House Music: The Ultimate Guide to the Genre


House Music: The Ultimate Guide to the Genre

House music is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in Chicago in the early 1980s. It is characterized by a four-on-the-floor beat, repetitive bass lines, synthesizer melodies, and vocals that are often sampled from other sources or sung by guest artists.

House music has influenced many other genres of music, such as techno, trance, disco, pop, and hip hop. It has also spawned many subgenres, such as deep house, progressive house, electro house, and tropical house.

In this article, we will explore the history, characteristics, and examples of house music, and give you some tips on how to enjoy it.

The History of House Music

House music emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s in Chicago, where DJs and producers experimented with mixing disco, funk, soul, and R&B records with drum machines and synthesizers. The term “house” comes from the Warehouse, a nightclub where DJ Frankie Knuckles played his mixes to a predominantly black and gay crowd.

Some of the pioneers of house music include Frankie Knuckles, Marshall Jefferson, Larry Heard, Jesse Saunders, Steve “Silk” Hurley, Farley “Jackmaster” Funk, and Chip E. They created some of the first house tracks, such as “Your Love”, “Move Your Body”, “Can You Feel It”, “On and On”, “Jack Your Body”, “Love Can’t Turn Around”, and “Time to Jack”.

House music spread to other cities in the US, such as New York, Detroit, and Los Angeles, where it developed different styles and influences. It also crossed the Atlantic to Europe, especially the UK, where it became popular in clubs and raves. House music also reached other parts of the world, such as South Africa, Brazil, Japan, and Australia.

The Characteristics of House Music


The History of House Music

House music has some distinctive features that make it recognizable and appealing. Here are some of them:

  • The beat: House music typically has a four-on-the-floor rhythm pattern, which means that the bass drum hits on every beat of the measure. This creates a steady and danceable groove that drives the music forward.
  • The bass line: House music often features a prominent and repetitive bass line that provides the harmonic foundation and adds energy and groove to the track. The bass line can be played by a synthesizer, a sampled bass guitar, or a combination of both.
  • The melody: House music usually has a simple and catchy melody that is played by a synthesizer or a piano. The melody can be either instrumental or vocal, depending on the style and mood of the track.
  • The vocals: House music can have vocals that are either sung by a guest singer or sampled from other sources, such as disco records, soul classics, or speeches. The vocals can be either full verses and choruses or short phrases and hooks that are repeated throughout the track.
  • The effects: House music often uses various effects to enhance the sound and create variation and interest. Some of the common effects are reverb, delay, chorus, flanger, phaser, filter, distortion, and compression.

The Examples of House Music


The Characteristics of House Music

House music has a rich and diverse history that spans over four decades. There are many subgenres and styles of house music that cater to different tastes and preferences. Here are some of the most popular ones: