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Electronic dance music (also called EDM) is a type of electronic music primarily created for the sake of... dancing. Yes, dance clubs and parties will feature EDM in most cases, giving the people something to jump and bounce to. EDM is really more of a culmination of other dance based music genres, like trance, techno, house and disco. In that sense, it's more a term than a genre.
In general, EDM will obviously be quite upbeat and danceable, featuring fast tempos and steady rhythm. Since the genre's music is more based on the structure of the percussion and bass, it's hard to put a direct sound to it.
It will generally have a bass drum kick on every fourth note, and a snare or clap on the 2nd and 4th note, respectively. An open hi-hat or ride cymbal may be (and usually is) placed in between the drum kick and snare or clap. This structure can also be known as "four-on-the-floor."
The different effects or sounds (even noises) can be different from one style of EDM to the next. This is due to the fact that it's based on the previously mentioned structure, first and foremost.
The term for this music sprung up in the late 1990s to describe a certain style of percussion and production structure. EDM was first marketed as "electronica music" in the mid-1990s without very much mainstream success. The term originated in America, but was more popular in other parts of the world, like the United Kingdom, where many popular EDM artists developed.
As of very recent developments (2011-2012), EDM has exploded. It's now reached an elite level of mainstream success. Events drawing tens of thousands of people are now apparent. DJs are quite happy about this, obviously, as they are the center point of these events, in most cases.
Average Beats Per Minute: 140-150
Where It Originated: America
Stylistically Similar To: Techno, House, Trance
Year Developed: Late 1990s
General Electronica - Back to the overview of electronica.
Berlin School - Ambient in sound and highly experimental music.
Chillwave - One of the newer genres, having many influences.
Electronic Dance Music - Jump with that pounding rhythm!
Electrofolk - Blending old-school folk music with more modern electronic music.
You are at electronic dance music.