List of Electronic Dance Music Genres

March 1, 2021
Written by
Buster Bennett
List of Electronic Dance Music Genres

List of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) Genres

This is our list of all the various electronic music genres to help our students and followers navigate the myriad forms of electronic music! In addition this list also includes the BPM of different EDM music genres. It’s the best list on the internet of all the genres of electronic music so please bookmark and share this list!

To make it onto this list, the genres have to be predominantly electronic music genres rather than band-based music genres and music which is widely used by DJs in clubs. There are a few exceptions here to that rule because we wanted to contextualise some of our choices into the wider ecosystem of music genres in the western world. 

This list is by no means complete, but it does cover most the main genres and important sub-genres. For sub-genres to appear on this list they need to be fairly well established and played by more than just a small clique of artists. We’ve not included all micro-genres as the list would be too long. Please note BPM notes are a rough guide. 

Our list of electronic music genres is in alphabetical order. If you would like to add something to the list feel free to contact us! If you would like to learn more about electronic music production or DJing get in touch with us by clicking here. Remember, all our DJ course graduates will join our community and be able to DJ with us at our events including at Ministry of Sound! Click here to find out how you can DJ at Ministry.

Enjoy the full list of music genres by scrolling down!


2-Step / Two-Step

Originating from UK Garage and Breakbeat. A typical 2-step drum pattern features syncopated kick drums that skips a beat, with shuffled rhythm or the use of triplets applied to other elements of the percussion, that in particular, results in a sound distinctly different to House or Techno music.

The BPM of 2-Step Garage or Two-Step is commonly 130-135 BPM. 


4x4 / Niche / Bassline

Originating from UK Garage and Grime. Characterised by a 4x4 rhythm with influences of UK Garage and Grime vocals with a strong focus on a prominent bassline. 

The BPM 4x4, Niche and Bassline is commonly 135–142 BPM. 


8-Bit / Chiptune

Originating from early computer game music and Pop. Characterised by the experimental lo-fi and low resolution style sounds typical of early computer games, notably the Gameboy, which is often used in Chiptune performances. It often has pop and emo overtones.

The BPM of 8-Bit and Chiptune can vary. 


Acid / Acid House / Acid Techno

Originating from Chicago House and Hi NRG. Characterised by the modulated sounds of the Roland TB-303 synthesiser layered over a repetitive high-energy beat. 

The BPM of Acid House is commonly 120-150 BPM. 


Afro House / Amapiano / Gqom / Kwaito

Originating from House and traditional forms of African music. Characterised by house and soulful house rhythms and African vocals and percussion. Afro House is an umbrella term that holds many sub-genres of African inspired dance music genres that are yet to solidify their genres-statuses in the western electronic dance music scene. 

The BPM of Afro House can vary but is commonly between 118-135 BPM


Afrobeat

Originating from Highlife, Fuji, Jazz, Soul & Funk, Soca and Dancehall music. Characterised by the complex intersecting rhythms and percussion in West African music. 

The BPM of Afrobeat is commonly 95-120 BPM. 


Ambient

Originating from Classical, Lounge, Electronica, Minimal and Experimental music. Characterised by atmospheric compositions and multi-layered textures. It emphasises soundscape over defined structures and has less attention to repetitive beats. 

The BPM of Ambient music can vary. 


Baile Funk / Funk Carioca / Favela Funk

Originating from Portuguese, Brazilian, Samba, Electro, Funk, Rap and Bass music.  Characterised by strong bass lines, rap (often very explicit) and heavy lo-fi drums. 

The BPM or Funk Carioca, Favela Funk, Baile Funk is commonly 120-150 BPM


Balearic Beat

Originating from Bossa Nova, Chillout, Electronica, Disco and Mediterranean music. This fusion genre was birthed from DJs who played multiple genres within one DJ set often switching styles and BPM in an experimental way. Pulling from those early influences; It’s now characterised by sparse atmospheric house beats and tribal percussion that attempt to evoke a laid-back spiritual state. 

