The Defining Sound of Eurodance Music

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The Defining Sound of Eurodance Music

Music genres aren’t black and white. That is to say, more often than not, they don’t split up into excellent, even categories. So what’s the difference between heavy rock and metal? Is there a fundamental distinction between bluesy jazz and jazzy blues?
For as long as we’ve had music, people have been arguing about categorizing it, and EDM is no different. There are shared traits throughout the many EDM sub-genres, from hip-hop to house, trance to techno.
So how do we decide which is which? Well, sometimes you go with what the artist says, but more often than not, it’s intuition. That being said, there is one genre of modern EDM with an evident defining trait; a genre that will forever be tied to a specific place and time. That genre is Eurodance.

The Origins of
As the name suggests, music originated in the European disco scene. Born in the late 1980s, the genre was pioneered by groups like Black Box, SNAP!, and Technotronik.

When new genres of music crop up, more often than not, they form as a hybrid of existing movements. In the case of Eurodance, the influences of acid house, Chicago house, and rave culture all came together to create an innovative new sound.v
Of course, all music reflects the time and place in which it was made, and no discussion of would be complete without a mention of the Berlin Wall.
In many respects, Germany is the home of Eurodance, and the genre was very much tied to the protest movements that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9th, 1989. The collapse of the wall and the subsequent reunification of Germany is one of the most significant moments in modern history. It had a variety of impacts, both great and small, and amongst them was a massive rise in the popularity of music. Raves began springing up across East Berlin as the residents celebrated their city and their country being made whole once again.

Evolution
As this new genre spread, first across the continent and later internationally, became one of the most popular genres on the planet. Defined by its use of synthesizers, solid vocal lines, deep bass rhythms, and occasional incorporation of rap, this genre might have taken its routes from the ‘80s, but it was a distinctly ‘90s sound.

This was the age of tracks like “No Limit,” “Mr. Vain,” and ’s absolutely iconic “What Is Love”. In every sense, the ‘90s were the decade of Eurodance, and they saw an explosion of innovation both in the sub-genre and across EDM.

Modern
These days is not the massive sub-genre it once was, but it remains popular with fans. Over the last decade, many huge artists such as The Wanted, Justin Bieber, and even Katy Perry have dabbled in Eurodance but far fewer embrace this style as they once did. That being said, the genre’s influence can still be felt throughout the modern EDM scene.

As we said before, the lines between genres are rarely straightforward. The ‘90s saw the evolution of into more modern subgenres such as a progressive house, but its influence is far from gone. It’s hard to say what the future of Eurodance music will hold. Perhaps it will become a retro genre – like classic rock or ‘80s synth – or maybe it will see a complete revival. On the other hand, we might all be listening to a new wave of Eurodance hits in a few years. Only time will tell.

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