A Comprehensive Guide To Genres Of House Music | Origins, Classic, Subgenres, Fusion, Underground, Commercial, Regional

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Explore the diverse world of house music with its , styles, subgenres, fusion genres, underground variations, commercial hits, and regional variations like Chicago House, Acid House, and Progressive House.

Origins of House Music

House music has its roots deeply embedded in the vibrant music scenes of Chicago, New York, and Detroit. Each city played a significant role in shaping the sound and culture of this genre, giving rise to unique subgenres that continue to captivate listeners around the world.

Chicago House

Chicago is widely regarded as the birthplace of house music, where it first emerged in the early 1980s. It was a response to the cultural and social changes happening in the city, particularly in the marginalized LGBTQ+ and African American communities. DJs like Frankie Knuckles and Ron Hardy pioneered the Chicago house sound by blending disco, funk, and electronic elements.

Chicago house music is characterized by its infectious beats, soulful vocals, and energetic rhythms. It became a form of expression and escape for many, providing a safe space where people could come together and celebrate through the power of music. The Warehouse, a nightclub in Chicago, played a pivotal role in popularizing the genre, hence the name “house music.”

New York Garage

While Chicago was shaping the sound of house music, New York City was busy cultivating its own unique style known as “garage.” Inspired by the legendary Paradise Garage nightclub, DJs such as Larry Levan and Frankie Knuckles (who also played a significant role in Chicago house) pioneered this subgenre.

New York garage music drew influences from disco, soul, and funk, but added a raw and gritty edge. It was characterized by its deep basslines, soulful vocals, and uplifting melodies. The Paradise Garage became a legendary venue, known for its inclusive atmosphere and cutting-edge music, where people from all walks of life came together to dance and connect.

Detroit Techno

Detroit, often associated with the birth of Motown and techno music, also played a crucial role in the evolution of house music. In the mid-1980s, a group of young musicians and producers, including Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson, pioneered a genre called “Detroit techno.”

Detroit techno blended elements of Chicago house, funk, and European electronic music to create a futuristic and experimental sound. It featured innovative use of synthesizers, drum machines, and futuristic themes. The Belleville Three, as they were known, laid the foundation for the global techno movement, influencing countless artists and shaping the direction of electronic music.

Classic House Music

Classic House Music is the foundation of the entire genre and has influenced countless subgenres and styles since its inception. From the energetic and hypnotic rhythms of Acid House to the soulful and emotive sounds of Deep House, Classic House Music is a diverse and vibrant genre that continues to captivate audiences worldwide.

Acid House

Acid House emerged in the 1980s, primarily in Chicago and later in the United Kingdom. It is characterized by its distinctive use of the Roland TB-303 bass synthesizer, which produces a unique squelching sound known as the “acid” sound. This subgenre is often associated with a raw and energetic vibe, featuring fast-paced beats, repetitive basslines, and hypnotic melodies.

Acid House gained popularity through its underground club scene, where DJs would mix and manipulate tracks in real-time, creating a seamless flow of music that kept the dance floor moving. The genre’s infectious energy and futuristic sound quickly spread across the globe, shaping the direction of electronic music for years to come.

Deep House

Deep House, on the other hand, takes a more introspective and soulful approach to House music. It is characterized by its laid-back and atmospheric sound, featuring smooth and melodic basslines, soulful vocals, and intricate percussion patterns. Deep House often incorporates elements of jazz, funk, and soul, creating a rich and textured sonic experience.

The genre emerged in the late 1980s, drawing inspiration from Chicago House and New York Garage. It gained popularity in clubs and underground venues, where its mellow and groovy sound provided a perfect backdrop for more intimate and introspective dance experiences. Deep House has since become a staple in the electronic music scene, known for its ability to evoke emotions and create a transcendent atmosphere on the dance floor.

Garage House

Garage House, also known as New York Garage, is another influential subgenre of Classic House Music. It originated in the early 1980s in New York City, with DJs like Larry Levan and Frankie Knuckles leading the way. Garage House combines elements of Disco, Soul, and R&B, creating a sound that is both soulful and danceable.