The BPM of Balearic Beat is commonly 110-122 BPM. 


Baltimore / Bmore

Originating from Hip-Hop, Garage House, Miami Bass, Breakbeat and House. Characterised by a blend of hip hop and chopped, staccato house music on an 8/4 beat pattern. 

The BPM of Baltimore or Bmore is commonly 120-135 BPM.


Bass House

Originating from House, UK Bass, Breaks, Riddim and Fidget House. Characterised by heavy basslines, jackin’ grooves heavy distortion, vocal chops and fidget sounds.  

The BPM of Bass House is commonly 118-135 BPM. 


Bhangra

Originating from Indian folk music. Characterised by the Chaal rhythm combined with modern electronic sounds, traditional Indian percussive elements and vocals. 

The BPM of Bhangra is commonly 70-100 BPM. 


Big Room House / EDM

Originating from Progressive House, Electro House, Trance and Hardstyle. Characterised by big progressive buildups and aggressive drops. This sound is commonly heard at big festivals and in concert-sized clubs, hence the name. 

The BPM of Big Room House or EDM is commonly 126-132 BPM. 


Bollywood

Originating from traditional Indian and Pop music. Bollywood is essentially a name for Indian Pop music and has a long history with many sub-styles. People in the western world simply group these genres together under the term Bollywood. Characterised by pop vocals, Indian instrumentation, melodramatic ballads and cinematic theatrics. Modern styles of Bollywood are fused with Hip-Hop and EDM. 

The BPM of Bollywood, like western pop music, can vary. 


Boogie

Originating from Post-Disco, Funk, Jazz, R&B and New Wave. Characterised by a lack of the four-on-the-floor beat found in main-stream disco music, instead it has a strong accent on the second and fourth beats. The instrumentation often features a slap bass (electric—in the early 1980s—and/or synthetic—mid-1980s onwards), loud clapping sounds, melodic chords and synthesisers. It’s seen as a more striped-back form of Disco.

The BPM of Boogie can vary. 


Breakbeat

Originating from Electro Hip-Hop, Funk, Post-Disco, Turntablism and sampling culture. Characterised by the use of sampled drum breaks including the famous Amen Break. Stylistically it’s chopped up, spliced, randomised and heavily ‘remixed’. 

The BPM of Breatbeat is commonly 110-150 BPM. 


Chicago House

Originating from Post Disco, Electro (Hip-Hop), Italo Disco, EBM and Synth Pop. Chicago House was the first form of house music and came from the black, gay and latino clubs and artists of Chicago in the mid-1980s. Characterised by a four-four rhythm and repetitive beats made by the drum machines of the time including the Roland TR-808. The compositions were more minimal and sparse than genres before it like Disco and induced a trance-like state on the dancefloor for people dancing. 

The BPM of Chicago House is commonly 110-130 BPM. 


Circuit House

Originating from House, Tribal House Hi-NRG and Latin culture and is common on the LGBT circuit-party scene. Characterised by prominent latin rhythms and percussion layered with high-energy house music. Diva or Pop vocals are also commonplace. 

The BPM of Circuit House is commonly 128-130 BPM


Complextro

Originating from Electro House, Dubstep, Fidget House, Glitch and Chiptune. Characterised by complex electronic rhythms, glitches and heavily modulated synths that create great variance throughout the music. 

The BPM of Complextro is commonly 126-130 BPM.


Crunk / Southern Hip Hop

Originates from Hip-Hop, Gangsta Rap, Southern Hip-Hop & Miami Bass. Characterised by a main groove consisting of layered keyboard synths, a drum machine clapping rhythm, heavy basslines, and shouting vocals, often in a call and response manner. The Roland TR-808 and 909 drum machines feature heavily. It sounds like a dance-version of Southern Hip-Hop. Southern Hip Hop is the precursor for Crunk and was the regional style of Hip Hop that emerged as a result of Hip Hop making its way from the big cities on the East and West coasts of America to the South. Typically Southern Hip-Hop rapping and vocals use local dialects and accents and the music also has a slight DIY aesthetic and was generally more commercially underground. 

