Electronic Music in the 80s

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

The 80s were a great time for electronic music. Some of the best and most influential artists of the genre came from this decade. If you’re a fan of electronic music, then you should definitely check out some of the classics from the 80s.


The 80s was a decade of great change for electronic music. The advent of affordable digital technology and the popularity of personal computers allowed musicians to produce and distribute their music more easily than ever before. This led to a boom in the popularity of electronic music, with new styles and subgenres emerging every year.

The 80s also saw the rise of the music video, which helped to promote electronica to a wider audience. The MTV channel became a major force in popular culture, and many electronica artists enjoyed mainstream success thanks to their innovative and stylish videos.

The 80s was a golden era for electronic music, with new ideas and technologies emerging all the time. Here are just some of the major developments that took place during this decade:

-The first commercial synthesizer, the Minimoog, is released by Moog Music in 1970. This instrument will go on to become one of the most popular and influential synthesizers of all time.

-In 1974, Korg releases the MS-20, another hugely popular synthesizer.

-The Roland TR-808 drum machine is released in 1980. This instrument will become essential for many genres of electronic music, particularly hip hop and dance music.

-MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is introduced in 1981, providing a standard way for electronic musical instruments to communicate with each other. MIDI quickly becomes an essential part of most studios and live performances.

-The first digital sampler, the Fairlight CMI, is released in 1982. This instrument allows users to record and playback sounds, opening up new possibilities for composition and arrangement.

-In 1983, Yamaha releases the DX7, one of the most popular digital synthesizers ever made. The DX7 will go on to have a huge impact on pop music throughout the 80s and beyond.

-1987 sees the release of two groundbreaking products: Akai’s MPC60 sampler/sequencer workstation and Propellerhead’s Reason software program. These two products will revolutionize Music Production

The Birth of Electronic Music

Electronic music has its roots in the early 20th century, with the invention of the theremin. However, it wasn’t until the late 1970s and early 1980s that electronic music really started to take off. This was the era of synth-pop and new wave, when artists like Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, and Duran Duran were topping the charts. Let’s take a closer look at this fascinating period in music history.

Early Electronic Instruments

The first electronic instruments were developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The earliest was the theremin, which was invented by Russian scientist Leon Theremin in 1919. The theremin is played without physical contact by moving the hands in the space around two metal antennas. The antennassend signals to a device that produces sound.

In the 1920s, American engineer Robert Moog began developing electronic keyboards that could be used to play synthesized music. The first such instrument, called the Moog synthesizer, was introduced in 1964. It revolutionized the way music could be created and opened up new possibilities for composers and performers.

The 1970s saw the development of new technologies that would change the sound of electronic music forever. In 1977, Japanese company Roland released the TR-808, a drum machine that produced realistic-sounding percussion using electronic sounds instead of recorded samples of real drums. The 808 quickly became a staple of dance music and hip-hop, and its distinctive sound can still be heard in many popular songs today.

In 1981, another Japanese company, Yamaha, released the DX7, a computer-controlled keyboard that generated sounds using something called frequency modulation synthesis. The DX7 was responsible for many of the distinctive “80s” sounds heard in popular music of that era.

The First Electronic Compositions

The first electronic compositions date back to the early 20th century, when composers such as Edgar Varèse and Karlheinz Stockhausen began experimenting with new ways of making music. These early works were groundbreaking, but it wasn’t until the advent of synthesizers in the 1960s that electronic music really began to take off.

The first synthesizers were bulky and expensive, and so they were mostly used by professional musicians and composers. But in the 1970s, companies like Moog and Roland started making smaller, more affordable synthesizers that allowed amateurs to get in on the fun. As more people began making electronic music, a new style began to emerge.

This style came to be known as synth-pop, and it was pioneered by bands like Kraftwerk and Yellow Magic Orchestra. In the 1980s, synth-pop became one of the most popular genres of music in the world, thanks in part to its catchy melodies and danceable beats. But synth-pop wasn’t the only type of electronic music being made in the 1980s; other styles included house, techno, new wave, and industrial.

The 1980s were a golden age for electronic music, and the genre has only continued to grow in popularity since then. Today, electronic music can be found in all sorts of different places: from top 40 radio hits to experimental art installations. And with new technologies constantly emerging, there’s no telling what kind of sounds will be coming from our speakers in the future!

The Rise of Electronic Music

Electronic music has been around since the early 20th century, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that it truly started to take off. This was due to the advent of new technologies and the popularity of dance music. Let’s take a look at how electronic music became so popular in the 1980s.

