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One of the older and more popular genres, house music is known for having a massive influence on popular music. House can be traced back to disco, where it's said to have evolved, or derived from. This Chicago-born style of electronic music can be used in many settings, but is most popular in nightclubs and similar dance related venues.
As is the case with many (perhaps most) forms of electronic music, the style, sound and structure can vary greatly from sub-genre to sub-genre. And since the early 1990s, house's number of sub-genres continues to grow and develop, further increasing the amount it can vary.
When house first became popular, it could have been compared to disco, techno and the later synthpop, having many of the same qualities. One of its main differences from disco was how they used bass lines. House music would generally try to stay within a single octave, where disco would use several notes on different octaves, giving disco bass lines more variance. But today, with its popularity, growth and ever expanding plethora of sub-genres, it can vary as much as (or more than) any genre.
Sounds and influences from other genres like blues, funk and jazz would quite commonly make the structure of the bass lines and percussion. House (in general terms) would be in 4/4 time, having a kick drum on every quarter note and off beat hi-hat hits on the eighth notes throughout the song. Snare hits would be placed on the 2nd and 4th quarter notes, respectively.
While house is generally made for dancing, it's not as fast-paced as some other forms of dance music, like trance, hardcore or drum and bass. This is especially true in the earlier years of house, where it was at its slowest tempo.
House music became popular in the United States around 1984. In the later years of the 1980s, it would grow to encompass Europe as well, influencing house based releases of music from popular mainstream artists. Starting from the early 1990s, its reach would expand further, growing to worldwide popularity and further influencing other types of music.
August 10th 2005 was to be named "House Unity Day" by the Mayor of Chicago, where house is accepted to have been born. This day celebrated the founding of the first Chicago-based house record label, 21 years beforehand. This 21st anniversary also celebrated what is believed to be the original creators of house music.
As for where the term "house" came from, isn't known for sure, but it's typically accepted that "The Warehouse," a Chicago-based nightclub, one of the first places to feature house, is where it originated from. Others think that the term came from the fact that many DJs would make the music in their house, while others believe it's due to the use of the term in tracks, with the same sound as house.
Average Beats Per Minute: 110-130
Where It Originated: United States (Specifically, Chicago, Illinois)
Stylistically Similar To: Disco, Funk, Synthpop
Year Developed: Early 1980s
Below is an incomplete list of the many sub-genres that make up house (in alphabetical order). You are on the "General House" page right now, clicking it will return you here.
General House - Back to the overview of house.
Acid House - One of the most influential genres for house music.
Balearic Beat - Mixing several styles of music, a slower, unique type of music.
Chicago House - House music that is produced in Chicago. As simple as that.
Deep House - A bit slower and more complex than general houses... I mean, house.
Electroclash - A clash of several different genres form the life of this music.
Electro House - Fusion genre of electroclash and tech house, but harder than both.
Electro Swing - A pretty new genre, fusing styles from swing and modern house music.
French House Music - House music that is produced by French artists, naturally.
Ghetto House - Minimalistic in nature, using simple drum patterns and dirty lyrics.
Hip House - A fusion genre of hip-hop and house music. Get with the beat!
Italo House - House music from Italy, incorporating some nice piano action!
Microhouse - A stripped down version of house music, with a taste of glitch.
New Beat - A term used to describe all of the new sounds of house music.
Progressive House - Progressing house music to the next level. Go, Experimentalists!
Tech House - Which do you like, techno or house? Now you can like both at once!
Tribal House - In the mood for some tribal music? Get your hands ready and come on!
You are at house music.
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