The BPM of Crunk can vary. 


Dancehall / Bashment

Originating from Reggae, Ska, Rocksteady and Dub. Dancehall or Bashment is a faster dance form of Reggae and Dub fusion known as a ‘Riddim’. It is characterised by more repetitive beats, electronic drum machines and synthesisers including the Casio Casiotone MT-40 electronic keyboard. It features MCs and ‘Toasting,’ monologues and Jamaican style rap.  

The BPM of Dancehall and Bashment is commonly 90-108 BPM but faster forms also exist. 


Deep House

Originating from Chicago House, Soul, Jazz and New York Garage. A sub-genre of House music characterised by a slower tempo, muted basslines, spacious use of percussion elements, pads, chords and an ambient style with soulful vocals. Lyrics usually focus on modern Blues, Soul and Gospel styles. In recent years the term ‘Deep House’ has become synonymous with slower forms of Commercial House and may include bigger basslines and Pop overtones.  

The BPM of Deep House is commonly 110 to 125 BPM. 


Detroit Techno

Originating from Electro (Hip-Hop), Chicago House and Industrial. Characterised by a divergence away from the soulful sound of Chicago House and towards a more brutal style influenced by Industrial. Four-four repetitive drum-machine led beats take on a more futuristic style of dance for the time. There is less emphasis on melody and more emphasis on repetition and electronically created sounds.

The BPM of Detroit Techno is commonly 120-135 BPM but faster tracks exist. 


Disco

Originating from Soul, Psychedelic Soul and Funk. Characterised by four-on-the-floor beats and heavily orchestral instrumentation including syncopated basslines, string sections, horns, electric piano, synthesisers, and electric rhythm guitars. Disco, or early Disco, is not technically an electronic dance music genre as most of the instrumentation in early disco records was created by recording live musicians without computers on multi-track mixing desks. The production compositional and techniques were more akin to how a live band would be recorded and produced in genres like Rock and Roll. However, modern forms of Disco are often produced on computers with a more consistent and computerised tempo making it more DJ friendly and easier to mix within a DJ set. We’ve included Disco in this list as it’s so closely linked to many of the other genres like House. 

The BPM of Disco can vary but is commonly between 110 and 135 BPM. 


Downtempo 

Originating from Electronica, Lounge and Ambient music. Characterised by slow more hypnotic ambient beats that were often played in chill-out rooms in clubs and beach bars and pools. 

The BPM of Downtempo can vary but is typically no more than 120BPM. 


Drill

Originating from Hip-Hop, Trap, Gangsta Rap and Footwork. Characterised by its violent lyrics and Trap influenced Hip-Hop beats. Although the sound originated in the US there is now a UK version (UK Drill) which merges grime and trap sounds with violent lyrics relating to inner-city life.

The BPM of Drill can vary but is commonly 70 BPM half-time of 140 BPM double-time but is not limited to this tempo and relies more it’s melody and lyrical overtones as its stylistic anchors. 


Drum & Bass

Originating from Breaks, Dub, Jungle, Techno, Electronica and Industrial music. Characterised by its fast tempo, use of interweaved drum breaks, syncopated rhythms and melodies, heavy basslines and sub-basslines. There are many sub-genres of Drum & Bass including Liquid, Neurofunk, Jump Up & more. 

The BPM of Drum & Bass is 160-180 BPM. 


Dub

Originating from Reggae, Electronic, Ska and Rocksteady music. The style consists predominantly of partly or completely instrumental remixes of existing recordings. A ‘riddim’ is achieved by significantly stripping back and reshaping the recordings, usually through the removal of some or all of the vocals and with more emphasis given to the rhythm section. Echo and reverb effect feature heavily with the occasional dubbing of vocal or instrumental snippets from the original version or other works. 

