History of EDM Music: House

history of edm house

In the world of EDM, nothing is bigger than house. But how did house music go from a Chicago dance floor to topping the charts around the world? This is the history of EDM music: house.

Like a lot of EDM, house started with disco. In this instance, it started when DJs at a club called The Warehouse in Chicago started to mix in some really weird versions of popular disco tracks. People loved it, and started asking record stores for “Warehouse music,” which later got shortened to just “house music.”


In the early 1980’s, electronic music equipment became way more available and affordable. Suddenly everyone, not just top level producers, was free to experiment. And in 1984, Jesse Saunders released the song “On and On.”

Like dub, it combined noodling with electronic equipment and existing music, in this case disco. Saunders did something totally new, and that’s what house latched onto: synthesizers and drum machines, with a focus on the beat and not on the vocals. In 1985 J.M. Silk released the track “Music is the Key.”

House music really took off when Harley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk’s song “Love Can’t Turn Around” broke into the Top 10 singles pop chart in 1986.

In 1987, Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley’s “Jack Your Body” made it to number 1 in the UK, with other house tracks were nipping at its heels.

Then in 1990, Madonna released “Vogue.” While still a pop track, the song was a huge international hit, and it brought house music into the mainstream.

Today, there are many sub-genres of house music. There’s the original Chicago house, then there’s Euro house, electro house, ambient house, tech house, french house, and the list goes on and on. House is the biggest music genre in the world. And it just goes to show that if you want to change music, it all starts with the dance floor.

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