What Genres of Electronic Dance Music Interest You?

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


If you’re into electronic dance music, then you’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of different genres out there. So, what genres of electronic dance music interest you?


Despite its name, electronic dance music (EDM) is not just one genre. In fact, there are dozens of subgenres within EDM, each with its own distinct style and sound. So, if you’re new to the world of EDM, where should you start?

In this article, we’ll give you a crash course in some of the most popular EDM subgenres, including house, techno, trance, drum and bass, and dubstep. By the end, you should have a better idea of which genres interest you the most.

A Brief History of Electronic Dance Music

Electronic Dance Music, or EDM for short, has been around for quite a while now. It first started in the late 1970s with the rise of disco music. However, it wasn’t until the 1990s that EDM really started to take off. In the early 2000s, we saw the rise of house music and techno. These days, there are all sorts of different genres of EDM, from dubstep to trap.

Early beginnings in the 1970s

Electronic dance music (EDM) is a broad range of percussive electronic music genres made largely for nightclubs, raves and festivals. EDM is generally produced for playback by disc jockeys (DJs) who create seamless selections of tracks, called a mix, by seguing from one recording to another.

The origins of EDM can be traced back to the 1970s when pioneer DJs such as Karlheinz Stockhausen and Giorgio Moroder created synthesized music that was designed to be danced to. In the 1980s, the advent of affordable digital synthesizers and drum machines enabled DJs to produce more complex arrangements of electronic music. This new form of music began to be known as house music, named after the Chicago nightclub where it was first played in 1987.

In the 1990s, a new type of EDM called techno emerged from Detroit. This harder-edged style quickly spread to other cities in the United States and then Europe, where it became hugely popular in nightclubs. In the early 2000s, a style known as trance also began to gain popularity, particularly in Europe. This style is characterized by hypnotic rhythms and melodies that can induce a feeling of euphoria in listeners.

EDM has continued to evolve since its humble beginnings in the 1970s, and it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. With the advent of new technologies, there are always new possibilities for innovation in this exciting genre of music.

The birth of disco in the late 1970s

Disco music was born in the late 1970s, and it was a direct outgrowth of the black, urban nightclub culture of the time. The very first disco hits were actually fairly eclectic in terms of style, drawing from a wide range of genres including funk, soul, pop, and even Latin music. One of the earliest and most successful examples of this style was “I Feel Love” by Donna Summer, which topped the charts in 1977. As disco became more popular, it began to be associated with a certain fashion sense as well, characterized by things like glittery clothes, Afro hairstyles, and platform shoes. This trend reached its height in the mid-1970s with the rise of so-called “superstar DJs” like Francis Grasso and Danny Tenaglia who were able to command huge fees for appearing at clubs.

The rise of House music in the 1980s

In the 1980s, a new form of electronic dance music began to emerge in Chicago. This genre, which came to be known as “house music”, was characterized by a repetitive 4/4 beat and synthesizer-generated melodies. House music quickly gained popularity in the club scene, and by the early 1990s, it had become one of the most popular genres of electronic dance music.

The popularity of Techno in the early 1990s

In the early 1990s, a number of outerwear and equipment companies began sponsoring rave events, which helped to increase the popularity of techno music. This new generation of ravers were young people who were attracted to the underground club scene and the music that was played there. Techno became the dominant form of electronic dance music in the early 1990s, and its popularity spread to other countries in Europe, Asia, and North America.

The popularity of Trance in the late 1990s

In the late 1990s, Trance music experienced a surge in popularity, especially in Europe. This was due in part to the success of German Trance duo Cosmic Gate, who had a string of hits in the late 1990s and early 2000s. other popular Trance artists included Paul van Dyk, ATB, and Tiësto.

The Different Genres of Electronic Dance Music

Electronic dance music has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the 1970s. Today, there are countless genres and sub-genres of EDM, each with its own unique sound and style. So, what genres of electronic dance music interest you?


House is a genre of electronic dance music characterized by a repetitive four on the floor beat and a tempo of 120 to 130 beats per minute. It was created by DJs and producers from Chicago’s underground club culture in the 1980s, as they experimented with new ways to extend the disco dance concept. The distinctive sound of house music is created by a deep bass drum kick on every beat, with an open hi-hat sound on the off-beat. House music is often based on bass-heavy loops or samples from disco records.


Techno is a type of electronic dance music that emerged in the late 1980s. It is characterized by a driving, often repetitive bassline and synthesizer riffs. Techno is usually created with sequencers and drum machines, and the tempo is usually between 120 and 150 beats per minute.


Trance is a genre of electronic dance music that developed in the late 1990s in the United Kingdom. It is characterized by a tempo of between 130 and 150 beats per minute, repetitious melodic phrases, and a musical form that builds up and down throughout a track.

Drum and Bass

If you’re a fan of fast-paced, energetic music, then drum and bass is the genre for you. This genre is all about the bass, and the drums are usually played at a very fast tempo. Drum and bass often features samples from other genres of music, so you can expect to hear elements of hip hop, dubstep, and even classical music in this style of EDM.


Dubstep is a genre of electronic dance music that emerged in the late 1990s. It is characterized by a distinctive wobbly bass sound, half-time rhythms, and stuttering drums. Dubstep music is often created with software synthesisers and drum machines, and typically features samples of other genres, such as hip hop, dub, and reggae.


So, what genres of electronic dance music interest you? As you can see, there are a variety of different types to choose from. If you’re not sure, try listening to a few songs from each genre to see which one you like the best. There’s no wrong answer – it’s all about finding the music that makes you want to move!

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