House music grew out of the post-disco dance club culture of the early '80s. After disco became popular, certain urban DJs -- particularly those in gay communities -- altered the music to make it less pop-oriented. The beat became more mechanical and the bass grooves became deeper, while elements of electronic synth pop, Latin soul, dub reggae, rap, and jazz were grafted over the music's insistent, unvarying four-four beat. Frequently, the music was purely instrumental and when there were vocalists, they were faceless female divas that often sang wordless melodies. By the late '80s, house had broken out of underground clubs in cities like Chicago, New York, and London, and had begun making inroads on the pop charts, particularly in England and Europe but later in America under the guise of artists like C+C Music Factory
. At the same time, house was breaking into the pop charts; it fragmented into a number of subgenres, including hip-house, ambient house, and most significantly, acid house (a subgenre of house with the instantly recognizable squelch of Roland's TB-303 bass-line generator). During the '90s, house ceased to be cutting-edge music, yet it remained popular in clubs throughout Europe and America. At the end of the decade, a new wave of progressive house artists including Daft Punk
, Basement Jaxx
, and House of 909
brought the music back to critical quarters with praised full-length works.Related Styles: Hi-NRG, Acid Jazz, Euro-Dance, Garage/House, Freestyle, Detroit Techno
Top Artists: Basement Jaxx, Cajmere, Daft Punk, Deep Dish, 808 State, Faithless, Paul Oakenfold, Roger Sanchez, Armand Van Helden, Leftfield
House music had reached the mainstream by the late '80s (more so in Britain than anywhere else), and while several early house hits were by genuine pioneers, they were later overwhelmed by the novelty acts and one-hit wonders dominating the charts around the turn of the decade. As well, ambient, techno, and trance made gains early in the '90s as electronic styles with both street cred and a group of young artists making intelligent music. A generation of house producers soon emerged, weaned on the first wave of house and anxious to reapply the more soulful elements of the music. With a balance of sublime techno and a house sound more focused on New York garage than Chicago acid house, groups like Leftfield
, the Drum Club
, and Faithless
hit the dance charts (and occasionally Britain's singles charts). Though critically acclaimed full-lengths were never quite as important as devastating club tracks, several Progressive House LPs were stellar works, including Leftfield
, and the Drum Club
's Everything Is Now
. By the mid-'90s, the innovations of progressive house had become the mainstream of house music around the world.
Related Styles: Euro-Dance, Tribal-House, Tech-House, Progressive Trance, Post-Disco
Top Artists: Basement Jaxx, Cajmere, Daft Punk, Deep Dish, 808 State, Faithless, Paul Oakenfold, Roger Sanchez, Armand Van Helden, Leftfield, Paul Van Dyk, Chicane, Dan Certain, Swaysak
Left-field house producers tend to ignore at least one major chapter of the traditional deep-house production playbook, whether doing away with the 4/4 rhythmic structure, the need for hand percussion, or the emphasis on the beat. If the deviation in the production can’t be pinned down to a specific quality, there remains something certifiably askew. There’s no single sound that typifies left-field house. It can be abstract and grimy like Theo Parrish
, whose productions often favor low BPMs and samples from obscure jazz recordings, all the while retaining a pronounced 4/4 rhythm. It can come from house’s back door, through post-disco R&B and Italo disco influences, like Metro Area
-- a duo who regularly bypasses the relentless 4/4 thump completely. Or it can be equally experimental and contemporary like Herbert
, whose concepts and methodologies (sampling sources that range from kitchen utensils to biological functions) occasionally overshadow his accomplishments.
