History of Electronic Music
Posted by athlon on January 03 2017 15:45:06

(PART ONE) Its hard to narrow down when and where it developed. (EDM), its widely excepted that it was delevoped in Jamaica in the 1960.. Artists would overlay multiple tracks(most of the time instrumentals of existing tracks) on reel-to-reel tape players, to create their own unique tracks. They would hook up the reel-to-reel tape player up to an amp, then throw some major parties(along with an MC).This genre of music is now referred to as Dub Music.
Then comes along some EDM in Detroit Michigan, in the 1970's with a man called "Frankie Knuckles", he was referred to as the 'Godfather of House'. He would play at clubs with a mixer and two technics turntables. He didn't just play the records, he would reconstruct their sounds by mixing two records at same time, adjusting theeir tempos(pitch) and layering percussive beats over the top. There was not much dance music at the time, he would use R&B records as the source for his sounds. This was the birth of House Music.

Dub and House music merged to create what we now know as Hip-Hop music.
Hip Hop was probably started in New York City-Sugar Hill Gang. They would mix R&B records, add effects, and sing rhyming street poems over the top.

Gabba was borne from Dub Music. The genre of EDM music was created quite crudely by speeding up normal dance tracks. Gabba became popular first in the Netherlands where it was also called 'Hardcore" During the 90's its popularity spread over the UK, and was responsible for creating a huge dance music scene.Drum and Bass and Jungle are both spinoffs from Gabba/Hardcore music.

The orgins of Trance music is more difficult to trace back to. But if you go back into history you will recognize elements of Trance in religious music. But contemporary Trance music really ge going until 1990's and was pioneered by German dance labels, such as Dragonfly records.

House music is defined by a prominent kick drum marked on each beat and it follows the 4/4 time signature. The sound of the kick drum is normally produced by a drum machine or digital sampler. On the 8th note offbeats of every bar you will hear a hi-hat and then a snare marking beats 2 and 4. House music producers will often layer drum samples one on top of the other, in order to mazimize sound levels.

House music was most popular in the UK from 1980's -1990's. It has declined since then, this could have been because its fan base becoming more mature and frequented clubs less often, computer music software made it so easy to generate electronic music, which meant that there was less kudos and innovations associeated with producing such music.

In the Early 70's Hip-Hop started to incorate breaks into their music. A break is a part of a track in which the beats stops allowing you to hear only the rhythmic patterns.

The originator of breakbeat DJING 'Kool DJ Herc', adapted this syle and took it another level by playing the same record on two record decks. The break would constantly be playing on one deck, with the beat on the other. He would then interchange the break from deck to the other. Other Hip-Hop DJ's quickly began to copy and build-upon this technique. 

The most popular break of all time had to be "Amen Break' taken from the song 'Amen, Brother' by theWinston's.It has be incorporated in hundreds of tracks.

During the start of the 1990's, techno producers began to play with breakbeat samples resulting in the creation of new music sub-genre called Breakbeat Hardcore,more commonly refered to as 'Rave Music'.

The term breakbeat has become synonmymous wtih all sub-genres of contemporary breaks music. These subgenres include Progressive, Modern,Nu-Skool, Electro and Funky Breaks. Many DJ's from many different musical styles, make common use of breaks in their sets. DJ's like Breakbeat tracks as they are more easly incorporated into sets compared to faster other genres of dance music due to their slow BPM.

Some groups that you might know The Prodigy, Orbital, Leftfield and Chemical Brothers are the groups responsible for taking Breakbeat music mainstream and to ear's the masses.

Drum & Bass Music known as Acid House was born in the UK in the late 1980's early 90's. Acid House music mixed regular House music beats with other broken beats that had quicker tempos and accentuated basslines. In the early 90's some music producers sere puttijng together complete musical tracks made-up solely of broken beats. This was the birth of 'Jungle Music"and also the rave era.

