Where Did Techno Music Originate?

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Techno music originated in Detroit, Michigan in the United States during the 1980s. The first techno tracks were produced by Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson, who are often referred to as the Belleville Three.


Techno music is a genre of electronic music that was first Parties in Detroit, Michigan in the United States during the mid-to-late 1980s. The first few years of the genre’s history are often referred to as the “first wave” or “golden era” of techno.

The Belleville Three

The Belleville Three, also known as the originators of techno music, are a group of musicians who composed and produced electronic dance music in the mid-1980s.The Belleville Three are Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson. These three high school friends from Belleville, Michigan would go on to have a profound impact on electronic music, spawning the subgenre of techno.

Juan Atkins

Juan Atkins is an African American musician from Detroit, Michigan. He is considered to be the “Father of Techno,” and was a central figure in the development of the genre in the 1980s. Atkins was inspired by electronic music artists such as Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder, and he began making his own music with synthesizers in the early 1980s. His early productions were released on the label he co-founded, Metroplex, and they had a major influence on the development of techno.

Derrick May

Derrick May is often credited as the “godfather” of techno along with Juan Atkins. Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, and Eddie Fowlkes were all members of the group Cybotron, which released the song “Alleys of Your Mind” in 1981, considered by many to be the first techno record.[4] Detroit was an early adopter of technologies common in sound production, including samplers and synthesizers; in contrast to Chicago’s house producers who favored drum machines such as Roland’s TR-808 for their basic tracks


Techno music is a genre of electronic dance music that emerged in the Detroit area of the United States during the mid-to-late 1980s. The first recorded use of the word techno in reference to a specific genre of music was in 1988. Many styles of techno now exist, but Detroit techno is seen as the foundation upon which the other styles were built.

Frankie Knuckles

Frankie Knuckles, the godfather of house music, began his career as a New York disc jockey in the seventies, playing an eclectic mix of soul, disco, and Latin music. But it was in Chicago, at the Warehouse nightclub, that he developed the genre that would bear his name. Drawing on his experience as a disco DJ, Knuckles created long, seamless mixes of tracks—sometimes as long as an hour—and added his own specially edited re-cuts of tracks to create a new sound. His approach was more musical than most other DJs at the time; he viewed himself as a musician and composer rather than just someone who played records.

Marshall Jefferson

One of the most important innovators in the early house music scene was Chicago-based producer and DJ Marshall Jefferson. In 1986, he released the track “Move Your Body,” which is often cited as being one of the first house records. The following year, Jefferson teamed up with another Chicago-based musician, producer Larry Heard, to form the group Fingers Inc. The duo’s debut album, Another Side, featured the song “Can You Feel It,” which is widely considered to be one of the most influential house tracks of all time.

Farley “Jackmaster” Funk

Techno music originated in Detroit, Michigan in the United States in the 1980s. The first techno track is widely considered to be “Farley “Jackmaster” Funk’s ‘House Country'”, which was released in 1986. Techno then spread to other parts of the world, including Chicago, where it became popular in the early 1990s.

New York

Techno music originated in New York in the late 1980s. It was created by a group of young people who were influenced by electronic music. They wanted to create their own music that was different from anything that was out there. Techno music is a mix of different genres, including house, funk, hip hop, and disco.

Afrika Bambaataa

Techno music can trace its roots back to the city of Detroit in the early 1980s. At that time, a new type of music called “electro” was becoming popular in the clubs. This style of music was a mix of Kraftwerk and disco, and it soon caught the attention of Afrika Bambaataa, a DJ from the Bronx.

Bambaataa was impressed with the new style of music, and he began to play it at his own parties. He also started to experiment with adding his own vocals to the mix, and this helped to create the first ever techno track, “Planet Rock.”

Grandmaster Flash

Techno music first gained popularity in the underground club scene of Detroit in the 1980s. But the genre would not have existed without the contributions of a few key figures, including Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash.

Grandmaster Flash, born Joseph Saddler in 1958 in Barbados, was one of the earliest and most influential pioneers of hip hop DJing. He developed many of the signature techniques that are now commonplace in hip hop and techno, including cutting (manually manipulating a record to create rhythmic stutters) andbackspinning (keeping a record spinning on the turntable while manipulating it with one’s hands to prolong certain sounds). These techniques allowed him to extend the breaks in songs so that dancers could continue dancing for longer periods of time.

Flash was also one of the first DJs to use multiple turntables, which he would use to create complex sound collages by playing multiple records simultaneously. This technique would later be employed by techno producers to create layers of sound in their tracks.

While Flash did not invent techno music, his contributions were indispensable in its development. His innovative approach to DJing laid the groundwork for the genre, and his influence can still be heard in techno tracks produced today.

Yellow Magic Orchestra

Techno music is a form of electronic dance music that originated in Detroit, Michigan in the United States in the mid-to-late 1980s. The first techno track is generally considered to be “Jupiter” by Japanese electronic music band Yellow Magic Orchestra, released in 1978.

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