The Best 80s Electronic Music

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The 1980s were a golden age for electronic music. Producers and DJs were pushing the boundaries of what was possible with synthesizers, drum machines, and other new technology, and the results were often amazing. Here are some of the best examples of 80s electronic music.


When it comes to music, the 80s was a pretty darn good decade. We had hair bands, new wave, dance music, and of course, electronic music. While it would be impossible to list every great 80s electronic song, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites. So crank up the volume, put on your dancing shoes, and enjoy!

-“Blue Monday” by New Order
-“Just Can’t Get Enough” by Depeche Mode
-“Everything Counts” by Depeche Mode
-“Confusion” by New Order
-“Temptation” by New Order
-“Master and Servant” by Depeche Mode
-“People Are People” by Depeche Mode

The Birth of Electronic Music

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the term “electronic music” first became associated with a new form of popular music made with synthesizers and other electronic instruments. This type of music became known as ” synth-pop.”

The First Electronic Instruments

The first electronic instruments were developed in the early 20th century. The earliest were experimental and used in scientific research, such as the theremin, an early electronic musical instrument invented by Russian physicist Léon Theremin in 1919. In the 1930s and 1940s, commercial electronic instruments began to appear, such as the Ondes Martenot, an electronic keyboard instrument invented in 1928 by French composer Maurice Martenot.

The first electronic music was created in the 1920s and 1930s, using a variety of electronic instruments. The classic example is Rolf Hind’s “Wireless Fantasy” (1931), which used Theremin-like sounds produced by an oscillator, played on a piano. Other early pieces include Hermann Scherchen’s “cloud-borne” (1930), Paul Hindemith’s ” Das Marienleben” (1938), and Pierre Schaeffer’s etude aux chemins de fer (1948).

The First Electronic Music Composers

The first electronic music composers used technology to create new and innovative sounds that had never been heard before. These early pioneers helped pave the way for the genres of techno, house, and trance that would dominate the nightclubs in the 1980s.

German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen is often credited as being one of the first electronic music composers. His work “Gesang der Jünglinge” (“Song of the Youths”), which was completed in 1955, was one of the first pieces of music to be created entirely using electronic sounds.

Another early pioneer of electronic music was French composer Pierre Schaeffer. Schaeffer is best known for his development of musique concrète, a technique where recorded sounds are played back and manipulated to create new pieces of music. One of Schaeffer’s most famous works is “Étude aux chemins de fer” (“Railway Study”), which was created using only the sound of trains passing by his studio window.

Japanese composer Hiroshi Yoshimura is often considered to be one of the fathers of ambient music. His work “Music for Nine Post Cards” (1986) was one of the first albums to truly capture the essence of ambient music. The album consists of nine tracks, each based on a different postcard from Yoshimura’s travels around Japan.

These are just a few of the early electronic music pioneers who laid the foundation for the genre. In the 1980s, their work would be taken to new heights by artists like Kraftwerk, Giorgio Moroder, and Daft Punk.

The Rise of Electronic Music in the 80s

The 1980s was a decade of big changes and electronic music began to emerge as a new genre. This was a time when computers were becoming more powerful and musicians were starting to experiment with new ways to create music. Electronic music was a big part of the 80s and it is still popular today.

The Development of New Electronic Instruments

The development of new electronic instruments in the late 1970s and early 1980s played a major role in the rise of electronic music. The first commercially available synthesizer, the Moog synthesizer, was released in 1964. However, it was not until the late 1970s that new technologies such as digital synthesis and sampling began to be widely used in popular music.

The advent of affordable personal computers in the early 1980s also led to the development of new music-making software such as MIDI sequencers, which made it possible for musicians to create complex pieces of electronic music using nothing more than a computer and a MIDI keyboard. These advances in technology made it possible for musicians to create entire pieces of music without having any prior experience or training in music composition.

As electronic instruments and music-making software became more widely available, the number of musicians who were able to create their own electronic music increased dramatically. This increase in the number of people making electronic music led to the development of new genres of music, such as techno, house, and hip-hop.

The Popularization of Electronic Music

The 80s were a time of great change in the music industry. With the advent of new technology, electronic music began to rise in popularity. This new genre of music was characterized by its use of synthesizers, drum machines, and other electronic instruments. It was also often faster-paced and more danceable than other genres of music.

The popularity of electronic music in the 80s can be attributed to a number of factors. First, the advent of new technology made it possible for musicians to create this new type of music. Second, the popularity of disco in the early 80s helped to pave the way for electronic music. Finally, the 80s were a time when many people were looking for something new and different in their music.

electronic music became one of the most popular genres of music in the 1980s and has remained popular ever since. If you’re a fan of this genre, be sure to check out some of the best 80s electronic music below.

The Legacy of 80s Electronic Music

The 1980s was a decade of great change. One of the biggest changes was the advent of electronic music. This new genre of music was influenced by a variety of factors, including the rise of the personal computer and the popularity of video games. Electronic music quickly became a staple of the 80s, and its legacy can still be heard today.

The Influence of 80s Electronic Music on Pop Culture

During the 1980s, electronic music became increasingly popular. This was partly due to the rise of new technology, such as synthesisers and drum machines, which made it easier for musicians to create electronic music. However, it was also due to the popularity of certain genres of music, such as synth-pop and electro.

The influence of 80s electronic music can be seen in many different areas of popular culture. For example, many films and television programmes from this era make use of electronic music in their soundtracks. In addition, the fashion and style of the 1980s was heavily influenced by electronic music culture.

Today, the legacy of 80s electronic music can still be seen in many different areas of popular culture. This is perhaps most evident in the popularity of retro-styled products and events which often make use of 80s-style electronic music.

The Influence of 80s Electronic Music on Modern Electronic Music

It would be impossible to overestimate the influence that 80s electronic music has had on modern electronic music. From the early days of synthesizers and drum machines to the rise of house and techno, the 80s were a pivotal decade for electronic music. Many of the genres and subgenres that we take for granted today were invented or popularized in the 80s, and many of the biggest stars of electronic music got their start in this decade.

In the early 80s, synthesizers and drum machines were becoming more affordable and accessible, which allowed more people to experiment with making electronic music. This led to the rise of genres like synth-pop, new wave, and electro. At the same time, pioneers like Afrika Bambaataa and Kraftwerk were experimenting with combining electronic music with other genres like hip hop and disco to create new hybrid styles.

The mid-80s saw the rise of house music in Chicago and techno in Detroit. These two genres would go on to dominate club culture in the 90s and 2000s. The late 80s saw the birth of rave culture in Britain, which combined elements of house, techno, acid house, and trance to create a unique sound that was perfect for all-night parties.

Today, electronic music is more popular than ever before. Thanks to digital technology, anyone can make electronic music with a computer or a smartphone. And while some purists might argue that this has watered down the genre, it’s also led to a huge increase in creativity and experimentation. So whatever your opinion on modern electronic music, there’s no denying that we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the pioneers who paved the way in the 1980s.

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