The Difference Between EDM and Electronic Music

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


What’s the difference between EDM and electronic music? It’s a question that often comes up, and it’s not always easy to answer. Here’s a quick rundown of the two genres and their key differences.


EDM is a genre of electronic music that emerged in the early 1990s. It is characterized by a heavy use of synthesizers, drum machines, and sequencers. EDM is often used in clubs and festivals. It is also the genre of choice for many electronic music producers.

Defintion of EDM

EDM is short for “electronic dance music,” referring to a wide range of genres that emerged in the mid-1980s. The term “EDM” is typically used to describe the more commercial subgenres of electronic music, such as house and techno.

However, the term “EDM” has also been adopted by many fans and DJs as a more general way to refer to all electronic music genres, including more underground styles such as dubstep and drum & bass.

In recent years, EDM has become increasingly popular in the mainstream music world, with festivals such as Tomorrowland and Ultra Music Festival attracting hundreds of thousands of attendees each year.

History of EDM

The history of EDM is often traced back to the 1970s, when DJs and producers started experimenting with electronic music. The first electronic music festival was held in 1971, and the first electronic dance club opened its doors in 1977. In the 1980s, Chicago’s House music scene exploded, and Detroit’s Techno sound also gained popularity. By the 1990s, EDM had become a global phenomenon, with festivals and clubs being held all over the world.

In recent years, EDM has undergone a bit of a revival, with new styles and subgenres emerging. Today, there is a wide variety of EDM genres to choose from, each with its own unique sound and vibe.

Electronic Music

EDM is a type of electronic music that is created for use in live performances, DJ sets, and club settings. The music is typically made up of a combination of samples, synthesizers, and drum machines, and is often very danceable. Electronic music, on the other hand, is a broader term that can encompass anything from ambient music to techno.

Defintion of Electronic Music

Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments and circuitry-based music technology. In general, a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means (i.e., traditional electronically amplified musical instruments), and that produced using electronics only.

Electronic music includes a wide range of styles, from popular forms such as rock and roll and jazz to more experimental styles such as musique concrète and glitch. Even within these two broad categories there is considerable variation, for instance rock music making use of synthesizers or gospel music making use of electric guitars. The term “electronic music” may also refer to music created by computers through the use of computer software, including algorithmically generated composition and generative music.

History of Electronic Music

The first electronic music instruments were developed in the early 1900s. The Theremin, one of the earliest electronic instruments, was invented in 1919 by Russian physicist Leon Theremin. The Theremin was later used in the score for the 1951 film The Day the Earth Stood Still. In 1957, German engineer Hans Hollerith invented the Musicrow, an early electronic keyboard instrument.

The first commercial electronic music synthesizer, the Telharmonium, was invented in 1897 by American engineer Thaddeus Cahill. The Telharmonium was a large and expensive instrument that was not widely adopted. In the 1930s, British engineer Alan DTerry developed the Ondes Martenot, another early electronic musical instrument.

In the 1950s, American engineer Robert Moog began developing electronic music synthesizers. Moog’s instruments were smaller and more affordable than previous synthesizers. In 1967, Moog’s company released the Moog Synthesizer, one of the most popular and influential electronic music synthesizers of all time.

In 1984, Japanese company Yamaha released the DX7, another influential electronic music synthesizer. The DX7 would go on to become one of the best-selling synthesizers of all time.

Today, electronic music is created with a variety of electronic musical instruments and computers.

Difference Between EDM and Electronic Music

If you’re into music, you’ve probably heard the terms “EDM” and “electronic music” thrown around quite a bit. But what exactly is the difference between the two? Let’s take a closer look.


There are many Different types of electronic music genres, each with their own unique style, feel, and sound. However, two of the most popular and well-known genres are EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and Electronic music. So, what’s the Difference between EDM and Electronic music?

Both genres are extremely popular and have a large following of dedicated fans. They both feature heavily in the clubbing and festival scenes and are often played by the same DJs. However, there are some key differences between the two genres that set them apart.

EDM is a broader term that covers a range of different sub-genres, including house, techno, trance, dubstep, and Drum & Bass. It is generally more focused on danceability and beats per minute (BPM), and often features builds and drops to create an energizing and exciting atmosphere.

Electronic music, on the other hand, is a catch-all term that encompasses any type of music created using electronic instruments or technology. This can include anything from early experimental electronic pieces to modern pop songs that feature synthesisers or drum machines. As such, it is a much wider genre with a lot more diversity in terms of style and sound.

So there you have it – the main Difference between EDM and electronic music is that EDM is a specific sub-genre of electronic music that is focused on danceability and BPM.


There are multiple genres within electronic dance music (EDM), which can be broadly classified as either “house” or “trance.” House music is typified by a 4/4 time signature, a thumping bass drum on every beat, and various synthesized melodies and sound effects. Trance music is characterized by a faster tempo, a regular but often complex drum beat, and extended synthesizer breakdowns in the middle of tracks.


There are many different styles of electronic dance music, and it can be hard to keep them all straight. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most popular genres:

-House: One of the earliest and most popular genres of EDM, house music is characterized by a steady 4/4 beat and often uses a “build-drop” structure.
-Techno: A more dark and industrial sounding genre, techno is often characterized by complex rhythms and long, driving beats.
-Trance: A genre focused on creating an uplifting and often euphoric feeling, trance is often characterized by repeating melodic phrases and a build-up-drop structure.
-Hardstyle: A newer genre that combines elements of hardcore techno with heavy basslines and distorted sounds.

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