Electronic dance music/electronica, also commonly abbreviated as EDM, is electronic music that is produced primarily for the purposes of use within a nightclub setting or in an environment that is centered upon 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'.
Electronic dance music is a broad set of percussive music genres that largely inherit from 1970s disco music and, to some extent, the experimental pop music of Kraftwerk. Such music was originally borne of and popularized via regional nightclub scenes in the 1980s. By the early 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 is 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. It sometimes encompasses music not primarily meant for dancing, but derived from the dance-oriented styles.
Since around the mid-1980s, electronic dance music has enjoyed popularity in many nightclubs, and, as of 2006, is the predominant type of music played in discothèques as well as the rave scene. As such, the related term club music, while broadly referring to whatever music genres are currently in vogue and associated with nightclubs, has, for some, 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. For example, as of 2006, hip hop music, being widely played in clubs, is one form of "club music" to many, but a smaller percentage would describe it as being a form of 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.
Electronic dance music is categorized by music journalists and fans alike as an ever-evolving plethora of named genres, styles and sub-styles. Some genres, such as techno, house, trance, electro, breakbeat, drum and bass are primarily intended to promote dancing. Others, such as IDM, glitch and trip-hop, are more experimental and tend to be associated more with listening than dancing.
Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy set out a categorization of electronic dance music genres based on beats per minute (bpm) although no method of categorization is universally recognized:
* 60–90 bpm — Downtempo/Chill, Trip hop and Dub
* 90–120 bpm — Downtempo/Chill, Trip Hop and Big Beats
* 120–135 bpm — House
* 135–155 bpm — Techno and Trance
* 155–180 bpm — Drum'n'bass / Jungle
* 180+ bpm — Hardcore/Happy hardcore, Gabber/Gabba and beyond
*taken from wikipedia.com