The name “Garage House” refers to the genre’s roots in the underground club scene, where DJs would often play their music in garages to avoid the strict licensing laws. The genre is characterized by its infectious basslines, uplifting melodies, and soulful vocals. Garage House provided a refreshing alternative to the more raw and energetic sound of Acid House, offering a more melodic and accessible form of House music.

Subgenres of House Music

House music has evolved over the years, giving rise to various subgenres that have their own unique sound and characteristics. In this section, we will explore three popular subgenres of : Progressive House, Tech House, and Electro House.

Progressive House

Progressive House is a subgenre of house music that emerged in the 1990s. It is characterized by its melodic and atmospheric sound, often featuring long build-ups and epic breakdowns. Progressive House takes the listener on a journey, gradually building intensity and energy throughout the track.

One of the pioneers of Progressive House is the Swedish DJ and producer Eric Prydz, who gained international recognition with his track “Call on Me.” Other notable artists in this subgenre include Deadmau5, Sasha, and John Digweed.

Progressive House is known for its complex layering of synths, creating a rich and immersive sound. The genre incorporates elements from other genres such as trance and techno, resulting in a fusion of styles that appeals to a wide audience.

Key characteristics of Progressive House include:

  • Melodic and atmospheric sound
  • Long build-ups and epic breakdowns
  • Complex layering of synths
  • Fusion of styles from other genres

Tech House

Tech House is a subgenre of house music that combines elements of techno and house. It is characterized by its groove-driven beats, minimalistic sound, and use of technological and futuristic sounds. Tech House is often associated with underground clubs and the late-night party scene.

The genre emerged in the 1990s and gained popularity in the early 2000s. It is known for its infectious rhythms and hypnotic basslines, which create a compelling and energetic vibe on the dancefloor. Tech House tracks often feature repetitive loops and samples, creating a sense of continuity and momentum.

Artists such as Carl Cox, Green Velvet, and Jamie Jones are known for their contributions to the Tech House genre. Their tracks incorporate elements of both techno and house, blurring the lines between the two genres.

Key characteristics of Tech House include:

  • Groove-driven beats
  • Minimalistic sound
  • Technological and futuristic sounds
  • Infectious rhythms and hypnotic basslines

Electro House

Electro House is a subgenre of house music that emerged in the early 2000s. It is characterized by its heavy use of electronic sounds, aggressive basslines, and energetic drops. Electro House tracks are often played at festivals and big-room venues, creating a high-energy and euphoric atmosphere.

The genre draws influences from various electronic music styles, including techno, trance, and electroclash. It is known for its catchy melodies, powerful synths, and pounding beats. Electro House is popular among DJs and producers who aim to create an intense and energetic experience for the audience.

Notable artists in the Electro House genre include David Guetta, Martin Garrix, and Zedd. Their tracks have topped charts and dominated dancefloors around the world, showcasing the widespread appeal of Electro House.

Key characteristics of Electro House include:

  • Heavy use of electronic sounds
  • Aggressive basslines
  • Energetic drops
  • Catchy melodies and powerful synths

Fusion Genres

Fusion genres in have emerged as a result of the blending of different cultural and musical influences. These subgenres combine elements from various genres to create unique and exciting sounds. In this section, we will explore three fusion genres of : Afro House, Latin House, and Tribal House.

Afro House

Afro House is a vibrant and rhythmic subgenre that draws inspiration from African music traditions. It incorporates elements of traditional African percussion, tribal chants, and melodic patterns. The driving force behind Afro House is the infectious beat that is deeply rooted in African rhythms. Artists and producers in this genre often infuse their tracks with soulful vocals, creating a captivating and uplifting atmosphere.

One distinguishing feature of Afro House is the use of intricate drum patterns, which provide a rich and energetic foundation for the music. These rhythms are often created using a combination of traditional African drums, electronic drum machines, and synthesizers. The result is a dynamic and pulsating sound that is perfect for both the dance floor and casual listening.