The BPM of Dub can vary. 


Dubstep

Originating from 2-Step, UK Garage, Dub, Drum & Bass and Breakbeat. Characterised by sparse, syncopated rhythmic patterns with prominent bass and sub-bass frequencies that are often modulated to create a lead instrument or the focus of the track. The drum pattern often features steps in the sequence that are silent. Heavy emphasis is given to a regular snare drum pattern that provides the often backbone of the repetitive part of the rhythm on the third beat of the bar. 

The BPM of Dubstep is commonly 70 BPM in half time format and 140 BPM in double time format. 


Dutch House

Originating from Fidget-Electro House, Hardcore, Detroit Techno, Hip-Hop and Latin music. Characterised by complex rhythms made from Latin-influenced drum kits with a lower emphasis on basslines and squeaky, high-pitched lead synths and the common use of fills. 

The BPM of Dutch House is commonly 124-134 BPM. 


EBM / Electronic Body Music

Originating from Industrial and Punk. Characterised by repetitive industrial beats, disco- and rock-style rhythms, gothic, punk and new wave overtones. 

The BPM of EBM can vary. 


Electro / Electro Hip Hop / Electro Funk

Originating from Funk and early Hip-Hop. Characterised by the Roland TR-808 drum machine and electronic sounds. Instead of using traditional instrumentation to create a funky vibe Electro producers used synths and drum machines and combined the sound with rap, turntablism and early hip-hop.

The BPM of Electro Funk can vary.


Electro / Electro House

Originating from Electro Funk, Electroclash, Techno and House. Characterised by heavy basslines over jackin’ house beats using the style of the Roland TR-808 and 909 drum machines. Drops feature prominently while sampling techniques and the use of the vocoder is also common. The style is essentially a commercialisation of the earlier Electroclash sound in a 4/4 format. 

The BPM of Electro House is commonly 125-130 BPM.


Electro Swing

Originating from Swing, Jazz, Electro and House. Characterised by sampled Swing and Jazz records warped to to fit a consistent BPM suitable to mix or DJ with. The samples are combined with modern EDM dance drum patterns and production techniques. 

The BPM of Electro Swing can vary. 


Electroclash

Originating from Indie, Indie Dance, Rock, Electro Hip-Hop, Italo Disco, New Wave, Post-Punk, Pop and Synth Electronica. Characterised by the combination or clash of Punk, Indie and Rock music with synth-driven electronic music and drum machines. Often accompanied by pop-style vocals and often performed live. Later forms of the genre inspired Electro House and New Rave. 

The BPM of Electroclash can vary. 


Electronica / Electronic 

Electronic music originating from the invention of electronic instruments and concepts from modernism and futurism. Electronica originates from Electronic, Ambient, Synth music and artistic concepts. Characterised by electronic music that is designed for listening with less emphasis on dancing. It is often more experimental, varied, artistic and cerebral.

The BPM of Electronica can vary.  


Euro House / Euro / Euro Dance 

Originating from House, Trance, Techno, Hi-NRG and Pop. Characterised by the use of rich vocals, sometimes with rapped verses and ear-worm like hooks. This, combined with cutting-edge synthesisers, strong bass rhythm and melodic hooks. The style of commercial, fun and intentionally childish or naive. It often uses sounds that are seen as cliche within more progressive styles of music and appeal to a commercial audience.

The BPM of Euro House is commonly 130-140BPM but can even vary between 110 and 150 BPM. 