Related Styles: Jazz-House, Microhouse
Top Artists: Basement Jaxx, Daft Punk, Green Velvet, Herbert, Felix da Housecat, Freaks, Metro AreaTrip-Hop
Yet another in a long line of plastic placeholders to attach itself to one arm or another of the U.K. post-acid house dance scene's rapidly mutating experimental underground, Trip-Hop was coined by the English music press in an attempt to characterize a new style of downtempo, jazz-, funk-, and soul-inflected experimental breakbeat music which began to emerge around in 1993 in association with labels such as Mo'Wax, Ninja Tune, Cup of Tea, and Wall of Sound. Similar to (though largely vocal-less) American hip-hop in its use of sampled drum breaks, typically more experimental, and infused with a high index of ambient-leaning and apparently psychotropic atmospherics (hence "trip"), the term quickly caught on to describe everything from Portishead
, to DJ Shadow
, to Coldcut
, Wagon Christ
, and Depth Charge
-- much to the chagrin of many of these musicians, who saw their music largely as an extension of hip-hop proper, not a gimmicky offshoot. One of the first commercially significant hybrids of dance-based listening music to crossover to a more mainstream audience, trip-hop full-length releases routinely topped indie charts in the U.K. and, in artists such as Shadow
, the Sneaker Pimps
, and Massive Attack
, account for a substantial portion of the first wave of "electronica" acts to reach Stateside audiences.Related Styles: Acid Jazz, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Ambient Dub, Ambient Breakbeat, Electronica, Big Beat, Turntablism, Downtempo, Experimental Jungle, Illbient
Top Artists: Howie B, Bjork, The Chemical Brothers, Coldcut, DJ Krush, DJ Shadow, Massive Attack, Portishead, Thievery Corporation, Tricky, Uncle, Wagon Christ, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Amon TobinNeo-Electro
For several months in 1995, British clubs were afire with the sights and sounds of robots, body-poppers, and a revival of America's early-'80s electro movement. Though much of the attention was given to the old-school masters (Afrika Bambaataa
, the Egyptian Lover
), much of the influence for the electro revival had come from more recent sounds. Detroit acts such as Drexciya
, Underground Resistance
, and Ectomorph
had begun looking back to electro, and Drexciya
's multi-volume series of 1994 EPs were much-heard on the other side of the Atlantic. In Britain, Clear Records headed the revival hot-list, with singles from Jedi Knights
, Tusken Raiders
, and Gescom
(almost all were aliases for more well-known dance acts including Global Communication
, and Autechre
). Though the electro revival didn't last long as a British club trend, good records continued to be released (especially by Clear), and other labels, such as Skam, Musik Aus Strom, and Dot, progressed beyond the sound to create intelligent new music with heavy electro influences.Related Styles: Electro-Techno Experimental Electro, Techno Bass
Top Artists: Dopplereffekt, Plaid, Metamatics, I-F, Peaches, Adult.Electronica
A suitably vague term used to describe the emergence of electronic dance music increasingly geared to listening instead of strictly dancing, Electronica was first used in the title of a series of compilations (actually called New Electronica
) spotlighting original sources of Detroit techno such as Juan Atkins
and Underground Resistance
alongside European artists who had gained much from the Motor City's futuristic vision for techno. The word was later appropriated by the American press as an easy catch-all for practically any young artist using electronic equipment and/or instruments, but electronica serves to describe techno-based music that can be used for home listening as well as on the dance floor (since many electronica artists are club DJs as well).Related Styles: Trip-Hop, Post-Rock/Experimental, Alternative Dance, Electro-Techno, Funky Breaks, Progressive House, Industrial Dance, Big Beat, Trance
Top Artists: Air, Aphex Twin, Autechre, Bjork, Boards of Canada, The Chemical Brothers, Cold Cut, Daft Punk, Goldie, Massive Attack, Mouse on Mars, u-Ziq, The Orb, Orbital, Plastikman, The Prodigy, Roni Size, Tricky, Adam FExperimental Techno
The field of electronic dance music has limitless possibilities for experimentation, so Experimental Techno has a similarly wide range of styles -- from the disc-error clicks and scratches of European experimenters Oval
to the off-kilter effects (but straight-ahead rhythms) of Cristian Vogel
, Neil Landstrumm
, and Si Begg
. Experimental techno can also include soundscape terrorists such as Twisted Science
, Nonplace Urban Field
, and Atom Heart
; digital-age punks like Alec Empire
; and former industrial stalwarts under new guises, such as Scorn
, or Techno Animal
. Any artist wishing to take electronic dance places it's never been can be characterized as experimental, and for better or worse, that includes a large cast.Related Styles: Ambient Techno, Dark Ambient, Experimental Electro, Techno-Dub, Minimal Techno, Illbient
Top Artists: Aphex Twin, Autechre, Basic Channel, Thomas Brinkmann, u-Ziq, Arovane, DJ Spooky, Plastikman, Mouse on Mars, Atom Heart, Bisk, Mike InkIDM
A loaded term meant to distinguish electronic music of the '90s and later that's equally comfortable on the dancefloor as in the living room, IDM (Intelligent Dance Music) eventually acquired a good deal of negative publicity, not least among the legion of dance producers and fans whose exclusion from the community prompted the question of whether they produced stupid dance music. Born in the late '80s, the sound grew out of a fusion between the hard-edged dance music heard on the main floor at raves and larger club events, and the more downtempo music of the nearby chill-out rooms. DJs like Mixmaster Morris
and Dr. Alex Paterson