The First Electronic Music Festivals

The first electronic music festivals began appearing in the early 1980s, providing a venue for the growing number of musicians and fans of the genre. These early festivals were often small, intimate affairs, with only a handful of artists performing to a few hundred people. But as the popularity of electronic music grew, so did the size and scope of these events.

Today, electronic music festivals are some of the biggest and most popular music events in the world, attracting millions of fans and thousands of artists each year. They’ve become a key part of the electronic music scene, providing a platform for both established and up-and-coming artists to showcase their talents.

With such a vast and ever-growing scene, it can be difficult to keep up with all the latest electronic music news and events. But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Here at {name}, we’re dedicated to bringing you all the latest news, reviews, and information on electronic music festivals from around the globe.

The First Electronic Music Clubs

By the early 1980s, electronic music had begun to permeate the underground club scene in Europe and the United States. In Ibiza, Spain, a new type of club called a discotheque was gaining popularity, and these clubs began to feature electronic music as part of their regular programming. In the United States, clubs such as Danceteria in New York City and The Rock in Los Angeles were at the forefront of the electronic music movement. These clubs attracted a wide range of people, from punk rockers to new wave fans to disco lovers, and they helped to popularize electronic music among a wider audience.

The Golden Age of Electronic Music

The 1980s were a golden age for electronic music. It was a time when new and innovative sounds were being created and the genre was exploding in popularity. From synth-pop to acid house, the 80s was a decade that saw electronic music come into its own. Let’s take a look at some of the defining moments of this musical era.

The First Electronic Music Hits

The first electronic music hits were made in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Kraftwerk’s “Autobahn” (1974) and “Trans-Europe Express” (1977), Giorgio Moroder’s “I Feel Love” (1977), and Yellow Magic Orchestra’s “Computer World” (1981) are all considered classics of the genre. These songs all made use of new synthesizer technology that was becoming more affordable and available in the 1970s and 1980s.

Kraftwerk, in particular, was a major influence on the development of electronic music. The group’s use of synthetic sounds, innovative rhythms, and minimalist composition laid the groundwork for many of the genre’s subsequent developments. Kraftwerk’s music was an important influence on the early work of British electronic music duo The Human League, which had its first hit with a cover of Kraftwerk’s “Being Boiled” in 1978.

The 1980s saw the rise of electronic dance music, or EDM, with artists such as Afrika Bambaataa, Jean-Michel Jarre, Fatal Discord, New Order, Depeche Mode, Front 242, and Vangelis all achieving mainstream success. The popularity of EDM continued into the 1990s and 2000s with artists such as The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, and David Guetta becoming global superstars.

The First Electronic Music Videos

In the early 1980s, the first electronic music videos began to appear on MTV and other music television channels. These videos were often strange and experimental, and they quickly became a staple of the emerging underground music scene. Many of these videos were created by independent filmmakers, and they helped to promote the careers of many up-and-coming electronic musicians.

Some of the most iconic electronic music videos from this era include Kraftwerk’s “The Robots,” Devo’s “Whip It,” and Gary Numan’s “Cars.” These videos helped to popularize electronic music and pave the way for its eventual mainstream success.

The Legacy of Electronic Music

The 80s were a time of great change in the music industry. One of the most significant changes was the rise of electronic music. This new genre of music was influenced by a variety of factors, including the advent of new technology, the popularity of disco, and the experimental spirit of the time. Electronic music quickly became a staple of the 80s music scene, and its legacy can still be felt today.

The Influence of Electronic Music on Pop Culture

The 80s were a revolutionary time for music. The advent of electronic music changed the landscape of pop culture, and the legacy of this genre can still be felt today. From the early synthesizer-based tracks of Kraftwerk to the massive dance hits of the 80s, electronic music has had a profound impact on popular culture.

Today, electronic music is more popular than ever. Thanks to the internet, there is a global community of electronic music lovers who are constantly sharing new tracks and styles. This genre has also been embraced by mainstream pop culture, with many chart-topping artists incorporating elements of electronic music into their sound.

The 80s were a truly special time for music, and the legacy of electronic music can still be felt today.

The Influence of Electronic Music on Other Genres

Before the 1980s, electronic music was mostly experimental and not widely known outside of avant-garde circles. But in the early 1980s, electronic music began to enter the mainstream, thanks to artists like Kraftwerk, who fused it with pop sensibilities. This paved the way for other genres, like hip hop and dance music, to incorporate electronic elements. By the end of the decade, electronic music had become one of the most popular genres in the world.

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