tracks made up of these high-tempo break beats, with heavy basslines and samples of older Jamaican music, were referred to as "jungle techno ", a genre influenced by Jack Smooth and Basement Records, and later just "jungle", which became recognized as a separate musical genre popular at raves and on pirate radio in Britain.
By , jungle had begun to gain mainstream popularity and fans of the music often referred to as junglists became a more recognisable part of youth subculture. The genre further developed, incorporating and fusing elements from a wide range of existing musical genres, including the raggamuffin sound, dancehall , MC chants, dub basslines, and increasingly complex, heavily edited breakbeat percussion.
Despite the affiliation with the ecstasy-fuelled rave scene, Jungle also inherited some associations with violence and criminal activity, both from the gang culture that had affected the UK's hip-hop scene and as a consequence of jungle's often aggressive or menacing sound and themes of violence usually reflected in the choice of samples. However, this developed in tandem with the often positive reputation of the music as part of the wider rave scene and dance hall-based Jamaican music culture prevalent in London.
By , whether as a reaction to, or independently of this cultural schism, some jungle producers began to move away from the ragga-influenced style and create what would become collectively labelled, for convenience, as drum and bass. Dubstep is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in South London in the late s. It is generally characterized by sparse, syncopated rhythmic patterns with bass lines that contain prominent sub-bass frequencies. The style emerged as an offshoot of UK garage , drawing on a lineage of related styles such as 2-step , dub reggae , jungle , broken beat , and grime.
The earliest dubstep releases date back to , and were usually featured as B-sides of 2-step garage single releases. These tracks were darker, more experimental remixes with less emphasis on vocals, and attempted to incorporate elements of breakbeat and drum and bass into 2-step. The term "dubstep" in reference to a genre of music began to be used by around by labels such as Big Apple, Ammunition, and Tempa, by which time stylistic trends used in creating these remixes started to become more noticeable and distinct from 2-step and grime.
Electro house is a form of house music characterized by a prominent bassline or kick drum and a tempo between and beats per minute, usually Ramirez remix of " Yeah Yeah " by Bodyrox and Luciana held the number one and number two spots, respectively, in the UK Top 40 singles charts. Trap music EDM originated from techno , dub, and Dutch House , but also from Southern hip hop in the late s and early s.
The earliest use of the term "electronic dance music" EDM was by English musician, producer, manager and innovator Richard James Burgess in , whose single "European Man" with his band Landscape used the term on the back of the single's record sleeve: "Electronic Dance Music EDM; computer programmed to perfection for your listening pleasure.
Similarly, "electronic dance music" can mean different things to different people. Both "club music" and "EDM" seem vague, but the terms are sometimes used to refer to distinct and unrelated genres club music is defined by what is popular, whereas EDM is distinguished by musical attributes.
Electronic dance music is generally composed and produced in a recording studio with specialized equipment such as samplers , synthesizers , effects units and MIDI controllers all set up to interact with one another using the MIDI protocol. In the genre's early days, hardware electronic musical instruments were used and the focus in production was mainly on manipulating MIDI data as opposed to manipulating audio signals. Since the late s the use of software has increased.
A modern electronic music production studio generally consists of a computer running a digital audio workstation DAW , with various plug-ins installed such as software synthesizers and effects units, which are controlled with a MIDI controller such as a MIDI keyboard. This setup is generally sufficient to complete entire productions, which are then ready for mastering. Many ghost producers sign agreements that prevent them from working for anyone else or establishing themselves as a solo artist.
A bedroom producer is an independent musician who creates electronic music on their laptop or in a home studio. Unlike in traditional recording studios, bedroom producers typically use low cost, accessible software and equipment which can lead to music being created completely "in the box," with no external hardware. Initially, the popularization of electronic dance music was associated with European rave and club culture and it achieved limited popular exposure in America.
By the mid-to-late s this began to change as the American music industry made efforts to market a range of dance genres as " electronica ". According to Spin , Daft Punk 's performance at Coachella in was the "tipping point" for EDM—it introduced the duo to a new generation of "rock kids".
Dubstep producer Skrillex popularized a harsher sound dubbed " Brostep ", which had drawn comparisons to the aggression and tone of heavy metal. With the increasing popularity of electronic dance music, promoters and venues realized that DJs could generate larger profits than traditional musicians; Diplo explained that "a band plays [for] 45 minutes; DJs can play for four hours.