Afro House has gained popularity worldwide, with artists such as Black Coffee, Osunlade, and Boddhi Satva leading the way. Their music has not only brought African sounds to the forefront but has also served as a bridge between different cultures, fostering a sense of unity and celebration.

Latin House

Latin House is another fusion genre that combines the infectious rhythms of Latin American music with the electronic beats of house music. This subgenre incorporates elements of salsa, merengue, samba, and other Latin styles, creating a lively and energetic sound that is impossible to resist.

One of the defining characteristics of Latin House is the use of Latin percussion instruments, such as congas, bongos, and timbales. These instruments add a distinctive flavor to the music, infusing it with the passion and vibrancy of Latin American culture. Latin House tracks often feature catchy melodies, uplifting vocals, and irresistible grooves that make it impossible to stay still.

Artists like Erick Morillo, DJ Gregory, and Bob Sinclar have played a significant role in popularizing Latin House. Their infectious tracks have brought the spirit of Latin American dance floors to clubs and festivals around the world, creating a sense of joy and celebration wherever they are played.

Tribal House

Tribal House is a genre that takes inspiration from the tribal rhythms and sounds of indigenous cultures. It combines elements of traditional percussion instruments, chants, and tribal melodies with modern electronic production techniques. The result is a powerful and hypnotic sound that captivates listeners and takes them on a journey through different landscapes and cultures.

In Tribal House, the rhythm is king. Artists and producers in this genre focus on creating intricate and complex drum patterns that drive the music forward. These rhythms are often layered with deep basslines, atmospheric textures, and tribal vocals, creating a mesmerizing and immersive listening experience.

Tribal House has a unique ability to transport listeners to different places and evoke a sense of connection with nature and ancient traditions. It is a genre that celebrates diversity and pays homage to the rich cultural heritage of indigenous communities around the world.

Artists such as DJ Chus, D-Formation, and Behrouz have made significant contributions to the development and popularity of Tribal House. Their tracks have become anthems in the underground scene and have garnered a dedicated following of music lovers who appreciate the raw energy and spiritual essence of this genre.


Fusion Genres
Afro House
Latin House
Tribal House

Underground House Genres

When it comes to underground house music, there are several distinctive genres that have emerged over the years. Each genre has its own unique sound and style, attracting a dedicated following of fans who appreciate the deeper, more experimental side of house music. In this section, we will explore three underground house genres: Minimal House, Dub House, and Soulful House.

Minimal House

Minimal House is a genre of underground house music that is characterized by its stripped-down, simplistic approach. It focuses on the essence of the music, using minimal elements and repetitive beats to create a hypnotic and mesmerizing experience for the listener. Unlike other genres of house music that may incorporate various layers of instrumentation, Minimal House relies on the power of simplicity.

In Minimal House, the emphasis is on the rhythm and groove rather than complex melodies or vocals. The tracks often feature a steady, pulsating bassline accompanied by sparse percussion and subtle atmospheric sounds. The simplicity of the music allows the listener to dive deep into the hypnotic patterns and lose themselves in the rhythm.

Minimal House originated in the early 1990s, with artists like Richie Hawtin and Robert Hood leading the way. These pioneers of the genre experimented with minimalism, pushing the boundaries of what could be achieved with a limited number of elements. Over time, Minimal House has evolved and branched out into various sub-genres, each with its own unique take on the minimalist aesthetic.

Dub House

Dub House is another underground genre that draws inspiration from Jamaican dub music and combines it with the rhythmic elements of house music. It is characterized by its heavy use of dub effects, such as echo, reverb, and delay, which give the tracks a spacious and atmospheric quality. Dub House creates a sense of depth and space, immersing the listener in a sonic journey.

In Dub House, the focus is on creating a hypnotic and meditative atmosphere. The tracks often feature deep basslines, melodic chords, and intricate percussion, all drenched in dub effects. The use of these effects adds a sense of mystery and intrigue to the music, elevating it to a transcendental experience.

Dub House emerged in the late 1990s and has since gained a dedicated following of fans who appreciate its unique blend of dub and house music. Artists like Basic Channel and Deepchord have been instrumental in shaping the genre and pushing its boundaries.

