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Brief History of Electronic/Dance Music

photo credit:  "Electric Daisy Carnival 2010. Friday Pictures." by Caesar Sebastian, Creative Commons license


Reaching back to grab the grooves of '70s disco/funk and the gadgets of electronic composition, Electronica soon became a whole new entity in and of itself, spinning off new sounds and subgenres with no end in sight two decades down the pike.

Its beginnings came in the post-disco environment of Chicago/New York and Detroit, the cities who spawned house and techno (respectively) during the 1980s. Later that decade, club-goers in Britain latched onto the fusion of mechanical and sensual, and returned the favor to hungry Americans with new styles like jungle/drum'n'bass and trip-hop.

Though most all early electronica was danceable, by the beginning of the '90s, producers were also making music for the headphones and chill-out areas as well, resulting in dozens of stylistic fusions like ambient-house, experimental techno, tech-house, electro-techno, etc.

Typical for the many styles gathered under the umbrella was a focus on danceable grooves, very loose song structure (if any), and, in many producers, a relentless desire to find a new sound no matter how tepid the results.

Written by allmusic

When using the BGSU Library Catalog try searches for:

  • Techno Music
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Guide Created By:


This guide created by Kaitlin Stephens, MLIS