An Introduction: House Music

In the vast world of electronic dance music (EDM), it can be difficult at times to identify what a song is and where it can be categorized on the colorful spectrum of electronic music. This is especially true with the ever evolving dubstep subgenre. However, there is one type of electronic music that is always easy to identify: house music.

One of the most popular and vibrant types of music, house stems from disco, funk, soul, hip-hop, dub, and boogie. Its birth took place in Chicago in the early eighties and grew in popularity in the middle part of the decade. It proceeded to spread via discotheque to New York, New Jersey, Toronto, and Detroit, to the west coast in San Francisco and Los Angeles, down to Miami, and at last across the pond to London and Europe. Since the 1980s, house has successfully infiltrated the mainstream thanks to pop sensations Madonna and Janet Jackson who incorporated the 4/4 beat, off-beat hi-hat cymbals, and synthesized basslines into their chart toppers. Other highly popular artists who used house elements in their tracks include Björk, C+C Music Factory, and later Daft Punk and Justice.

The growth of house into a popular genre involved a series of evolutions and splits into multiple subgenres of its own. These include progressive house, acid house, ambient house, diva house, dream house, deep house, tribal house, disco house, vocal house, gospel house, microhouse, French house, Balearic beat, electro swing and hardbag. It was always designed to be music for dancing and has gradually become faster, though house is still slow by most pop and electronic music standards.

What makes up house’s distinct sound are a few key elements. First is the fact that every beat has an obvious kick-drum made by a sampler or drum machine. Like disco, it is a four-on-the-floor style of music with hi-hats, snares and claps on beats two and four. The notes are usually all in the same octave and some house producers include a staccato chord loop. The result of all this is a song high in energy. Originally, the thrilling sounds of house, deep house, and acid house were considered a new type of genre for people of the underground, appealing to those of African-American descent who frequented house music clubs. It was also considered spiritually powerful as well as sensual and continues to have a hint (or more) of sexuality.

Research into house music’s founding days will reveal the genre’s forefathers such as Frankie Knuckles, DJ Ron Hardy, DJ Lil Louis, and Marshall Jefferson. The latter’s song, “Move Your Body” is considered by many to be house music’s anthem, “With house music, you can’t go wrong!” Other producers from the early years of house include Steve Hurley, Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May, Larry Heard, and Farley Jackmaster Funk.

Detroit was the next city to take on house music and the results include the genre’s ultimate international fame. The city’s techno background has contributed to the common confusion of techno for house and vice versa.

London crowds loved the genre in the mid and late eighties and proceeded to produce their own house music, often with rapped vocals and a humorous slant. In 1987, DJ Paul Oakenfold’s Ibiza house music was brought to the UK where it was well received by the electronic community. Aphex Twin’s “Analogue Bubblebath” ushered in a more ambient take on house music that vaguely echoes trance music and is still great for the clubs.

House music of the late 1990s and early 2000s was primarily dominated by the popular Daft Punk and Justice. It dropped from the American mainstream into the underground again as hip-hop, rap, pop, and alternative rock took the center stage in American music. This lull in the American appreciation of house music cannot be seen as a slow period for the genre, however, as it remained quite popular in Europe, drawing electronic music fans to festivals and concerts and creating an admiration of producers and media geniuses such as Carl Cox, Pete Tong and Annie Mac

In the mid-00s, house began to creep back into the American conscious once again. Benny Benassi’s “Satisfaction” made waves that allowed for the extreme growth in popularity that the United States has for house music today. There is a plethora of house artists to peruse, but here are some of the best in no particular order: Tiësto, Sander Kleinenburg, Wolfgang Gartner, Felguk, Kaskade, Deadmau5, Swedish House Mafia, Alexandra Stan, Stromae, Armin Van Buuren, Armand Van Helden, The Bloody Beetroots, Gesaffelstein, Diplo, Justice, Knife Party, Steve Aoki, Tocadisco, Steve Angello, Röyksopp, Paul Oakenfold, Sébastien Léger, Sebastian Ingrosso, David Guetta, MSTRKRFT, Laidback Luke, Eric Prydz, Fedde le Grand, Calvin Harris, Dada Life, Feed Me, Axwell, and Avicii. Each of these artists or groups have produced the music of a generation and continue to further shape the genre and change the way the world hears music.