Funk

Originating from Soul, Rhythm & Blues and Jazz music. Characterised by borrowing from Soul but using a more up-beat tempo and drum section while stripping back some of the more orchestral elements of Soul bands. Funk de-emphasises melody and chord progressions and focuses on a strong rhythmic groove of a bassline played by an electric bassist and a drum part played by a drummer, often at slower tempos than other popular music. Like much of African-inspired music, Funk typically consists of a complex groove with rhythm instruments playing interlocking grooves that create a "hypnotic" and "danceable" feel. Funk uses the same richly coloured extended chords found in Bebop Jazz, such as minor chords with added sevenths and elevenths, or dominant seventh chords with altered ninths and thirteenths. Funk records are mainly recorded from live bands but some modern forms will be purely or partly made on computers with samples, hence why we have included it within this list of EDM genres. 

The BPM of Funk can vary but is commonly 90-100 BPM. 


Future Bass

Originating from Dubstep, Trap, Footwork and EDM. Characterised by the ecstatic drops of Dubstep and Trap, but provides a warm bounce rather than a lumbering bruteness. Basslines are provided by harsh, detuned synths that buzz and purr instead of gulp and whomp, as with Dubstep. It uses multi-layered automation techniques borrowed from EDM and risers leading into the drop. Arpeggio chords and vocoders are heavily used, often attributed to giving it a futuristic sound. 

The BPM of Future Bass is commonly 130-150 BPM but other variations exist. 


Future Garage

Originating from UK Garage, 2-Step, Ambient, Trip-Hop and IDM music. Characterised by a UK Garage or 2-Step beat with the use of atmospheric and futuristic soundscapes including pads, arpeggiated chords, vocoders and ambient sounds. 

The BPM of Future Garage is commonly 130-140 BPM.


Future House

Originating from Deep House, EDM and UK Garage. Characterised by a muted melody with a metallic, elastic-sounding drop and frequency-modulated basslines. The rhythm may borrow from UK Garage and include a more sparse drum pattern allowing more space in the mix for synths to shine through. Stylistically it sounds like a muted version of EDM or ‘poolside’ EDM. 

The BPM of Future House is commonly between 120 and 130 BPM. 


Gabba / Gabber

Originating from Hardcore, Hardcore Techno, New Beat, Acid House and Punk. Characterised by a super fast BPM, distorted kick drums and roared our shouted vocals reminiscent of punk.

The BPM of Gabba is typically 180-190 BPM. 


Gangsta Rap

Originating from Hip-Hop. Characterised by lyrics that assert the culture and values typical of American street gangs and street hustlers. Lyrics are often about drugs, criminality, money, sexual exploitation and feature generally dark themes. Stylistically and musically it follows the format of the main Hip-Hop genre. 

The BPM of Gangsta Rap varies. 


Garage / UK Garage / UKG

Originating from Garage House, Breakbeat, R&B, Pop and Jungle. Characterised by a percussive, shuffled 4/4 breakbeat rhythm with syncopated hi-hats, cymbals and snares, and sometimes includes irregular kick drum patterns. Garage tracks also commonly feature 'chopped up' and time-stretched or pitch-shifted vocal samples. MCs are often used alongside the music. 

The BPM of Garage or UKG is commonly 130BPM but can vary. 


Garage House / New York House

Originating from Disco, House, Soul, R&B and Gospel. Characterised by gospel-influenced piano riffs and female vocals over a house rhythm. It has a more soulful R&B-derived sound than Chicago house. 

The BPM of Garage House is commonly 120-130 BPM. 


Ghetto House

Originating from Chicago House and Hip House. Characterised by sexual lyrics over a lo-fi 4x4 or skipping house beat commonly created with the Roland 808 and 909 drum machines. It also includes synthesised tom-tom sounds, minimal use of analogue synths, and short, slightly dirty sounding (both sonically and lyrically) vocals samples, often repeated in various ways. 

The BPM of Ghetto House is commonly 115-130BPM but later faster variations like Juke can be 150–165 BPM. 


Ghettotech

Originating from Miami Bass, Ghetto House, Techno, UK Garage, Detroit Techno and Electro. Characterised by the fusion of US and UK styles over a 4x4 Electro-Techno beat. The style is jittery with chopped samples and vocals and features rapping. 

