House Music: Defining its Own Genre

History Pop Culture

House music. Is this music you clean the house to? Perhaps a little hoovering? Or is it the sounds a house makes? Like the kettle boiling, the front door slamming, the thumping of feet climbing stairs. Nope - none of these? So what exactly is it? Let’s find out.

Macaque DJ T-Shirt

Rumour has it, this Macaque DJ started the genre

It all started in Chicago, where it was a genre of electronic dance music morphed by the hands of DJs in the 1980s. Because doesn’t the best music come from the 80s? This kind of music was described as similar to both disco and dance, but more streamlined. House as a genre is minimal, repetitive and often purely instrumental. It has a focus on basslines rather than lyrics.

Soulful Sloth

This Soulful Sloth is finding it difficult to sing along at Karaoke 

Popularity grew, and people started wondering where they could find the music they heard at ‘at the Warehouse’. Eventually, it shortened, and became known as just ‘House’.

Then, what started in the underground Chicago club scene, spread to major cities worldwide, such as our home city of London. As it entered the 90s, the genre really spiralled. Perhaps you have heard Germany’s Snap! With their ‘Rhythm is a Dancer’? Maybe Armand van Helden? Who later became part of Duck Sauce? Okay but you’ve definitely heard of Daft Punk.

Koala Break Dancer

Our Koala Break Dancer knows all of these artists (or so he claims)

In 2001, Bangalter, half of Daft Punk, described House music as having “gone from nothing to an underground [culture] to a subculture to a bigger culture, which is still alternative in some way, as compared to Europe where it’s like what hip-hop or R&B means in America—which is a great thing because for music, this is what we have been fighting for.”

1999 to 2010 saw House music grow even further, becoming a true global phenomenon when it established itself as a million dollar industry. The accessibility of the internet meant the music travelled across oceans. DJs could create music from their bedroom. Talent spurted up everywhere. The genre spread like wildfire. Diplo, Axwell and Deadmau5 hit the charts.

Raving Bat

If House Music is playing, this raving Pipistrelle bat will be there

House music came overground and established itself as a mix of great music from different genres whilst defining a genre in its own right. In today’s world, it has created sub-genres, such as deep house and tech house. And it remains as popular as ever.


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