The advent of house music is a genre-defining moment in the world of music. In a few years, they took over the world by storm and created a plethora of new artists. Thus, house music is integral to modern electronic music.
But with time, house music has taken a back seat to the changing world of music. Since it’s not as prominent as its past, you might ask, is house music dead?
House music isn’t dead! Although right now house music isn’t a genre of its own, it blended into a number of genres and subgenres of music. These genres include modern EDM, techno, rave, etc. House music is actually bigger than ever but in a very different way!
In this article, let’s go on a journey about the history of house music! From its advent to now, and see where it stands in the current world of music!
Is House Music Dying?
Understanding whether or not house music is dying can be approached through data analysis. Here’s a screenshot from Google Trends.
So, from the trends, we can see that house music is slowly losing its popularity. In five years the core term house music has dropped weekly search volume by 20-25 searches. However, that doesn’t paint the complete picture.
You see the other subgenres of House music have also gained somewhat popularity in this timeframe.
The answer to whether house music is dead or not can be a bit tricky to answer. If you’re looking at house music as a standalone category of music, house music is as dead as it gets. But, for something that made its way from the disco, it never dies!
House music has run its course as a standalone genre of music. Currently, there are very few DJs or musicians who specialize in house music only. But the core elements of house music have dispersed into multiple branches of music.
So, from that perspective, house music is stronger, bigger, and more global than ever. Thus, understanding house music is key. Once you understand how house music works, and how it changed over the years, you can make the judgment yourself!
What is Considered House Music?
House music is one of the oldest genres of electronic music. It’s also one of the most recognizable kinds of music out there. It’s comprised of the loud energetic grooves to jaw-dropping beats and some passionate vocals here and there!
To be more specific, house music maintains a steady beat of 110 to 130 beats per minute. Also, house music has a very distinct tempo on its own. This includes a four-by-four beat in a constant tempo.
The constant beat makes it suitable for dancing. At the same time, the regular slowed-down beats make it ideal for the perfect beat drop! That’s why even to this day House music is pretty popular in nightclubs.
Since house music made its way from disco, the influence is very visible. The loud beats and the high tempo all resonate with their roots based in disco.
To understand house music more let’s answer some common questions about this topic.
Is House Music EDM?
House music is basically one of the top subgenres of EDM. Even though house music is under the umbrella of EDM, there are a few differences. EDM is a bit more dynamic when it comes to effects and density. On the other hand, house music was made by and for the DJs. It’s a type of EDM that has longer transitions and therefore easy to mix.
Is House Music Techno?
House is basically a steady 110-130 bpm snares instead of 130-150 bpm of techno music. Basically, techno comes with every beat bass drum, clap or snare backbeat on the second or fourth beats. Lastly, it brings a hi-hat (open) on every sixteenth beat.
Is House Music Pop?
Lower-pitched bass is the signature of house music whereas pop music focuses on higher-pitched sounds. Moreover, pop music is nowadays more popular than house music or any other sub-genres of house music.
Types of House Music
As house music became mainstream, it got divided into multiple categories. The categories are mostly results of people experimenting with the genre and coming up with new content.
Let’s get to know all the subgenres of house music –
The first sub-genre of house music is the acid house. It became a regular name in the mid-1980s. It’s a mix of disco and 80s psychedelic tunes. The name acid comes from the psychedelic vibe and how it resonates with the stimulants along with it.
While it didn’t last very long, the psychedelic vibe of it has inspired a generation of other musicians. Albums like Pacific state by 808 State and I’ve lost control by Sleezy D are some of the most iconic acid house albums ever made.
This specific genre of music is inspired by its original roots, jazz, and disco! It’s house music incorporated with soulful, passionate beats from Africa. A lot of tribal and rural music is visible in the afro house as well.
Afro House has also played a huge role in the spread of African culture in the west. Iconic tracks like Groove La Afrika by Melé, and Mr Raoul K & Manoo feat. Ahmed Sosso is iconic to African culture!
Deep and Bass House
Deep bass and bass house are mostly cut from the same cloth. Bass house has a faster tempo and heavier bass. As a result, you get deeper sound and heavier beat drops. In this case, the sound is heavily distorted and often the lyrics are hard to understand.
