Not All Electronic Music is Dance

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


A look at how not all electronic music is created for the dance floor, and how the genre has evolved over the years.

The Different Types of Electronic Music

Electronic music is a genre of music that is produced using electronic equipment. It can be divided into different subgenres, each with its own characteristic sound. In this article, we will explore the different types of electronic music.


House is a style of electronic dance music that originated in Chicago in the 1980s. House music is characterized by a 4/4 time signature, a steady bassline, and repetitive, syncopated drums. House music is often associated with the club scene and with drugs like Ecstasy, but it has also been used in film soundtracks and has been cross-pollinated with other genres like hip-hop and rock.


Techno is a form of electronic dance music that originated in the Detroit area in the 1980s. The first techno tracks were produced by artists such as Derrick May and Juan Atkins, who began experimenting with synthesizers and drum machines. This type of music is characterized by a repetitive 4/4 beat, often accompanied by basslines and synthesizer melodies.

Drum and Bass

Drum and bass (also written as “drum ‘n’ bass”; “d’n’b”; or simply “D&B”) is a genre of electronic music characterised by fast breakbeats (typically between 150–180 beats per minute) with heavy bass and sub-bass lines, sampled sources, and synthesizers. The music grew out of the UK rave and jungle scenes in the early 1990s, and developed from earlier styles such as house, techno and acid house. Drum and bass tends to be produced for use in clubs, bars and festivals.


Dubstep is a genre of electronic music that originated in London in the early 2000s. It is characterized by its heavy bass, drum patterns, and occasional use of samples. The style emerged from the UK garage scene and was later popularized by artists such as Skream and Benga.

Where to Listen to Electronic Music

Electronic music can be found in a lot of places. It’s not just dance music that you hear in clubs, but also in many other genres like pop, rock, and even classical. There are many types of electronic music, and it can be a great way to relax or get pumped up. You can find electronic music in a lot of different places, and it’s worth exploring.


Festivals are a great place to listen to electronic music, but not all festivals are dedicated to electronic music. Some festivals that feature electronic music include:
-SXSW in Austin, Texas
-Coachella in Indio, California
-Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Florida


If you’re looking to dance the night away to electronic music, then nightclubs are probably your best bet. Nightclubs typically have a dedicated dance floor where DJs spin a mix of popular electronic dance music (EDM) tracks. Some nightclubs also feature live electronic bands or performers.

While most nightclubs play EDM, there are some that specialize in other genres of electronic music, such as techno, house, or trance. If you’re not interested in dancing, some nightclubs also have lounge areas where you can socialize or simply listen to the music.


There are a number of ways to listen to electronic music online. One popular option is to use one of the many streaming services that offer a variety of electronic music genres. Another option is to find websites or blog that specialize in sharing new and old electronic music. You can also find a wealth of electronic music listening options by searching for specific artists or DJs that you enjoy.

The History of Electronic Music

Electronic music has been around for almost as long as music itself. The first electronic instruments were invented in the early 1800s, and since then, they have been used in a wide variety of genres. In the early 20th century, composers such as Edgar Varèse and Karlheinz Stockhausen began experimenting with electronic music, and in the 1950s, electronic music was used in film soundtracks for the first time. In the 1960s, electronic music became more popular with the advent of the Moog synthesizer, and in the 1970s, disco and punk rock used electronic instruments. Today, electronic music is used in all kinds of music, from pop to classical.

The Early Days

The earliest electronic musical instruments were developed in the late 19th century, and were intended for use in orchestras and other live performances. These early instruments included the telharmonium, an early electrical keyboard instrument, and the theremin, an early electronic instrument that was played without physical contact by moving one’s hands in the proximity of two metal antennas.

In the 1920s and 1930s, a number of composers wrote music for the theremin, which became popular with audiences. These composers included Paul Hindemith, who wrote a concerto for the theremin; Edgard Varèse, who wrote “Poème électronique” for the 1958 World’s Fair; and Leos Janáček, whose opera “The Makropulos Affair” featured a theremin solo.

In the 1940s and 1950s, electronic music began to be used in popular music. One of the first popular songs to feature an electronic sound was “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin, which featured a theremin solo. Other popular songs from this era that featured electronic sounds include “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys and “Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)” by Peter Lind Hayes.

In the 1960s, electronic music became more experimental, with composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen creating works that incorporated various electronic sounds and devices. This period also saw the development of synthesizers, which would come to be widely used in popular music in the 1970s and beyond.

The Birth of House

In the early 1980s, a new style of music was born in the nightclubs of Chicago. House music was a blend of disco, pop, and electronic dance music that became hugely popular with clubgoers. DJs would play records with a steady beat, often mixing them together to create a continuous dancefloor soundtrack. House music quickly spread beyond Chicago to other cities in the United States and Europe.

The Rise of Techno

In the late 1980s, techno music began to emerge from the underground club scene in Detroit, Michigan. A group of young black and Latino DJs and producers, including Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson, started making electronic music with synthesizers, drum machines, andsamplers. This new style of music soon spread to other cities in the United States and Europe.

In the early 1990s, a subgenre of techno called acid house emerged in England. Acid house was characterized by its use of the Roland TB-303 bass synthesizer. This type of synthesizer was originally designed to imitate the sound of a trumpet or horn but was quickly adopted by acid house producers for its unique distorted sound.

The popularity of techno and acid house soon spread to other parts of Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America. In the mid-1990s, a new style of techno called trance emerged. Trance music is characterized by its use of repetitive melodies and rhythms. Trance music often has a very dreamlike or hypnotic quality.

Today, there are many different styles of electronic music being produced all over the world. While some electronic music is still made for dancing in clubs, there is also a growing number of artists who are making more experimental or avant-garde types of electronic music.

The Future of Electronic Music

Electronic music is not just for the club anymore.EDM has come a long way since the days of disco and has taken on many different forms. While some electronic music is still made for dancing, not all of it is. In fact, many artists are now using electronic music to create more experimental and ambient sounds.

The Evolution of Dubstep

Dubstep began in London in the early 2000s, and is a genre of electronic music that combines elements of garage, 2-step, grime, and dub reggae. The style is typified by a substrate of half-step drum patterns, sparse melodies, and deep basslines. Dubstep tracks are often created using only a few elements: drums, bass, and synth chords or pads.

The Rise of EDM

The Electronic Dance Music, or EDM, subgenre has exploded in popularity over the past few years. A style of music that was once confined to small clubs and underground parties has become a massive global phenomenon, with some of the biggest names in music now regularly playing EDM festivals and stadium shows. But what exactly is EDM, and where did it come from?

EDM is a catch-all term for any type of electronic music that is created for dancing. This includes subgenres like house, techno, drum & bass, dubstep, and Trance. While some of these styles have been around for decades, EDM as a whole only really started to take off in the early 2000s with the rise of club culture in America and Europe.

DJs like Tiesto, David Guetta, and Skrillex helped to bring EDM to a wider audience by playing at huge clubs and festivals like Ultra Music Festival and Tomorrowland. Their popularity then led to mainstream artists like Madonna, Beyonce, and Rihanna incorporating EDM elements into their own songs. As a result, EDM has now become one of the most popular genres in the world, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

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