Soulful House

Soulful House is a genre of underground house music that is characterized by its emphasis on soulful vocals, uplifting melodies, and positive lyrics. It combines the energy and rhythm of house music with the soulful and emotive qualities of soul and R&B. Soulful House is all about creating a feel-good vibe and connecting with the listener on a deeper emotional level.

In Soulful House, the vocals take center stage. They are often performed by talented singers who infuse the tracks with their soulful and passionate delivery. The melodies are uplifting and catchy, creating an infectious groove that is hard to resist. The lyrics often convey positive messages of love, unity, and self-empowerment, adding an extra layer of depth to the music.

Soulful House originated in the 1980s, drawing inspiration from disco, funk, and soul. Artists like Masters at Work and Kerri Chandler played a significant role in shaping the genre and introducing it to a wider audience. Today, Soulful House continues to thrive, with a dedicated community of DJs, producers, and fans who appreciate its uplifting and soulful sound.

  • Are you ready to dive into the hypnotic rhythms of Minimal House?
  • Can you imagine yourself getting lost in the atmospheric sounds of Dub House?
  • Do you crave the uplifting and soulful vibes of Soulful House?

No matter which genre resonates with you the most, the underground house music scene has something special to offer. So let the beats guide you and immerse yourself in the world of underground house music.

Commercial House Genres

Commercial House Genres are a vibrant and energetic subset of the larger House Music genre. These genres are known for their catchy beats, infectious melodies, and wide appeal to mainstream audiences. In this section, we will explore three popular commercial house genres: Pop House, EDM House, and Future House.

Pop House

Pop House is a fusion of house music and pop music elements. It combines the groovy beats and infectious rhythms of house music with the catchy hooks and melodic structures of pop music. Pop House tracks often feature uplifting lyrics and vocals, making them perfect for radio play and commercial success.

One of the pioneers of Pop House is Swedish DJ and producer Avicii, who achieved worldwide fame with his hit songs like “Wake Me Up” and “Levels.” These tracks seamlessly blend house music elements with pop sensibilities, creating a sound that resonates with a wide audience.

Pop House tracks typically have a strong emphasis on melodic hooks and memorable choruses. They often feature collaborations with popular singers and songwriters from the pop music world. This crossover appeal has led to the commercial success of many Pop House tracks, with artists like Calvin Harris, Zedd, and Martin Garrix dominating the charts.

  • Key characteristics of Pop House:
  • Catchy hooks and melodies
  • Uplifting lyrics and vocals
  • Collaborations with pop music artists
  • Commercial success and radio-friendly sound

EDM House

EDM House, also known as Electronic Dance Music House, is a genre that emerged from the electronic dance music (EDM) movement. It is characterized by its high-energy beats, pulsating basslines, and intense drops. EDM House tracks are designed to create a euphoric and energetic atmosphere on the dancefloor.

EDM House has its roots in the rave culture of the 1990s, where DJs and producers started experimenting with electronic sounds and incorporating them into traditional house music. This fusion of electronic elements with house music gave birth to a new and exciting genre that quickly gained popularity.

Artists like David Guetta, Tiesto, and Swedish House Mafia are considered pioneers of EDM House. Their tracks, such as “Titanium,” “Adagio for Strings,” and “Don’t You Worry Child,” became anthems of the EDM movement and cemented the genre’s place in the mainstream.

EDM House tracks often feature elaborate production techniques, with complex layers of synths, samples, and effects. The genre embraces experimentation and pushes the boundaries of electronic music, resulting in a dynamic and exhilarating listening experience.

  • Key characteristics of EDM House:
  • High-energy beats and intense drops
  • Pulsating basslines and electronic elements
  • Anthems of the EDM movement
  • Elaborate production techniques and experimentation

Future House

Future House is a genre that blends elements of house music with futuristic sounds and production techniques. It is characterized by its deep, bass-heavy beats, infectious grooves, and futuristic synths. Future House tracks often have a unique and innovative sound that sets them apart from other commercial house genres.