While deep bass takes a similar bass-heavy approach on a different level. Most deep bass music has a BPM of 120 beats per minute. The bass here is heavy, but the rhythm is slower and more soulful.
There’s also a lot of jazz and funk influence in deep house. And, if you’re wondering what happened to depe house, it’s currently the most common subgenre of house music out there.
Latin house music has been one of the biggest types of house music for a long time. South America has always been one of the biggest consumers of house music over the years. With their vibrant culture mixing with the eccentricity of house music, they made something very unique of their own.
Latin house is mostly influenced by Brazilian music and salsa. It’s also popular in parts of the USA like Miami, where there is a Latin influence. And in terms of popularity, a number of Latin-based musicians and DJs have commendable influence over the world of house.
History of House Music
To understand the change of house music, we need to go through its history first. From its start to its current condition, house music went through a number of transitions. To help you understand better, we’ve divided our discussion based on decades.
So, here’s the history of house music, from the 80s till now-
The 1980s: The Beginning
House music first made its way into conventional music in the 80s. The emergence of house music is partially credited to the disco, black, and LGTBQ community of Chicago in the late 70s.
There’s a saying that “house music was created from the ashes of the disco”! But as disco started losing its name in the early 80s, DJs like Steve Dahl played a key role in the hate against disco.
As movements like the “Death Against Disco” became more popular, disco lost its position as one of the billboard toppers. And sooner than later, DJs had to come up with newer music for record labels and nightclubs.
Thus, DJs took the upbeat, high-tempo music from discos and turned it into something of their own. This gave birth to the underground revolution of house music. DJs like Frankie Knuckles and Ron Hardy are often considered the people who started house music.
A popular query around this is – why is house music called house?
Here’s the thing, the name “house music” comes from the term “warehouse music”. Frankie Knuckles was the resident DJ for a nightclub called The Warehouse. As his music grew popular, his music was associated with the name of his club.
Eventually, the name Warehouse got smaller and shortened to house music. And the DJ of The Warehouse, Frankie Knuckles getting the title of the “The Godfather of House”. However, house music found its feet during the mid-80s.
Back then, more and more up-and-coming DJs took inspiration from Frankie’s music. Thus, making house music mainstream in the nightclubs of Chicago. Even then, the biggest consumers were the black, Hispanic, and LGBTQ communities.
As house music made its way to the Billboard top charts, house music became more and more mainstream! The music spread to the borders of Chicago, and eventually the whole US!
The 90s House Music: Going Global
If the 80s were the time for house music to begin, the 90s is when it began to fly!
As house music became more popular, it started becoming more and more global. The genre started becoming more and more popular in the UK and all over Europe.
A number of clubs like Lakota and the Eclipse became synonymous with the genre. However, dance event venues were yet to be popular in the UK. So, most events were underground and illegal.
However, the late 90s and early 2000s were a great time for house music in general. The rise of musicians like Daft Punk, Bob Sinclair, Stardust was key to the rise of House Music and it becoming mainstream!
The 2000s: The Era of Change
The 2000s came into our lives as change. And house music saw some massive changes over the years as well. The biggest change includes the rise of new genres like deep house, techno, etc.
Chicago, being the frontrunner in the history of house music declared 10th August as “House Unity Day”. Also, house music saw huge commercial success over the years. As more and more musicians got into the mix, the house became synonymous with EDM.
House music legends such as Daft Punk and Fedde Le Grand and newcomers such as David Guetta, Zedd, etc. are some of the most popular names in this period. Also, since the market for house music was the most saturated in this period, it saw the most innovation too.
House music genres such as techno, rave, vocal house, etc. became prominent during this time. As a result, the music started branching into multiple sub-genres across different categories.
The 2010s and Onwards
As the diversification began in the 2000s, the world of house music took a leap of faith in the 2010s. It was an era of commercial success, a lot of experimentation, and trial and error. Also, DJs took to festivals and concerts a lot more than before.
The biggest hit of the early 2010s was the song “Don’t you Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia. Over the years, it has become the quintessential example of house music out there. Also, it was a great time for DJs like Ingrosso, Axwell, Skrillex, etc. each bringing new things to the table and trailblazing a path of their own.
However, the biggest name from that time in house music was Avicii. The Swedish DJ and songwriter is easily one of the biggest names in the history of electronic music. With multiple Billboard toppers and fan favorites, his short-lived career is one of the best out there!
