Electronic dance music (EDM) is electronic music produced primarily for the purposes of use within a nightclub setting, or in an environment that is centered in dance-based entertainment. The music is largely created for use by disc jockeys and is produced with the intention of it being heard in the context of a continuous DJ set; wherein the DJ progresses from one record to the next via a synchronized segue or "mix".
The term emerged in America in the late 1990s and describes a set of percussive music genres that largely stem from the production methods of disco music, techno music, house music, and trance music. Such music was popularized via regional nightclub scenes in the 1980s, the warehouse party scene of the late 1980s, and the early rave scene of the acid house movement in the late 1980s. However, even in the later half of the 1970s the Disco music dance scene began to shift away from its traditional orchestration (acoustic orchestras) on its recordings. By 1977 producer Giorgio Moroder worked with Donna Summer to release I Feel Love. The song was a dance/discothèque hit, that was made using synthesizers and drum machines. They would later collaborate and release the Donna Summer's Bad Girls Album in which tracks like Sunset People used similar techniques during production. This sound would wind up being the norm for Disco in the late 1970s through to the 1980s. By the mid 1990s, the presence of electronic dance music in contemporary culture was noted widely and its role in society began to be explored in published historical, cultural and social science academic studies. It was originally constructed by means of electronic instruments such as synthesizers, drum machines and sequencers, and generally emphasizes the unique sounds of those instruments, even when mimicking traditional acoustic instrumentation. Currently the music is now mostly made using software that contains sequencing sampling and synthesizers, as well as effect abilities all in one. Now the ability to produce and create has become much easier economically and physically since producers no longer need to buy large amounts of equipment. It sometimes encompasses music not primarily meant for dancing, but derived from the dance-oriented styles.
Since around the mid 1970s, dance music has enjoyed popularity in many nightclubs, and is the predominant type of music played in discothèques as well as the rave scene in the late 1980s. As such, the related term club music, while broadly referring to whichever music genres are currently in vogue and associated with nightclubs, has become synonymous with all electronic dance music, or just those genres—or some subset thereof—that are typically played at mainstream discothèques. It is sometimes used more broadly to encompass non-electronic music played at such venues, or electronic music that is not normally played at clubs but that shares attributes with music that is. What is widely considered to be club music changes over time, includes different genres depending on the region and who's making the reference, and may not always encompass electronic dance music. Similarly, electronic dance music sometimes means different things to different people. Both terms vaguely encompass multiple genres, and sometimes are used as if they were genres themselves. The distinction is that club music is ultimately based on what's popular, whereas electronic dance music is based on attributes of the music itself.
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