The BPM of Ghettotech is 145-160 BPM. 


Glitch

Originating from Noise, Techno, IDM, Chiptune, Industrial, Lo-Fi, Breakbeat and Synth Pop. Characterised by experimental rhythms created using intentional digital glitches, repetitions, distortions and noise. Syncopated rhythms are woven together in complex forms and unusual forms. 

The BPM of Glitch can vary. 


Glitch-Hop

Originating from Glitch, Hip-Hop and UK Bass music. Characterised by the fusion of Hip-Hop rapping and song structures with the aesthetic of Glitch and computerised music.  

The BPM of Glitch-hop can vary. 


Goa Trance

Originating from Trance, EDM, Psychedelic Rock, Acid House and Indian Music. The sound features drone-like basslines, similar to the techno minimalism of 21st century Psychedelic Trance (Psytrance) infused with Indian traditional instrumentation and tribal, shamanic or spiritual soundscapes. 

The BPM of Goa Trance is commonly 130-150 BPM but other variants can range from 110-160 BPM. 


Grime

Originating from Hip-Hop, UK Garage, 2-Step, Jungle, Dancehall, Drum & Bass and Ragga. Characterised by rapid, syncopated 2-step and 4/4 breakbeats with aggressive or jagged electronic sound. MCing is a significant element of the style, and lyrics often revolve around gritty depictions of inner-city life. The style is often seen as a UK variation of Hip-Hop. 

The BPM of Grime is traditionally around 140 BPM but can vary and can be produced in half-time or double-time. 


Handbag

Originating from New Beat, Pop and Ni-NRG and Rave. Characterised by diva vocals over house and break beats with high-energy synths and strings. 

The BPM of Handbag is commonly 130-140BPM. 


Happy Hardcore / UK Hardcore

Originating from Hardcore Techno, Breakbeat and Hi-NRG. Characterised by fast and hard beats, harsh basslines and powerful synthesiser-based breakdowns often with high-pitched vocals giving a cartoonish feel. UK Hardcore evolved with less of the breakbeat associated with the Happy Hardcore movement.  

The BPM of Happy Hardcore is commonly 160-200 BPM. 


Hardcore

Originating from Techno, Acid House, EDM, New Beat and Breakbeat Hardcore. Characterised by its fast tempo and the intensity of the kicks and the synthesised bass. The usage of saturation, overdrive and experimentation is close to that of industrial dance music. 

The BPM of Hardcore is commonly 160-200 BPM.


Hard House / Hard Style 

Originating from House, Handbag, Hi-NRG, Acid House, Hardcore, Breakbeat Hardcore and New Beat. Characterised by a speedy tempo, offbeat bass stabs, hoovers, horns and crowd cheering samples. It usually contains a break in the middle of the track without drums that often uses a long and sharp string note to create suspense. Most of the time, the drops are introduced by a drum roll.

The BPM of Hard House is commonly 150 BPM. 


Hard Trance

Originating from Trance, Hard House, Acid House, New Beat, Hardcore and EBM. Characterised by strong, hard (or even down-pitch) kicks, fully resonant basses and an increased amount of reverberation applied to the main beat. Melodies vary  in tempo, and can feature plain instrumental sound in early compositions, with the latter ones tending to implement side-chaining techniques of progressive on digital synthesisers. 

The BPM of Hard Trance is commonly 140 to 180 BPM.


Hi NRG

Originating from Disco and Electronic. Characterised by a fast tempo, staccato hi-hat rhythms (and the four-on-the-floor pattern), reverberated "intense" vocals and "pulsating" octave basslines and strong drum-machine claps.  It was particularly influential on the disco scene but moved away from the ‘funkiness’ of disco music and concentrated on synthesised instrumentation as opposed to real instruments. 

The BPM of Hi NRG is commonly 127 BPM but can range between 120 and 140 BPM. 


