Who Invented House Music?

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


How did house music get its start? Who are the pioneers of this genre? Read on to find out the history of house music and the people who shaped it.

DJ Frankie Knuckles

Frankie Knuckles is often credited with being the inventor of house music. He started DJing in the 1970s, and is said to have created the sound that would come to be known as house music in his Chicago nightclub, The Warehouse. His style of mixing different tracks together, along with his use of drum machines and synthesizers, was influential in the development of house music.

DJ career

DJ Frankie Knuckles was a groundbreaking figure in the development of house music. A Chicago native, Knuckles began his DJ career in the 1970s, spinning disco and soul records at the city’s popular Warehouse club. He quickly became known for his innovative style of mixing, which often involved extending the drum breaks of tracks to create a more danceable groove.

In the early 1980s, Knuckles began experimenting with synthesizers and drum machines, which would become key elements of house music. He also helped to popularize the remix, a staple of house and other dance music genres. In 1987, he released his most famous track, “Your Love,” which became a club anthem and helped to make house music mainstream.

Knuckles continued to DJ and produce music until his death in 2014. He was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and was widely recognized as one of the most influential DJs of all time.

First club

Frankie Knuckles was the first DJ to play house music in a club. He was also one of the pioneers of the Chicago house music scene.

Knuckles began his career as a teenager in New York City, where he worked as a DJ at clubs such as The Garage and Paradise Garage. In the early 1980s, he moved to Chicago, where he became the resident DJ at The Warehouse, a club that was frequented by gay black men.

It was at The Warehouse that Knuckles played extended versions of existing disco songs, which he mixed together using two turntables. These extended versions, which he referred to as “house tracks”, became enormously popular with the club’s dancers.

Knuckles’ skilled use of the mixing board and his ability to create long, uninterrupted mixes made him one of the most sought-after DJs in Chicago. His influence quickly spread beyond the city limits, and house music soon became a nationwide phenomenon.

“The Warehouse”

Disc Jockey Frankie Knuckles developed the musical genre known as house music after he started playing extended disco edits of soul tracks at the now-famous Warehouse club in Chicago. House music is characterized by a 4/4 time signature, a thumping bassline, and trance-like electronics. The name “house music” is derived from the clubs where this style of music was first played, like the Warehouse in Chicago.

Marshall Jefferson

House music is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in Chicago in the early 1980s. It was created by DJs and producers who were influenced by disco, electronica, and Soul music. One of the most influential house music producers and DJs is Marshall Jefferson. He is credited with creating the first house track, “Move Your Body,” in 1986.

“Move Your Body”

Marshall Jefferson is one of the most influential figures in the history of house music. He is best known for his 1986 track “Move Your Body,” which is widely considered to be one of the earliest and most important house tracks.

Jefferson was born in Chicago in 1963. He was exposed to a wide range of music growing up, including soul, disco, and early electronic dance music. He began DJing in the early 1980s, and he quickly became involved in the city’s burgeoning house music scene.

In 1986, Jefferson recorded “Move Your Body,” which would go on to become one of the most iconic house tracks of all time. The track features a simple but effective bassline and a catchy vocal hook, and it quickly became a dancefloor favorite. It is often credited with helping to popularize house music outside of Chicago.

Jefferson has continued to be involved in the house music scene over the years, and he remains one of its most respected figures. In 2016, he was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame.

House music’s first hit

In 1986, a single track called “Move Your Body” by an unknown artist named Marshall Jefferson was released on the Chicago-based label Trax Records. The track became an instant hit in the city’s clubs and soon spread to other dance scenes in the United States and Europe. Jefferson’s track is widely credited as being the first house music record to achieve mainstream success.

Farley “Jackmaster” Funk

House music is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in Chicago in the early 1980s. It was initially popularized by DJ Farley “Jackmaster” Funk. Funk’s 1987 single “No Way Back” is often credited with being the first house music track. House music quickly spread to other clubs in Chicago and then to other major cities in the United States and Europe.

“No Ears”

Born in Chicago in 1951, Farley “Jackmaster” Funk is a pioneer of house music. He got his start as a DJ in the 1970s, spinning records at clubs and parties around the city. In the early 1980s, he began working with fellow DJ Frankie Knuckles at the Warehouse, a now-legendary club where house music was born. Funk continued to play a pivotal role in the development of house music throughout the 1980s and 1990s, releasing a number of influential tracks and performing at clubs and festivals all over the world. Today, he is still active in the house music scene, spinning records and producing new tracks.

“Farley Knows House”

Born in Chicago in 1951, Farley “Jackmaster” Funk was one of the originators of house music. A DJ since the age of 14, he was aresident DJ at the legendary Warehouse club in the city’s Southside. It was here that he honed his skills, developing a style that would later be known as “the Chicago sound.”

Funk was one of the first DJs to use two turntables and a mixer to create continuous, uninterrupted music. He was also one of the first to use drum machines and samplers to create new sounds. His signature style helped to define house music and made him one of the most influential DJs of his generation.

In 1985, Funk co-founded the Hot Mix 5, a group of Chicago DJs who were some of the first to play house music on the radio. The Hot Mix 5 quickly became popular, helping to spread the word about this new type of music.

Funk continued to DJ and produce music throughout his career. He passed away in 2014, but his legacy continues to inspire new generations of DJs and producers.

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