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Music & Culture

The Electric Rise of Techno Music

German electro-pop and American house music gave rise to techno, a style of electronic dance music, in the 1970s and 1980s. Since then, it has served as an inspiration for various types of electronic music, including dubstep and EDM.

The late 1980s and early 1990s saw the emergence of techno music, a genre of electronic dance music. Techno is a type of dance music that uses electronic instruments as opposed to other dance music genres that use live instruments, like disco and early R&B. These include drum machines like the Roland TR-808 and synthesizers like the Roland TB-303. German electro-pop bands like Kraftwerk are where techno got its start, but the genre really took off in American areas like New York, Detroit, and Chicago. Techno in America incorporated elements of synth-pop, electro, and house music, especially Chicago house.

Techno and certain electro-disco and European synthpop creations are also dependent on artificial dance rhythms, however, these parallels are debatable. To further explore the past in search of earlier precedents, one must return to Raymond Scott’s sequenced electronic music, whose compositions “The Rhythm Modulator,” “The Bass-Line Generator,” and “IBM Probe” are regarded as early instances of music with techno-like characteristics.

As computer technology and music software improved in the mid-to-late1990s, it became feasible to engage with music production technology using techniques that had nothing in common with conventional musical performance techniques, such as laptop performance and live coding. A variety of software-based virtual studio settings had developed by the middle of the 2000s, with programs like Propellerhead’s Reason and Ableton Live garnering widespread appeal. Additionally, at this time, the first software versions of venerable gadgets that were previously only available in the hardware realm were made available.

Due to ongoing advancements in microprocessor technology, it became feasible to produce high-quality music using nothing more than a single laptop computer. These software-based music production tools offered practical and affordable alternatives to conventional hardware-based production studios. Artists may readily customize their production sound by designing unique software synthesizers, effects modules, and different composition settings by using highly flexible software tools.