What is Dance/Electronic Music?

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Dance and electronic music are both umbrella terms that refer to a wide range of genres. This can make it difficult to define what dance/electronic music actually is. In this blog post, we attempt to shed some light on this often nebulous topic.


Dance/electronic music is a genre of music that is created for or performed in nightclubs, raves, and festivals. It is characterized by a strong beat, often accompanied by synthesizers and other electronic sounds.

Dance/electronic music has its origins in the disco and club scenes of the 1970s and 1980s. In the 1990s, electronic dance music (EDM) became a staple of the rave scene. EDM is often produced in a continuous, repetitive style known as “4/4” or “house.”

The term “dance/electronic music” is used to describe a wide variety of genres and subgenres, such as techno, trance, drum and bass, dubstep, and trap.

The Birth of Dance/Electronic Music

Dance/electronic music is a genre of music that emerged in the early 1970s. It is characterized by a heavy use of electronic instruments and synthesizers, and a strong emphasis on rhythm and melody. Dance/electronic music is often played in nightclubs, and is also a popular genre of music for exercise and workout routines.


Disco is a genre of dance music that emerged in the early 1970s from the American urban nightlife scene. The word “disco” is short for “discotheque,” a type of nightclub that became popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Disco music is characterized by a strong beat, repeating rhythms, and often sexually suggestive lyrics. It was originally created for dancing, but it has also been used in films, television shows, and video games.


Born in the city of Chicago in the 1980s, house music was created by DJs who were looking for a new sound to differentiate themselves from the disco that was popular at the time. House music is characterized by a repetitive 4/4 beat and often includes samples of other songs or sounds. The genre quickly gained popularity in clubs and dancehalls, and eventually spread to other parts of the world.


Techno is a type of electronic dance music that emerged in Detroit, Michigan in the United States during the mid-1980s. The first techno track is generally considered to be “Julia” by Juan Atkins, which was released in 1985. Techno is characterized by a repetitive 4/4 beat, often accompanied by synthesizers and drum machines. It frequently features samples from other genres, particularly Funk and Soul.

The Evolution of Dance/Electronic Music

Dance/electronic music has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the 1970s. This type of music has gone from being a niche genre to one of the most popular genres in the world. In this article, we’ll take a look at the history of dance/electronic music and how it has evolved over the years.


Trance is a genre of electronic music that emerged in the early 1990s. It is characterized by a tempo of between 125 and 150 BPM, repeated melodic phrases, and a musical form that builds up and breaks down throughout the song. Early trance was heavily influenced by acid house and techno music.

Drum and Bass

Drum and Bass is a type of electronic music that emerged in the early 1990s. It is characterized by fast, syncopated rhythms and often features samples from other genres of music. Critics have praised its intricate production and innovative sound, but some have accused it of being too dark and inaccessible.


Originating in the late 1990s, dubstep is a type of electronic dance music that features heavy bass and drum beats. The genre was pioneered by artists such as Skream and Benga, who were influenced by UK garage music. Dubstep often uses elements of other genres, such as reggae, jungle, and grime.

The early 2000s saw the rise of dubstep in the UK underground music scene. The genre gained mainstream popularity in the 2010s, thanks to artists such as Rusko and Nero. In the US, dubstep became popular due to its prominence in the TV show Skins. The popularity of dubstep has led to the development of subgenres, such as wonky and brostep.

The Future of Dance/Electronic Music

Dance/Electronic music has come a long way since its inception in the 1970s. What started out as a niche genre has now become one of the most popular genres in the world. Electronic music is constantly evolving and changing, and it shows no signs of slowing down. In this article, we’ll take a look at the future of dance/electronic music and what trends we can expect to see in the next few years.


Trap is a music genre that originated in the early 1990s in the Southern United States. It is a subgenre of hip hop that developed from hardcore rap into a distinctive form of
musical expression. The word “trap” refers to a place where drug deals are made and also to drug culture. The term Trap Music was first used by T.I. in his song “Trap Muzik”. The music is typified by 808 sub-bass kick drums, double-time, syncopated hi-hats, layered synthesizers, and trap snares.


Dance/electronic music, also known as EDM, is a broad range of percussive electronic music genres made largely for nightclubs, raves, and festivals. EDM is generally produced for playback by DJs who create seamless selections of tracks, called a mix by segueing from one recording to another.

EDM producers also perform their music live in a concert or festival setting in what is sometimes called a live PA. In Europe, EDM is more commonly called ‘dance music’ or simply ‘dance’. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, following the emergence of raving, pirate radio and an upsurge of interest in house and techno music, artists like Richie Hawtin and Derrick May began to experiment with mixing techniques that would enable them to extend the duration of their track mixes beyond that of a traditional pop song.

These artists producers created a more fluid sound than that of the pop-oriented house music that was then becoming popular; they described their work as “the hardcore” or “the hard”. As more dance musics were created, they began to diverge and develop their own subgenres.

Future Bass

Future bass is a subgenre of electronic dance music that emerged in the 2010s. Characterized by heavy bass, melodic chords, and House influences, future bass has been described as “emotive and inward-looking”, with a sound “closer to R&B than anything else in dance music.” The genre developed out of dubstep and UK garage, drawing influence from trap music and Blade Runner-inspired synthwave.

The first use of the term “future bass” was by record label Monstercat, in early 2014, to describe the style of its release by Canadian artist MurdaBeatz. The track, which would go on to become one of the most popular songs in the genre, was included on the label’s compilation album Monstercat 007 – Solace. Later that year, American duo ODESZA released their breakthrough album In Return, which helped popularize the sound; other producers who have been instrumental in developing the genre include Flume, Illenium and San Holo.

While future bass initially found popularity among North American audiences, the genre has since garnered a global following; in 2018, Billboard magazine identified it as one of “10 Genres That Defined The 2010s”.

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