Not All Electronic Music is Dance Music

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Many people think that all electronic music is dance music, but that’s not the case! In this blog post, we’ll explore some different types of electronic music genres and dispel the myth that all electronic music is created for dancing.

The Different Types of Electronic Music

Though electronic music has been around since the 1940s, it has only recently become mainstream. And with that increase in popularity has come an increase in variety. Electronic music is now divided into various sub-genres, the most popular of which are house, techno, dubstep, and trance.


There are many different sub-genres of electronic music, and each one has its own unique sound. House music is one of the most popular genres of electronic dance music, and it was originally created in the 1980s. House music is characterized by a 4/4 beat and often features elements of disco or funk.


Techno is a style of electronic dance music that emerged in the mid-to-late 1980s. Techno is generally characterized by a repetitive four on the floor beat, a common time signature for many forms of electronic dance music. It often features synthesizers, drum machines, and sequencers.

Drum and Bass

Drum and bass is a genre of electronic music that emerged in the mid-1990s. The style is characterized by fast, syncopated breakbeats, often with heavy bass and sub-bass lines. Drum and bass priorities complex rhythmic patterns over melodic investment and often features samples from other genres, including hip-hop, dub, reggae and jazz.


Dubstep is a type of electronic dance music that originated in the late 1990s in the United Kingdom. It is characterized by a heavy bass sound and syncopated rhythms. The genre has its roots in other forms of electronic music, such as grime and drum and bass, and also draws influence from dub reggae and hip hop.

The Origins of Electronic Music

Electronic music is a genre of music that is made with the use of electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology. It emerged in the mid-20th century and has since then evolved into a variety of different styles and subgenres.

The First Electronic Instruments

Electronic music is a genre of music that is produced using electronic musical instruments or digital processing. It is generally considered to include music made with synthesizers, drum machines, and sequencers, although some people also include recorded sounds or samples in this category.

The first electronic musical instruments were invented in the early 1900s. These included the Theremin and the Ondes Martenot, both of which used electrical signals to create sound. The Theremin was particularly popular in the 1920s and 1930s, and was used by composers such as Sergei Prokofiev and Darius Milhaud.

The first electronic music studio was built in Paris in 1928, and it was here that composers such as Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry began to experiment with recorded sounds. This led to the development of musique concrète, a form of tape-based composition that heavily influenced early electronic music.

In the 1950s, composers such as Stockhausen and Cage began to experiment with electronic music, using new technologies such as magnetic tape manipulation and voltage-controlled oscillators. This period saw the birth of serialism and minimalism, two key movements in 20th-century music.

In the 1960s and 1970s, synthesizers became more affordable and widespread, leading to a boom in popular electronic music. This period saw the rise of influential artists such as Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd, and Yellow Magic Orchestra. Dance music genres such as disco, techno, house, and drum & bass also emerged during this time.

The First Electronic Music

The first electronic music was created by inventors and composers at the turn of the century. In 1897, Thaddeus Cahill patented an electromagnetic musical instrument called the Telharmonium. It was large and expensive, and it didn’t become popular. But it demonstrated that music could be produced without acoustic instruments or live performers.

In the 1920s, several composers wrote pieces forplayer pianos that were converted to electrical signals by photoelectric cells. The first known composition for player piano was “Cakewalk” by Joline Towne, written in 1904. However, these early works were not considered electronic music because they were created for conventional instruments.

It wasn’t until the 1930s that electronic music began to develop as a distinct genre. In 1933, Harry Partch built several original musical instruments, including the Chromelodeon (a keyboard instrument that used vacuum tubes to produce sound). He composed several pieces for these unique instruments, which he collectively called “the corporeal campus.” This was one of the first examples of electronic music specifically composed for electronic instruments.

In 1938, German composer Walter Carl Meier built theElectronic Sackbut, one of the first true synthesizers. Meier’s instrument used vacuum tubes and electric filters to create its unique sounds. He wrote several pieces for it, including a concerto that was performed publicly in 1940.

These early works laid the foundation for future development in the genre of electronic music.

The Evolution of Electronic Music

Electronic music has come a long way since its inception in the late 19th century. Today, there are many different genres and subgenres of electronic music, and it continues to evolve. In this article, we’ll take a look at the history of electronic music and how it has evolved over the years.

The Birth of Dance Music

Dance music is a broad category that includes a wide range of styles. It is generally characterized by a strong beat and repetitive melodies. The first dance music was created in the early 20th century, and it has since evolved to include a wide variety of genres and subgenres.