Hip Hop

Originating from African-American-rooted and Latino musical genres such as Blues, Jazz, Rag-Time, Funk, Salsa, Gospel and Disco. Characterised by the sampling of older music and fusing it with rap. Hip Hop spawned many genres but the original sound was both new and old, referencing black music styles but updating the sounds with the introduction of modern drum machines and lyrics about modern life. Hip Hop is also synonymous with turntablism culture and creation of DJ culture. Sounds from turntablist moves including scratches became part of the early Hip-Hop sound. 

The BPM of Hip Hop varies but is commonly 80-115 BPM. However, as a form of popular music with a vast history and many sub-genres,  the BPM can sometimes surpass this range. 


Hip House

Originating from House and Hip-Hop. Characterised by House beats with rapping and Hip-Hop overtones. It may also include turntablism sounds like scratching. Later styles combined with Electro House evolved into Electro Hop. 

The BPM of Hip House is mostly between 120 and 130 BPM but can go as far as between 118 and 135 BPM. Faster or harder styles of House can go even higher into 150 BPM. 


House

Originating from Disco, Boogie, Hi-NRG, Chicago House, Electro Funk and Latin Soul. The characteristics of the numerous sub-genres of House music are myriad. The classic style of House, or the overriding format is a four-four kick drum beat with an off-beat hi hat and snare or clap on the second and fourth beats of the bar. The tracks are generally long-format designed for DJs to mix with long intros and outros and repetitive beats. Many House tracks have breakdowns and drops. 

The BPM of Classic House, or House in general, is commonly between 120 and 130 BPM but can go as far as between 118 and 135 BPM or even up to 160 BPM for faster harder styles. 


Hyper Pop

Originating from Pop, Hip-Hop, Electronic, EDM, K-Pop, J-Pop, Trap, Chiptune, Glitch, Dubstep, Techno, Emo, Vaporwave and more. Characterised by the exaggerating of electronic styles around a futuristic pop format. Tracks will follow traditional pop song structures with verses and choruses but vocals or vocal samples will often be obviously auto-tuned and distorted into cartoonish ‘ear-worm’ sounds. The sound palette is experimental and often juxtaposes many different styles and cultural references. Commonly It contains surrealist or nostalgic references to 90s and 00’s internet culture with angst-ridden lyrics exploring political themes like identity politics and emo-anxiety. 

The BPM of Hyper Pop, alongside traditional Pop, can vary. 


IDM / Intelligent Dance Music 

Originating from Electronica, Techno, Ambient, Acid House, Breakbeat, Electro, Jungle, Hip-Hop. Characterised by experimental dance music styles and the artists that push for a less formulaic approach to creating electronic dance music. There are no set rules for IDM and the term is widely used but disliked. It can be replaced by the term Electronica. 

The BPM of IDM can vary. 


Indie Dance / Alternative Dance

Originating from Post-Disco, Alternative Rock, Post-Punk, Indie-Rock, New Wave, Synth Pop, Acid House and Pop. Characterised by the melodic song structure of alternative and indie rock with electronic beats, synths and/or samples. The music is a postmodern club orientation of post-disco dance music. 

The BPM of Indie Dance can vary. 


Industrial

Originating from Punk Rock, Noise, Electronic. It’s an early form of electronic experimental music highly influenced by the avant-garde and art scene. It is characterised by stark, harsh, degraded, distorted sounds often combined with transgressive and provocative themes. As a fusion of punk rock and the new electronic sounds of the time it can be sonically abrasive and aggressive, featuring sounds drawn from heavy industry and Noise music. 

The BPM of Industrial music can vary.


Italo Disco

Originating from Disco, Euro Disco, Italian Pop, Hi-NRG and Electronic Rock. Characterised by a fusion of Italian Pop and stripped-back Disco music. Most commonly sung in English and to a lesser extent Spanish and Italian. Vocoders and electronic keys and pianos are common with a backbone of drum machine led repetitive beats. 

The BPM of Italo Disco can vary but is commonly between 110 and 135 BPM. 


