Who Created the Techno Music Genre?

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The techno music genre was created in the late 1980s by a group of DJs and producers in Detroit, Michigan. These pioneers of techno music were influenced by a wide range of genres, including electronic music, funk, and soul.


Techno is a form of electronic music that emerged in Detroit, Michigan, in the United States during the mid-to-late 1980s. The first recorded use of the word techno, in reference to a type 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.

In general, techno is characterized by a heavy use of synthesizers and drum machines, and a lack of vocals. It is often played at nightclubs, festivals, and raves.

The Birth of Techno

Techno music is a genre of electronic dance music that emerged in the Detroit metropolitan area in 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 historians believe that techno was created by Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, and Derrick May, who were all residents of the city of Detroit.

The Belleville Three

The Belleville Three, also known as the Detroit techno pioneers, are a group of techno producers and DJs from Belleville, Michigan, United States. The group consists of Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson. They are often credited with being the originators of the techno music genre.

The three artists first met while attending high school in Belleville in the early 1980s. They began making music together and eventually started throwing parties in Detroit that would become some of the first techno parties in history. In 1985, they released their first track, “Techno City”, which is often cited as the first techno track ever made.

The Belleville Three remained an important force in the development of techno throughout the 1980s and 1990s, with Atkins and Saunderson founding their own record labels (Metroplex and KMS Records) and May becoming a prolific remixer. In recent years, they have reunited for a series of live performances and DJ sets, including at Detroit’s Movement festival.

Juan Atkins

The origins of techno are often traced back to one man: Juan Atkins. A native of Belleville, Michigan, Atkins was first introduced to music through his father’s record collection, which included soul, jazz, and funk artists like Parliament-Funkadelic and Miles Davis. He began DJing in high school and soon started making his own music with a rudimentary synthesizer. In 1981, he released his first single as Model 500, “No UFOs,” which is widely considered to be the first techno record.

Atkins was part of a group of early techno pioneers who were influenced by the Detroit party scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s. These so-called “Belleville Three” (which also included Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson) would go on to shape the sound of techno in the years to come. Techno would eventually spread from Detroit to Europe in the early 1990s, where it found a large and devoted following. Today, techno is one of the most popular electronic music genres in the world.

Derrick May

The music genre known as techno was born in Detroit, Michigan in the 1980s. The first techno tracks were created by a group of African-American musicians, including Derrick May, Juan Atkins, and Eddie Flashin’ Fowlkes. These artists took elements of existing electronic music genres, such as disco and new wave, and combined them with their own ideas to create a new sound.

May is often credited with being the “father of techno,” due to his pioneering work in the genre. He released his first record, “Strings of Life,” in 1987. This track became an instant classic, and is still considered one of the best techno tracks ever made. May went on to produce a number of other influential tracks, including “U” and “Bang the Box.” He also founded his own record label, Transmat Records, which helped to promote and distribute early techno music.

The Popularization of Techno

Techno music is a genre that was created in the late 1980s. It is a type of electronic dance music that is often played in nightclubs. Techno is known for its repetitious beats and basslines. The genre was created in Detroit, Michigan by DJ and producer Juan Atkins.

The Second Wave of Techno

The Second Wave of Techno was pioneered by British producers like 808 State, A Guy Called Gerald, and The Orb. This phase of the genre is characterized by the introduction of acid house elements and the use of samples from other genres, particularly film soundtracks. The Second Wave is often seen as the beginning of the commercialization of techno, as many of these tracks were released on major labels and received significant radio play.

Detroit Techno

The first use of the word techno in reference to a specific genre of music was in 1988. It was used to describe a style of music produced by DJ/producer Derrick May and his peers at Belleville High School, in Detroit, Michigan. This early techno sound was influenced by European electronic music, particularly that of Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder, as well as by Afro-American soul and funk music. By the early 1990s, May and his peers had established themselves as leading figures in the international techno scene, with their records being played and appreciated by DJs and clubgoers around the world.

Chicago House

In the early 1980s, a new type of electronic music emerged from the warehouses of Chicago. This new sound was called “house” music, and it quickly spread to other dance clubs in the city. House music was characterized by a 4/4 beat, synthesizer chords, and samples of other songs.


In conclusion, there is no one person who can be credited with the creation of the techno music genre. Rather, it was a collaborative effort among a group of artists who were experimenting with new sounds and technologies in the early 1990s. While some of these artists may have been more influential than others, they all played a role in shaping the sound of techno as we know it today.

Similar Posts