One of the earliest and most influential dance genres is disco. Disco emerged in the 1970s, and it quickly became one of the most popular music styles of the decade. Disco songs typically feature a catchy hook, a driving bassline, and lush production values. The genre reached its peak in the late 1970s with hits like “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” by Sylvester, “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, and “Last Dance” by Donna Summer.

Disco eventually fell out of favor in the early 1980s, but its influence can still be heard in contemporary dance music genres like house and techno. House music is a genre that emerged in the mid-1980s, and it is characterized by a 4/4 beat, drum machines, and synthesizers. Techno also emerged in the mid-1980s, and it is characterized by a hard-hitting 4/4 beat, hypnotic melodies, and futuristic sound effects.

The Rise of EDM

The electronic dance music (EDM) scene has exploded in popularity in recent years, with DJs and producers becoming household names and festivals like Tomorrowland and Ultra Music Festival attracting tens of thousands of fans from all over the world.

But EDM is just one type of electronic music – there are many different genres and sub-genres, each with its own unique sound and history. In this article, we’ll take a look at the origins of electronic music and some of the most popular sub-genres today.

The first electronic musical instruments were invented in the early 1800s, including the theremin, which was used in early science fiction movies like The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). In the late 1940s and early 1950s, pioneers like Pierre Schaeffer and Karlheinz Stockhausen began experimenting with tape loops and other studio techniques to create new sounds, laying the groundwork for what would become known as musique concrète.

In the 1960s, electronic music really started to take off, with artists like Brian Eno, Kraftwerk, and Gershon Kingsley creating pioneering tracks that would go on to influence generations of musicians. In 1975, Walter Carlos released Switched-On Bach, an album of classical pieces played on a Moog synthesizer – it was a huge hit, reaching number one on the Billboard 200 chart.

Today, electronic music is more popular than ever before. Here are just a few of the most popular sub-genres:

Dubstep: A genre that originated in London in the early 2000s, dubstep is characterized by its heavy basslines and dark atmosphere. Skrillex is one of the best-known dubstep artists today.

Drum & Bass: Also known as D&B or jungle, this genre emerged in England in the early 1990s. It’s characterized by its fast tempo (usually 150-180 BPM) and complex drum patterns. Goldie is one of the most famous drum & bass producers.

Trance: A style of electronic music that developed in Germany in the 1990s, trance is known for its hypnotic melodies and uplifting atmosphere. Paul van Dyk and Tiesto are two well-known trance DJs.

Electronic Music Today

Electronic music has come a long way since its inception in the late 1960s. In the past, electronic music was primarily relegated to the underground dance scene. Today, electronic music has gone mainstream, with artists such as Calvin Harris and The Chainsmokers topping the charts. While electronic music still has its roots in dance culture, not all electronic music is dance music.

The Mainstreaming of Electronic Music

The mainstreaming of electronic music has been a long time coming. Electronic music has been around since the early 1900s, and while it has had its moments in the spotlight, it has largely remained an underground genre. In recent years, however, electronic music has exploded in popularity, thanks in part to the rise of streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.

This newfound popularity has led to a more diverse range of electronic music being heard by the masses. While dance music is still the most popular subgenre of electronic music, other styles such as ambient, techno, and house are also becoming more mainstream. This is a good thing for the genre as a whole, as it introduces new listeners to the wide variety of sounds that electronic music has to offer.

That being said, there is still a long way to go before electronic music is fully accepted by the mainstream. There is a certain stigma attached to the genre, likely due to its association with nightlife and club culture. Additionally, many people still view electronic music as being purely environmental noise rather than actual music. But if the past few years are any indication, electronic music is well on its way to becoming one of the most popular genres in the world.

The Different Types of Electronic Music

Electronic music is a genre that covers a wide range of styles, from dance and club music to more experimental and abstract sounds. It is often characterized by the use of electronic instruments and computer-generated sounds, but it can also include samples from other sources.

Dance music is one of the most popular genres of electronic music, and it includes subgenres like trance, techno, house, and drum & bass. This type of music is designed to get people moving, and it often features a strong beat that helps dancers stay in sync.

Experimental electronic music includes styles like ambient, IDM (intelligent dance music), glitch, and dubstep. This type of music often explores new sounds and textures, and it can be difficult to classify.

Abstract electronic music includes styles like noise and glitch hop. This type of music is more experimental and experimental than other types of electronic music, and it often features unusual sounds and rhythms.

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