These Breakbeat tracks began to incorporate raga vocals and tribal sounds. By the mid 90's Jungle had become extremely popular with the British youths with 100's of thousands of club-going fans. Shortly after that Jungles music's reputation was smeared as people began to associate Jungle music with crime and criminal behavior. This was probably due to the rave and associated drug scene that florished around this time.
At that time, Jungle music producers started to retract from the tribal style assoicated with Jungle and created what we know as 'Drum and Bass"

As Drum & Bass advanced and became more refined, commerical radio stations started to air more and more tracks.(in the UK)

The wide scale success and popularty in the UK of Drum & Bass was short lived.

A new genre called Garage Music, it was musicaly was still pretty closely related to Drum & Bass.

In the early 1980's, the German composer Klaus Schulze composed seveal albumsof experimental,atmospheric "space music". Two of his albums from tthe 1980' included the word "trance" in their titles(1981) and En=Trance(1987)(2)

Some of the earlist identifiable trance recordings came from the KLF, a UK-based acid house group. The most motable of these were the original 1988/1989 versions of "What Time Is Love?" and "3 a.m. Eternal",along with "Kylie Said Trance"(1989)and "Last Train to Trancentral"(1990). The KLF labled these early recordings "Pure Trance". While the KLF's works are clear examples of proto-trance, two songs, both from 1990, are widely regarded as being the first "true" trance records. The first is Age of Love's self-titled debut single which they they released in early 1990 and is seen as a basis for the original trance single.
The second track was Dance 2 Trance's "We Came in Peace", the b-side of their own self-titled debut single. Another influential song was Future Sound of London's "Papua New Guinea"(1991) I might awesome track!

The trance sound beyond this acid-era genesis is said to have been an off-shoot of Detroit techno in German clubs during the start of the 1990. Germany is often cited as a birth place of trance culture and is celebrated once a year in the "Love Parade" festiveal. Some of the earlist pioneers of the genre include Jam EL Mar, Oliver Lieb, and Sven V(a)th,who all produced numerous tracks under multipe aliases.. Trance labels such as Eye Q. Harthouse, Rising High Records(awesome!) and MFS Records were based in FrankFurt, and Berlin(Fax # +49-69/450464.

By the mid- 1990 trance, specifically progressive tance, had emerged commerically as one of the dominant genres of dance music.
Progressive trance has set in stone the basic formula of modern trance by becoming even more focused on the anthemic bass lines and lead medlodies. Compositons continued to contain incremental changes (aka progrssive structures), sometimes composed in thirds (as BT fequently does). Meanwhile, a different type of trance, generallycalled uplifting trance, was becoming popular. Upliftng trance had build ups and breakdowns that were longer and more exaggerated, with more easly identifiable tunes and anthems. Many trance tracks followa set form, featuring an introduction, steady build, a breakdown,and then an anthem, a form called "build-breakdown-anthem".

Artists like Tiesto,Armin van Buuuren,, Paul-van Dyk,Robert Miles, Above & Beyond, Darren Tate, Ferry Corsten, Johan Gielen,ATB and Paul Oakenfold came to the forefront and paved the way for artist like Trizet in France and Third Element in the United States, Many of these producers also DJ'D in clubs playing their own productions as well as those other trance DJ's.By the end of 1990's, trance remained commerically huge,but had fractured into an extremly diverse genre.
Some of the artists that had helped create the trance sound in the early and mid 1990's, by the end of the decade, abandoned trance completely in favorof more underground sounds--artistsof particlar note is Pascal F.E.O.S. Oliver Lieb. Many trance DJ's are well into their own radio shows broadcast throughout Europe, the United Statesother countires all over the globe. Examples "A State of Trance" created and hosted by Armin Van Buuren and "Trance Around the World" created and hosted by Above and Beyond. Artist such as Mike Foyle are also classicaly trained(and alike) which assists them with sophisticated and musically pleasing melodies.

As an alternative evolution some artists have attempted to fuse trance with other genres such as drum'n'bass. Others have experimented with minimualist sounds. Frustrated, extreme versions of trance have mutated through Gabba into fringe genres of "hard trance" or "hardstyle" overlapping with hardcore and terrorcore.




