House
Stylistic origins: Electro, Funk, Disco, Synthpop, R&B
Cultural origins: 1980s, New York, Chicago, United Kingdom
Typical instruments: Synthesizer - Drum machine - Sequencer - Keyboard - Sampler
Mainstream popularity: Large, especially late 1980s and early 1990s United Kingdom
Derivative forms: Rave - Nu jazz - Madchester
The History Of House Music




1.1 Proto-history: from disco to house: late 1960s to early 1980s

House, techno, electro and hip hop musicians owe their existence to the pioneers of analog synthesizers and sample based keyboards such as the Minimoog and Mellotron which enabled a wizardry of sounds to exist, available at the touch of a button or key.

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1.2 Chicago years: early 1980s - late 1980s
In 1983the Music Box club opened in Chicago. Owned by Robert Williams, the driving force was a DJ, Ron Hardy. The chief characteristics of the club's sound were sheer massive volume and an increased pace to the tunes. The pace was apparently the result of Hardy's heroin use. The club also played a wider range of music than just disco. Groups such as Kraftwerk and Blondie were well received, as was a brief flirtation with punk, dances like "Punking-Out" or "Jacking" being very popular.

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1.3 The Detroit Connection: early 1980s - late 1980s

A form of music was forming at the same time in Detroit, what became known as "Detroit Techno". Music heavily influenced by European Electronica (Kraftwerk, Art of Noise), early b-boy Hip Hop (Man Parrish, Soul Sonic Force) and Italo Disco (Doctor's Cat, Ris, Klein M.B.O.) this music was pioneered by Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson. The first group of songs to be rotated heavy in Chicago House music circles were the 1985's releases of "NO UFO's" by Juan Atkin's group Model 500 on Metroplex Records, Let's Go by Trans X-Ray (Derrick "MAYDAY" May") and "Groovin' without a Doubt" by Inner City (Kevin Saunderson) on KMS Records.

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1.4 The British connection: late 1980s - early 1990s

In Britain the growth of house can be divided around the "Summer of Love" in 1988. House had a presence in Britain almost as early as it appeared in Chicago; however there was a strong divide between the House music as part of the gay scene and "straight" music.

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1.5 Developments in the United States in late 1980s to early 1990s

Back in America the scene had still not progressed beyond a small number of clubs in Chicago and New York, Paradise Garage was still the top club, although they now had Todd Terry, his tune "Weekend" demonstrated a new House sound with hip-hop influences evident in the quicker sampling and the more rugged bass-line. While hip-hop had made it onto radio play-lists, the only other choices were Rock, Country & Western or R & B.

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1.6 After the "Summer of Love": early 1990s to mid 1990s

In Britain, further experiments in the genre boosted its appeal (and gave the opportunity for new names to be made up).

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1.7 Mid to late-1990s

Back in the US some artists were finding it difficult to gain recognition. Another import into Europe of not only a style but also the creator himself was Joey Beltram. From Brooklyn his "Energy Flash" had proved rather too much for American House enthusiasts and he need a move to find success.

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1.8 House in the new millennium

Dance music arguably hit its peak at the turn of the millennium, especially in the UK. A number of reasons are seen for its decline in mainstream popularity during the 2000s:

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1.9 House music today

As of 2003, a new generation of DJs and promoters, including James Zabiela and Mylo, were emerging, determined to kickstart a more underground scene and there were signs of a renaissance in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and other racially-mixed cities, as well as in Canada, Scandinavia, Scotland and Germany.

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