For more information about house music check out:

In the vast world of electronic dance music (EDM), it can be difficult at times to identify what a song is and where it can be categorized on the colorful spectrum of electronic music. This is especially true with the ever evolving dubstep subgenre. However, there is one type of electronic music that is always easy to identify: house music.

One of the most popular and vibrant types of music, house stems from disco, funk, soul, hip-hop, dub, and boogie. Its birth took place in Chicago in the early eighties and grew in popularity in the middle part of the decade. It proceeded to spread via discotheque to New York, New Jersey, Toronto, and Detroit, to the west coast in San Francisco and Los Angeles, down to Miami, and at last across the pond to London and Europe. Since the 1980s, house has successfully infiltrated the mainstream thanks to pop sensations Madonna and Janet Jackson who incorporated the 4/4 beat, off-beat hi-hat cymbals, and synthesized basslines into their chart toppers. Other highly popular artists who used house elements in their tracks include Björk, C+C Music Factory, and later Daft Punk and Justice.

The growth of house into a popular genre involved a series of evolutions and splits into multiple subgenres of its own. These include progressive house, acid house, ambient house, diva house, dream house, deep house, tribal house, disco house, vocal house, gospel house, microhouse, French house, Balearic beat, electro swing and hardbag. It was always designed to be music for dancing and has gradually become faster, though house is still slow by most pop and electronic music standards.

What makes up house’s distinct sound are a few key elements. First is the fact that every beat has an obvious kick-drum made by a sampler or drum machine. Like disco, it is a four-on-the-floor style of music with hi-hats, snares and claps on beats two and four. The notes are usually all in the same octave and some house producers include a staccato chord loop. The result of all this is a song high in energy. Originally, the thrilling sounds of house, deep house, and acid house were considered a new type of genre for people of the underground, appealing to those of African-American descent who frequented house music clubs. It was also considered spiritually powerful as well as sensual and continues to have a hint (or more) of sexuality.

Research into house music’s founding days will reveal the genre’s forefathers such as Frankie Knuckles, DJ Ron Hardy, DJ Lil Louis, and Marshall Jefferson. The latter’s song, “Move Your Body” is considered by many to be house music’s anthem, “With house music, you can’t go wrong!” Other producers from the early years of house include Steve Hurley, Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May, Larry Heard, and Farley Jackmaster Funk.

Detroit was the next city to take on house music and the results include the genre’s ultimate international fame. The city’s techno background has contributed to the common confusion of techno for house and vice versa.

London crowds loved the genre in the mid and late eighties and proceeded to produce their own house music, often with rapped vocals and a humorous slant. In 1987, DJ Paul Oakenfold’s Ibiza house music was brought to the UK where it was well received by the electronic community. Aphex Twin’s “Analogue Bubblebath” ushered in a more ambient take on house music that vaguely echoes trance music and is still great for the clubs.

House music of the late 1990s and early 2000s was primarily dominated by the popular Daft Punk and Justice. It dropped from the American mainstream into the underground again as hip-hop, rap, pop, and alternative rock took the center stage in American music. This lull in the American appreciation of house music cannot be seen as a slow period for the genre, however, as it remained quite popular in Europe, drawing electronic music fans to festivals and concerts and creating an admiration of producers and media geniuses such as Carl Cox, Pete Tong and Annie Mac

In the mid-00s, house began to creep back into the American conscious once again. Benny Benassi’s “Satisfaction” made waves that allowed for the extreme growth in popularity that the United States has for house music today. There is a plethora of house artists to peruse, but here are some of the best in no particular order: Tiësto, Sander Kleinenburg, Wolfgang Gartner, Felguk, Kaskade, Deadmau5, Swedish House Mafia, Alexandra Stan, Stromae, Armin Van Buuren, Armand Van Helden, The Bloody Beetroots, Gesaffelstein, Diplo, Justice, Knife Party, Steve Aoki, Tocadisco, Steve Angello, Röyksopp, Paul Oakenfold, Sébastien Léger, Sebastian Ingrosso, David Guetta, MSTRKRFT, Laidback Luke, Eric Prydz, Fedde le Grand, Calvin Harris, Dada Life, Feed Me, Axwell, and Avicii. Each of these artists or groups have produced the music of a generation and continue to further shape the genre and change the way the world hears music.

For more information about house music check out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_music

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