blended Chicago house, softer synth-pop/new wave, and ambient/environmental music, prompting a wave of producers inspired by a variety of sources. (Many DJs and producers were also reacting against the increasingly chart-leaning slant of British dance music during those years, exemplified by novelty hits like "Pump Up the Jam" by Technotronic
and "Sesame's Treat" by Smart E's
.) Sheffield's Warp Records proved home to the best in the sound -- in fact, the seminal Warp compilation Artificial Intelligence
alone introduced listeners worldwide to a half-dozen of the style's most crucial artists: Aphex Twin
, the Orb
, Black Dog Productions
, and B12
. Other labels -- Rising High, GPR, R&S, Rephlex, Fat Cat, Astralwerks -- released quality IDM as well, though by the mid-'90s much of the electronica produced for headphone consumption had diverged either toward the path of more experimentation or more beat orientation. With no centered, commercial scene to speak of, North America became a far more hospitable clime to IDM, and by the end of the '90s, dozens of solid labels had opened for business, including Drop Beat, Isophlux, Suction, Schematic, and Cytrax. Despite frequent attempts to rename the style (Warp's "electronic listening music" and Aphex Twin
's "braindance" were two choices), IDM continued to be the de facto way for fans to describe their occasionally undescribable favorites.Related Styles: Post-Rock/Experimental, Ambient Techno, Experimental Techno, Ambient House, Minimal Techno, Glitch
Top Artists: Aphex Twin, As One, Autechre, B12, Boards of Canada, LFO, Plaid, Seefeel, Venetian Snares, Capitol K, Apparat, Bola, edIT, Jega, Germlin, Mum, OchreGarage Rap/Grime
During the early 2000s, garage rap grew as an unavoidable mutation of 2-step garage, with the role of the MC elevated from support to star. Groups like So Solid Crew
, Pay as U Go Cartel
, Dem Lott
and Nasty Crew
(molded in part in the image of rap crews in the U.S.) surfaced as the popularity of the relatively R&B-based garage scene waned in popularity, but one-man-group the Streets
was the style's biggest star. Grime, garage rap's younger sibling, was relatively jagged and aggressive - it's where the legacies of hardcore rap and hardcore techno collide -- and is sometimes downright punishing. Though Dizzee Rascal
became a breakout star and received moderate print exposure in the U.S. during 2003 and 2004, the style thrived on white label releases and was best documented by the Run the Road
Related Styles: n/a
Top Artists: Dizzee Rascal, The Streets, Kano, Lady Sovereign, Wiley Indie Electronic
Crossover between electronica (mostly glitch) resulted in so-called indietronic
, electronic indie or indie electronic, for example some artists on the German Morr Music
label, The Firebird Band
, The Postal Service
, Alex Ross-Iver
or Fever Marlene
Related Styles: Indie Rock, Indie Dance, Alternative Dance
Top Artists: Crystal Castles, MGMT, Broadcast, Dntel, Four Tet, Caribou, Donna Regina, Hot Chip, Junior Boys, Ladytron, Laika, Manitoba DubstepDubstep
is a genre
of electronic dance music
that has its roots in London's early 2000s UK garage
scene. The genre's name was coined by Ammunition Promotions. Musically, dubstep is distinguished by its dark mood, sparse rhythms, and emphasis on bass. Dubstep started to spread beyond small local scenes in late 2005 and early 2006, with many websites devoted to the genre appearing on the Internet and thus aiding the growth of the scene, such as dubstepforum, the download site Barefiles and blogs such as gutterbreakz. Simultaneously, the genre was receiving extensive coverage in music magazines such as The Wire
and online publications such as Pitchfork Media
. Interest in dubstep grew significantly after BBC Radio 1
DJ Mary Anne Hobbs
started championing the genre, beginning with a show devoted to it (entitled "Dubstep Warz") in January 2006.
Related Styles: Dark 2step, Grime, Dub, Drum'n'bass
Top Artists: Burial, Digital Mystikz, Skream, Shakleton, Benga, Boxcutter, Drop the Lime, Various Production, Zeno
Music therapy is defined by the Canadian Association for Music Therapy (CAMT) as the skillful use of music and musical elements by an accredited music therapist. It is a discipline which combines the use of music with the personal qualities of the therapist as a treatment for rehabilitating, maintaining, and improving the lives of persons with emotional, cognitive, social, spiritual, psychological and physical needs.
Music therapy has been shown to be effective with people of all ages and abilities. Whether the challenges be physical, emotional or psychological, a visit to a music therapist may prove beneficial.
At its core, music therapy is the interaction between a therapist, a client (or clients) and the music.
Within a session, any or all of the following might take place:
- song writing or music composition
- singing or playing familiar music
- listening to recorded music (CDs)
- improvising (making up) music
The powerful effects of music upon healing have been known since early man, but only today is the relationship between music and medicine being scientifically researched and used therapeutically. Music involves man's mind, body, spirit and emotions closely intertwined with his personality, education, social and cultural environments. Music is built on harmonic relationships just as social harmony is dependent on interpersonal relationships.
The association of music anad the magic of healing begins with the fact that music is an integral part of human life through sound. We are not only capable of making sound withing outselves, but we are surrounded by sounds of nature in the environment. We use sound through our vocal chords to communicate with one another so it seems only natural that primitive man might have seen the sounds of nature as communication with invisable spirits.