Trance usually is a 4/4 time signature, a tempo of 130 to 160BPM, and 32 beat phrases. The 32-beat phrases are composed of repeating 8-beat sections, 10-15 progressions (chord progressions and/or arpeggio layers or "loops" over 8-beat sections.

Trance is somewhat faster than house music but usually not as fast as rave music.
Psychedelic Trance is sometimes faster and earlier tracks were sometimes slower.
A kick drum is placed on every downbeat and a regular open hi-hat is often placed on the upbeat; a type of beat also colloquially known as "four-to-the-floor". Some simple extra percussive elements are usually added, and major transitions, builds or climaxes are often foreshowed by lengthly "sanre rolls"(a quick succession of equally spaced snare drum hits that builds in volume towards the end of a measure or phrase).

Each phrase typically"adds interest" in the form a new layer. Typically 4 to 8 phrases will repeat before the song is broken by an interlude. During the interlude the drum beat and most of the complex layers drop out of the mix and a medlodic, dreamy phrase breaks the hypnotic succession. The orginal drum-beat phrasing returns after the interlude.

Unlike House and Garage music, Trance tends to add interest to tracks not through complexty of rhythm but through complexity of melody and harmony; as a result Trance tracks tend to have a simple(non-varying)beat which acts as a foundation for complex chordal and melodic structures which are further emphasized bby the heavy use of eledctronic music production technology, such as synthesizers, samplers and effects units(most notalby for Trance, Reverb and Delay effects). Flangers, phasers and other effects are alos commonly used at extreme settings but these settings can be(and often are)'tweaked' over time, creating further interest by adding cycles or emotional tension and release. As an example of this volume, cutoff and / or resonance parameters of a synthesized arpeggio can be slowly increased over a period of time, resulting in a variation which is calculated to form a particular emotional response in the listener. As in most electronic music, there is no need or demand for resulting sounds to resemble any real-world instrument, so producers have free creative rein. However, modern Progressive and Uplifting Trance tracks do make use of pianos and other j"orchestal" or conventional and non-electronic instruments.

Traditionally, trance uses classical music as its base. Many "classical" songs have been "remixed" in modern trance style. Many trance songs use jazz as their base.

While many trance tracks contain no vocals at all, other tracks rely heavly on vocals, and thus a subgenre known as Vocal Trnace has developed. The sound and quality of the production relies to a large degree upon the techonlogy available. Vintage analog equipment is popular with many producers,with names such as Moog,Roland,and Oberheim being staples in the trance sound palette. Modern music creation software can emulate the sound of classic "syths"

Trance tracks are usaully built with sparser intro and outros in order to enable DJs' to Blend them together more readly. This is known as "Mixing" or "Beat Matching". This also works as a build up and wind down and in modern trance the intros and outros do not resemble the main part of the song very closely. Records that adhere to the "build-up, strip downl" arrangement during intros and outros are referred as being "DJ friendly". As trance is more melodic and harmonic than most dance music, the construction of trance tracks in such a way is particularly important in order to avoid dissonant( or "key clashing,"ie out of tune with one another)mixes by DJ's who do not mix harmonically. DJ's who can successfully 'key mix" will find more popularity with listeners as there is no obvious breaks in the music, assisting with a joruney that is not interrupe(ME!)

Trance music is broken into a large number of subgenres. Chronologically, the major genres are classic trance, acid trance,progressive trance,and uplifting trance. The latteris also known as "Anthem trance", "Epic trance,"Stadium trance", or Euphoric trance." Closely related to Uplifting Trance is Euro-trance, which has become a general term for wide vairety of European dance music. Several subgenres are crossovers with other major genres of electronic music. For example, tech trance is a mixture of trane and techno.Vocal Trance adds vocals and a pop-like structure to the songs,and Ambient trance is a mixture ambient and trance. Balearic beat, which is associated with Ibiza, Spain, is often called "Ibiza trance". Also, Dream trance is sometimes called "Dream House", pioneered by Robert Miles in the mid 1990's

Goa trance orginated in Goa,India around the same time trance was evolving in Europe. Goa trance was influential in the formation of Psychedelic Trance, which features freeform samples and psychedelic elements.