House is a music genre characterized by a repetitive four-on-the-floor beat and a typical tempo of 120 beats per minute.
It is the oldest genre within electronic dance music and still one of its main pillars today. It is a direct descendant from disco music.
It was created by DJs and music producers from Chicago’s underground club culture in the late 1970s, as DJs began altering disco songs to give them a more mechanical beat.
Born in Chicago clubs that catered to gay, predominantly black and Latino patrons, house fused the symphonic sweep and soul diva vocals of 1970s disco with the cold futurism of synthesizer-driven Eurodisco.
Few cultural movements in music have a legacy as influential as house music. House music’s origins trace back to the underground clubs of Chicago and New York in the late 70s. Club culture spawned from the disco era was thriving, and DJs were experimenting with new ways of mixing their sets to keep people dancing. Early mixing and remixing techniques gave new life to dance music in the dying disco era. And a unique sound coined “house music” emerged in Chicago. The exact origins of the name are unclear, but many say house music was named after “The Warehouse” nightclub in Chicago’s South Side. Chicago record stores would attract fans of the emerging sound by labeling dance records “as played at The Warehouse,” which became shortened to “house music.”
The name “house” is believed to have been derived from the Warehouse club in Chicago. Frankie Knuckles – a man who was originally from New York but moved to Chicago in the late 1970s – was invited to play at Warehouse on a regular basis when the club opened in 1977. He was among the first to mix his own eclectic variety of genres and styles into a sound that people started referring to as house music, or music from the (Ware) house.
Acid house (or acid) first rose to prominence in Chicago in the mid-1980s. Sound-wise, it draws heavily from the squealing tones and deep basslines generated by the Roland TB-303 synthesizer. After its initial surge of popularity in the United States, it started gaining ground in the United Kingdom and Europe, bringing adifferent kind of house music to a global audience whilst also (slightly) influencing relatively newer genres such as trance music. ‘Acid Tracks’ by Phuture is often considered the first acid house record.
In Detroit during the early and mid-1980s, a new kind of electronic dance music began to emerge around Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson, known as the Belleville Three. The artists fused eclectic, futuristic sounds into a signature Detroit dance sound that was a main influence for the later techno genre. Their music included strong influences from Chicago house, although the term “house” played a less important role in Detroit than in Chicago, and the term “techno” was established instead. One of their most successful hits was a vocal house track named “Big Fun” by Inner City, a group produced by Kevin Saunderson, in 1988.
In 1990, Italo house group Black Box gained big hit “Everybody Everybody” on US Billboard Hot 100. In Britain, further experiments in the genre boosted its appeal. House and rave clubs such as Lakota and Cream emerged across Britain, hosting house and dance scene events.
At least three styles of dancing are associated with house music: Jacking, Footwork, and Lofting. These styles include a variety of techniques and sub-styles, including skating, stomping, Vosho, Pouting Cat and shuffle steps (also see Melbourne Shuffle). House music dancing styles can include movements from many other forms of dance, such as waacking, voguing, African, Latin (including Capoeira), jazz dance, Lindy Hop, tap dance, and even modern dance. House dancing is associated with a complete freedom of expression.
One of the primary elements in house dancing is “the jack” or “jacking” — a style created in the early days of Chicago house that left its trace in numerous record titles such as “Time to Jack” by Chip E. from the “Jack Trax” EP (1985), “Jack’n the House” (1985) by Farley “Jackmaster” Funk (1985) or “Jack Your Body” by Steve “Silk” Hurley (1986). It involves moving the torso forward and backward in a rippling motion matching the beat of the music, as if a wave were passing through it.
The Roland TR-909 is king when it comes to the history of house music. This will be a good sample source to draw from as you begin selecting your kick, hi-hats, claps, rides, snares, shakers, and more into your Ableton house drum rack. When you begin building your beat, the most important place to begin is with your hi-hat pattern. You’ll want to start with a closed hi-hat and an open hi-hat.