Electronic dance music (EDM) is something that the western civilisation, the United States and United Kingdom, brought to light in the 1970s. It was much before that time that scientists began to experiment with synthesisers music, approximately in the 1950s, compromising traditional music of the instruments and their sounds. It was only in the late 1970s that the sound systems and synthesisers became available to the public and also affordable. This is how the electronic dance music that the clubbing industry knows actually became available to buddy musicians, and was born.

However, before the prominent birth of EDM, the French had dance clubs referred to as discotheques, even before World War Two. The music played in the discotheques was usually that of jazz and swing. But when Nazi Germany invaded France during World War Two the discotheques did not continue as a lot of music genres were banned and/or outlawed. After the war ended, the discotheques returned but in much lesser quantity. Very shortly after, the United States started to adopt the discotheques; large cities, especially New York, made the discotheques something of an upper class feature. With expensive entry fees, where only the wealthy were to be given access, discotheques became an amenity exclusive to the upper classes and the elite.

In the late sixties, Sybil Burton, ex-wife to actor Richard Burton, used her divorce settlement to open her own club. Her aim was to create an alternative from the discotheques where money did not determine a person’s entry, but instead it was the fashion and general vibe of a person that would determine their acceptance, without requiring masses of money. This is when the youth of the world took the dance music and clubbing scene under their wing and adopted it right to the present day.

From then on it was the youth that carried EDM and the clubbing industry to the present day, and the fashion and vibe that the youth have carried has always corresponded to the type of dance music and clubbing scene of the time.

It was in the middle-to-late 70s that dance music really started to change and resemble something very similar to what it is today. House music became very much apparent in EDM, the tag ‘house’ coming from the warehouse parties that would feature house music and from there acid house came into its own genre. What made house music so successful is that DJs would literally play house music for 10-15 hours at a time, with its loud, pulsating, energetic beats able to keep people dancing all night long, literally.

In the mid-to-late 1980s another EDM genre became prominent, it was now the turn of techno music. Techno is believed to have been created in the state of Detroit in the USA. There are many different styles of techno in this present day but it is believed that true techno came from Detroit. Techno’s foundation lies in African American music with futuristic and fictional themes that represent life in an American capitalist society. Techno music would usually feature repetitive instrumental music, without breakdowns and with minimal vocals.

The next big movement in the clubbing music scene was that of drum and bass, often referred to as D&B, also known as Jungle. D&B came about in England in the early 1990s. The creation of D&B comes a few years before its true birth. In the late 1980s to the early 1990s a new genre started to emerge. This new genre, referred to as ‘rave’ music adhered to the public’s want for stronger bass lines and faster tempos. As this new sub-genre started to develop it took a lot of inspiration from bass lines and sampled from older Jamaican music and was then referred to as ‘jungle techno’, and finally shortened to ‘jungle’. Jungle then became its own separate genre and evolved into what we now know as the Drum and Bass music genre.

From Drum and Bass came Dubstep, electronic dance music that originated from South London, England in the late 1990s and draws its lineage from various different genres such as D&B, garage and reggae. Similar to its predecessor D&B, the origins of Dubstep can be tracked back to the Jamaican party scene in the 1980s. Dubstep can be described as overwhelming, powerful bass lines, reverberant drum patterns and occasional, but repetitive vocals. Dubstep is still very much alive in the London, especially East London, clubbing scene and it still has a prominent influence towards the general UK clubbing scene.

Interestingly enough, the current clubbing scene does include nearly all major dance music developments throughout history.D&B and Dubstep are still very much alive and attract millions of people around the world. The UK is currently seeing the return of the House music genre, with deep bass lines and pulsating rhythms meaning that DJs can play sets for hours upon hours and keep the excitement and vibe of a club going all night.

It is almost inevitable that all of these electronic dance music genres will keep coming back throughout time, but it is also immanent that brand new sub-genres will develop into their own genres of EDM in the future and new dance music scenes will emerge.

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