In addition to finding songs appropriate to healing, it was the musicians' job to use instruments such as drums and rattles which were thought to drive away illness and evil spirits. Often the family and friends of the sick person would join together as a chorus to to reinforce the magic of the music. All of these things prepared the person psychologically to help cure himself.
Music played an important part also in the tribal ceremonies of the American Indian. Harmony between man and nature was of utmost importance in Indian life. Health, strength and long life were considered to be the natural condition and illness was disharmony. Songs were used to communicate with the spirits of nature. Ownership of a song belonged to the person who received it in a dream. However, to make the song more powerful, several people would get together to sing it with the owner's permission. The songs used by the medicine man in the healing ceremonies were thought to come from the spirits in dreams or visions, along with directions for curing a particular illness of disease. Drums and rattles were used as in primitive tribes to frighten away evil spirits. Characteristics of Indian songs even today are: irregularity of rhythm or change of accent in the melody; a slow tempo to quiet the patient; and the same tempo of melody and accompaniment creating a monotonous effect. This probably created a semi-hypnotic state.
It was during the early Greek civilization that music and medicine became more closely intertwined. The God Apollo, believed to promote harmony in life and the universe and beauty through the arts of poetry, dancing and music, was also the founder of medicine. He represented pure intellect and the purest harmony of body and soul. Music and medicine were considered as one in his divine nature. Apollo is thought to have instructed Aesculapius who became the divine symbol of the preventative and the curative powers of nature. Plato felt so strongly about the importance of music to create harmony in one's daily life that he wrote in his Forth Book of the Republic, "health of mind and body achieved through music." Meinecke sums up other Greek philosophies:
...music is a medicine of the soul. Music was bestowed on man for the sake of effecting harmonious revolutions of the soul within us whenever its rhythmic motion are disturbed. Thus when the soul has lost its harmony, melody and rhythm assist in restoring it to order and concordance.
Aristotle claimed that reaction to harmony and rhythm is an inborn trait in all humans and that the soul and harmony are one. He also "ascribed the beneficial and medicinal effects of music to an emotional catharsis." Music provides an outlet for feelings or moods that conna be verbally desribed, feels so deep within that they seem to have no tangible basis. Research shows that music more often produces feelings of rest, joy, sadness, love, longing, and reverence while the destructive emotions of fear, anger and jealousy do not seem to be aroused. (Gilman and Paperte, 1952)
Music therapy is defined by Juliette Alvin as, "the controlled use of music in the treatment, rehabilitation, education and training of children and adults suffering from physical, mental or emotional disorder: (Alvin, 1975). Research indicates that there are both psychological and emotional effects produced by music. Since people are now living longer due to new medical technology, music therapy can help alleviate some of the problems faced by the insitutionalized elderly.
An understanding of the physical response to music will assist in illustrating the application of music therapy with the elderly. Psychomotor response to music is a natural impulse. Research by Ira M. Altschuler, "Music Therapy Retrospect and Perspective,", sthats that:
...the thalamus, which is the seat of all sensation, emotional, and aesthetic feeling, is not involved in mental illness, and that patients who cannot be reached by verbal messages to the brain, can be aroused by music, by way of the thalamus, which when stimulated, automatically relays the sensations to the brain.
This is seen in the involuntary rhythmic response to music by tapping the foot, swaying movement of the body or nodding the head. This rhythmic stimulation is especially useful in establishing contact with disturbed or confused patients, as it offers a non-verbal means of self-expression and the emotional release of conflict through an accesptable social activity.
In addition to instinctive rhythmic response to music, even patients who cannot be reached verbally often respond by singing the words to a familiar song. Music seems to release emotional tension through expressive reaction to the music. The most important factors in arousing emotional response to the music are a steady rhythm and medium to slow tempo. Regular rhythm encourages physical movement and is espeically good for people with restricted activity such as wheelchair patients. Even though they can move only small areas such as head or fingers, they have an inner feeling of greater freedom and control over their bodies. With both ambulatory and wheelchair people, gentle circular movements of most of the upper body is possible; however, care must be taken with moving the head to prevent neck strain and dizziness. Often these simple exercises lead to spontaneous movement and create a feeling of self-confidence as well as physical well-being. Body movement increases circulation, improves breathing capacity, and anxiety is reduced through relaxation exercises.
Changes in pulse rate and respiration are produced by the intensity of the emotional reaction to music. The rhythm of respiration tends to adapt itself to the rhythm of the music, especially as the rhythm gets slower. Music can: increase metabolism; increase or decrease muscular energy; affect respiration and circulation (heart beat, blood pressure and pulse rates). Tempo changes in the music are the chief cause of respiratory changes and as the music becomes more familiar, the physiological changes become more pronounced.
Since everyone is exposed to sound from birth, certain sounds may reveal part of the unconscious personality through memory and association