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Happy hardcore (sometimes simply called happycore) is one of the main sub-genres of hardcore music. It has many stylistic similarities to gabber (minus the general theme of the music, which is much different). It stemmed off from breakbeat hardcore, so many similarities will be shared with that genre as well.
One of the obviously defining aspects of this genre of music, is that it tends to have a happier feel, and gives a happier atmosphere, whereas most sub-genres of hardcore music tend to do the opposite. One such example is the genre created for happycore, to be its opposite, darkcore. A genre that was created for the sole purpose of bullying this genre.
The piano is commonly used is this music, generally sticking to the major musical scales, giving it a more specific sound. Synthetic stabs can be found throughout, either being created with the piano, or another synthesized effect. Some artists may incorporate more specific aspects, like ambient sounds, or futuristic, space-like qualities.
Happycore will almost always (if not always) be in the common 4/4 time signature, which means it will get 4 beats to the bar. But don't let that fool you. Just like 4-beat (a genre because it's in this time signature), even though it will typically have a bass drum on the fourth notes, it doesn't mean that it's void of breakbeats. They will be used more sparingly than in breakbeat, however.
This genre was created around the early 1990's, in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany when the house music-based rave scene started to include breakbeats into its music. The tempo also raised, giving birth to a new genre called jungle. This later formed another genre called drum and bass.
As stated earlier, this genre spawned from breakbeat hardcore during the early 1990s, and a little later, darkcore was created as a backlash against happycore.
When happycore was first created in the early 1990s, it was very popular, reaching mainstream status, and maintained that status through the 2000s, developing many new artists and record labels for this genre. But it's dimmed out a little bit as of recent developments, near the start of 2010.
Average Beats Per Minute: 160-180
Where It Originated: The United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Germany
Stylistically Similar To: Breakbeat Hardcore, Gabber, House
Year Developed: Early 1990s
General Hardcore - Back to the overview of hardcore.
4-Beat - Yes, it has four beats to the bar, along with other specifics.
Bouncy Techno - Deriving from gabber, while dawing influences from techno as well.
Breakbeat Hardcore - Hardcore breakbeats, influenced by techno and house music.
Darkcore - You won't be finding any happiness here.
Digital Hardcore - Fast, aggressive and full of attitude, these guys mean business.
Gabber - Be a Gabber for life and the Gabbers will welcome you with open beats.
Happy Hardcore - You won't be finding any darkness here.
Speedcore - It's fast, aggressive and angry. Perfectly fits into the hardcore puzzle.
UK Hardcore - Can you guess where this music comes from?
You are at happy hardcore.