The History of EDM

Electronic Music is simply a blanket term collectively used to describe the music created by using electronic instruments such as synthesizers and drum machines. Electronic Dance Music, one of the most popular sub-genres of electronic music, is better known as EDM, dance music, club music, or simply dance worldwide. It’s basically a set of percussive electronic music genres, which are primarily produced for dance-based environments such as nightclubs and discotheques.

However, electronic dance music does not stop at a disco or club; it’s a completely new realm of music and if you are looking forward to be known as a DJ, then you have to get versed with a lot of “technical know-hows” before even attempting the name as a DJ, musician, or an artist. All the nitty-gritty of EDM is stuffed with instruments, software and production; so before stepping in to it, let’s get to know basics of EDM.

EDM is a sub-genre of electronic music produced as well as mixed electronically. Though seems repetitious at times, this music is incredibly rhythmic. Generally, DJs use this form of music and often present in DJ mixes while performing live sets of their own dance music productions. Dub-step, Electronic, Trance, House, and Remix music are some of the popular sub-categories of EDM.

  • It was way back in the 1940s, when electronic music had gradually started to gain popularity among modern music lovers
  • In the 1950s, development of space-age sounds and electronic scores was seen. These techniques, at that time, were being used in dance venues such as clubs.

1960s – The Birth of EDM
The brand new style of EDM was discovered by Jamaican artists, in the 1960s. They formed unique dance music by overlaying of multiple tracks, which were the instrumental sounds from previously used tracks. A reel-to-reel tape player was used to achieve it.

The interest continued in 1970s too…
Disco was one of the biggest genres of this time, which was probably the first wave of electronic music. In the 1970s, EDM underwent a significant advancement with the formation of something known as the Mini Moog. During late 1970s, it was the time for the next phase in EDM. In Detroit, Michigan, EDM was taken to the next level by Frankie Knuckles, who played his music with two techniques – disc spinners and a mixer, at various venues.

The 1980s – The Experimental Era
1980s was the period of experimental, flourished EDM. With the development of Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI), it made great advances, which lead to the ability of creating a wide variety of sounds. It was the time when computers and low-cost synthesizers were developed. Electro, House and Techno gained huge popularity in this decade.

The 1990s – The Craze for Computers
In 1990s, different forms of EDM gained tremendous popularity. Clubs and festivals of that era played everything from hip-hop to techno. Down-tempo and longue music gained great popularity. It was the same time when DJs rose to the status of celebrities.

The 21st century witnessed rampant advancement in technology, which has made it possible for artists and musicians to produce and share the most of EDM than ever before. No wonder, EDM has become the most dominate genre of music heard today! Trans, longue, and house music are some of the popular sub-genres of today.

The buzzword ‘EDM’ was first coined in the year 2010 by the American music industry and music press for describing the increasing wave of commercial US electronic dance music scene. Dance music has really taken over the commercial music in fury and almost all crowd-friendly, big name artists from David Guetta to Lady Gaga incorporate the electronic elements to add an X-factor to their own compositions.

However, this is only the beginning of Electronic Dance Music era and it is definitely here to stay. There could be hundreds of fusions and genres of electronic music, which are still to be discovered. Electronic Dance Music can be thus, said to set the template for future musicians.