The genre gained popularity in the early 2010s, with artists like Oliver Heldens and Tchami leading the way. Their tracks, such as “Gecko (Overdrive)” and “Promesses,” showcased the distinct sound of Future House and garnered widespread acclaim.

Future House tracks typically feature a blend of house music elements, such as four-on-the-floor beats and soulful vocal samples, with futuristic sounds and production techniques. The genre embraces a forward-thinking approach to music, constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible within the house music realm.

  • Key characteristics of Future House:
  • Deep, bass-heavy beats and infectious grooves
  • Futuristic synths and production techniques
  • Unique and innovative sound
  • Blending of house music elements with futuristic sounds

Regional House Genres

In the vast world of house music, there are numerous regional genres that have emerged, each with its own distinct style and cultural influences. These genres have played a significant role in shaping the evolution of house music and have garnered a dedicated following. In this section, we will explore three regional house genres: French House, UK Garage, and Brazilian House.

French House

French House is a genre that originated in France in the 1990s and gained international recognition for its unique blend of disco, funk, and house elements. It is characterized by its groovy basslines, funky guitar riffs, and the extensive use of samples from disco tracks of the 1970s and 1980s. French House artists often incorporate filtered effects and vocoders to create a distinct sound.

One of the pioneers of French House is Daft Punk, whose iconic tracks like “Around the World” and “Da Funk” propelled the genre into the mainstream. Other notable French House artists include Stardust, Cassius, and Bob Sinclar.

French House became synonymous with the French touch movement, which emphasized a more melodic and catchy approach to . The genre’s popularity spread beyond France, influencing artists and producers worldwide. Its infectious beats and nostalgic samples continue to captivate listeners, making French House a beloved subgenre of house music.

( French House Artists: )
– Daft Punk
– Stardust
– Cassius
– Bob Sinclar

UK Garage

UK Garage, also known as simply Garage, originated in the United Kingdom in the late 1990s. It is a genre that blends elements of house music with jungle, R&B, and hip hop influences. UK Garage is characterized by its syncopated beats, shuffled rhythms, and soulful vocals.

The genre gained widespread popularity in the UK, with artists like MJ Cole, Artful Dodger, and Craig David dominating the charts. UK Garage parties and clubs became cultural phenomena, attracting a diverse audience and creating a vibrant scene.

UK Garage eventually evolved into subgenres such as 2-step garage and bassline, which further pushed the boundaries of the genre. Today, UK Garage continues to thrive, with artists like Disclosure and Rudimental incorporating elements of the genre into their music.

( UK Garage Artists: )
– MJ Cole
– Artful Dodger
– Craig David
– Disclosure
– Rudimental

Brazilian House

Brazilian House is a genre that emerged in Brazil, blending traditional Brazilian rhythms with electronic music elements. It incorporates the vibrant sounds of samba, bossa nova, and other Latin American genres, infusing them with a modern twist. Brazilian House is known for its infectious energy, rhythmic complexity, and the use of percussion instruments.

Artists like DJ Marky, who pioneered the “Brazilian drum and bass” sound, have played a significant role in shaping the Brazilian House scene. Other notable Brazilian House artists include Gui Boratto, Alok, and Vintage Culture.

Brazilian House has gained international recognition, with festivals like Rock in Rio showcasing the genre’s unique fusion of electronic and Brazilian music. Its lively beats and infectious melodies have made Brazilian House a favorite among both Brazilian listeners and fans of house music worldwide.

( Brazilian House Artists: )
– DJ Marky
– Gui Boratto
– Alok
– Vintage Culture

In conclusion, regional house such as French House, UK Garage, and Brazilian House have contributed immensely to the diverse landscape of house music. Each genre brings its own unique style, incorporating cultural influences and pushing the boundaries of what house music can be. Whether it’s the disco-infused sounds of French House, the soulful rhythms of UK Garage, or the vibrant fusion of Brazilian House, these genres continue to captivate listeners and shape the ever-evolving world of house music.

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