House music from 2010 is easily some of the most iconic in the genre. If you’re one of the enthusiasts, getting your hands on their vinyl could be a good idea. Here are some of the most iconic tracks and their vinyl-
However, house music has come a long way from where it started. If you’re asking “is house music still popular”, it’s currently doing better than ever! However, the current brand of house music is much more diverse and very different from where it started!
Now that you know the evolution of house music concerts, you are officially ‘house music concert ready‘.
What Happened to House Music?
When it comes to music, change is the only constant. Most musicians have to constantly adapt and change their music to stay afloat. But, it’s important to understand what causes this change to happen.
There are a number of factors behind this change. These include-
The world of house music is divided. As house music spread across the world, different regions brought their own iterations of it. As a result, there are many distinct varieties of house music based in different parts of the world.
When house music first came into being, the music was mostly inspired by Chicago. It mostly consisted of high-tempo, upbeat beats, etc. But, in Detroit, house music had a flavor of its own. Also, genres such as acid house, techno, etc. mostly came from the UK and clubs of Europe.
Also, forms of house music like Latin House, Afro House, Ibiza House, etc. are mostly local music with a bit of house. And as the music was diverse and more and more genres got into it, it broke out of the mold of typical house music.
Another key issue in the history of house music is the aspect of commercialization. Record companies and executives have always been key in the journey of house music. Most recording companies focused more on making profits. Thus, they played a key role in determining the kind of music being released.
Thus, appealing to popular taste was important. As a result, a lot of DJs experimented with their music with popular beats and sounds from that time. The experimentation gave birth to a number of commercial hits as well as new sub-genres for the house.
Commercialization and experimentation almost go hand in hand. The rise of house music was from the nightclubs, thus competition and experiments are a key part of it. Most nightclubs had to come up with better music consistently to bring people in!
Thus, to attract new patrons, the DJs had to constantly experiment with their music. As the competition grew stiff, DJs started experimenting more and more with their music. Most popular DJs like Daft Punk became mainstream due to such experimentation.
This brings the obvious question- is house music hard to make?
Making house music difficult. If you’re new to this, it’ll take some time to get used to it. And even if you’re good at it, the difficulty depends on the quality of your sample. If the sample is bad, your skill won’t matter.
Music has always been a key driving factor for social changes, and house music is no different. To begin with, early house music was positive, upbeat and spread messages of positivity and happiness.
And people had different things to wear to house music concerts.
However, there were also undertones of protest and acceptance in the lyrics and sound. Since the key audience was the black, Hispanic, and LGBTQ communities, their struggles were portrayed in the initial music.
But as house music became more and more mainstream, it changed to appeal to a bigger crowd. Also, over the years, as people’s tastes changed, house music also changed accordingly. Thus, the current product is vastly different from what started in the 80s.
Summary: Is House Music Good?
So, now let’s ask the all-important question! Where does house music stand now compared to its past?
The answer can be a bit complicated. House music is still thriving and there’s still potential for a lot more. However, most DJs now specialize in a lot more than just house music. Thus, house music has been divided into multiple genres, sub-genres, etc.
However, the impact of house music on modern EDM is massive. And technically, it was house music that took EDM to its current hype!
Now that we’re done with the discussions, here are a few common questions regarding house music-
Is House Music Still Popular?
Absolutely! Although house music has changed a lot over the years, it’s still popular across the world. While DJs might not top Billboard charts like in the past, house music is still the heart of nightclubs and festivals!
Is House Music a Kind of EDM?
Yes, house music is under the umbrella of EDM. The term EDM refers to Electronic Dance Music. And house music is one of the most popular forms of EDM out there! Also, house music is what shaped up modern-day EDM!
Does Rave Culture Still Exist?
Yes! Rave culture refers to nightclubs and parties where people dance from dusk till dawn. While the hype has got down a lot, it’s still massive and nightclubs still host rave events regularly.
House music has played a vital role in the development of modern electronic music! Over the years, it became bigger than ever, and then got lost in the shuffle. In this article, we tried to answer the question, “is house music dead?” Once and for all!
We’ve discussed everything you need to know about house music. From its history to its gradual change over the years to help you find the answer. We hope you find this article helpful!