Jump-Up DnB

Originating from Drum and Bass, Dubstep and UK Bass music. Jump-up DnB is characterised by robotic heavy bass leads in talk and response patterns. Drums are hard, compressed and overdriven. There is a big emphasis on fills and drops. Tracks are mainly instrumental or feature short vocal samples. Melodies are short and enable the music to be cut back and forth with ease.

The BPM of Jump-Up is commonly between 160-180 BPM. 


Jungle

Originating from Breakbeat Hardcore, Reggae, Dub, Dancehall, Hip Hop and Funk. Characterised by rapid breakbeats, heavily syncopated percussive loops, samples, and synthesised effects, combined with the deep basslines, melodies, and vocal samples found in dub, reggae and dancehall, as well as hip hop and funk. Many producers frequently sampled the "Amen break" or other breakbeats from Funk and Jazz recordings.

The BPM of Jungle music is commonly between 160-170 BPM.

Jungle Terror

Originating from Electro House, Drum & Bass and Grime. Characterised by a chaotic mix of House, Grime and Drum and Bass rhythms. There are also animal noises as well as vocal cuts and percussion. 

The BPM of Jungle Terror is commonly 130 BPM. 


Kuduro

Originating from Soca, traditional Angolan music, Techno and House. Characterised by uptempo, energetic, and danceable electronic techno beats heavily featuring samples of traditional carnival music like Soca and Zouk from the Caribbean to Angola. The lyrics are usually in Portuguese. 

The BPM of Kuduro is commonly 130-140 BPM


Liquid DnB / Liquid Funk 

Originating from Drum & Bass, Funk, Acid Jazz, Ambient, Trance and Soca music. It features similar basslines and bar layouts to other styles of DnB but it contains fewer bar-oriented samples and more instrumental layers (both synthesised and natural), harmonies, melodies and ambiance, producing a transcendental atmosphere. There is less emphasis overall on the more aggressive sounds of other sub-genres of DnB and instead sounds are carefully sculpted, modulated and automated displaying more dynamic range. 

The BPM of Liquid DnB is between 160-180 BPM. 


Lo-Fi / DIY Music

Originating from the recording process itself, Noise, Electronic and Avant-Garde. Lo-Fi is more of a style than a genre of dance music but it’s important to talk about within the context of this list. The style is created using imperfections from the recording process as a deliberate aesthetic choice. Low-fidelity sounds that might otherwise be edited out in the music production process become the focus instead of being disregarded. Examples of Lo-FI sounds include misplayed notes, environmental interference, phonographic imperfections, degraded audio signals, tape hiss, and so on. 

As Lo-Fi is a style it has no BPM. 


Mashup

Mashup is another style or production process rather than an actual genre. Mashup or Mashed-Up is the name given to the merging of tracks together in a DIY fashion. It’s a basic form of remixing often using crude and simple cut-and-paste techniques or by layering acapella vocal stems over instrumental beats. DJs and producers often mash-up two well known tracks into one. The style can also be used to describe DJ sets that mix multiple genres together or remix producers who fuse two genres of music together. 

The BPM of Mashup can vary.


Melbourne Bounce

Originating from Electro House and Tech-Trance. Characterised by bouncy bass, Tech-Trance synths, Electro House stabs and Scouse House-influenced basslines. 

The BPM of Melbourne Bounce is commonly 135-150 BPM. 


Melodic House

Originating from House, IDM, Ambient and Electronica. Characterised by predominantly instrumental-led house music with experimental, complex orchestrated synths, often arpeggiated, that are woven together with ambient soundscapes and liquid-like melodies. Melodic house can be minimal or maximal and is essentially Electronica confined to a 4x4 repetitive beat. 

The BPM of Melodic House is 118-135 BPM. 


Melodic Techno

Originating from IDM, Techno, Minimal, Electronica and Ambient. Melodic Techno seeks to fuse a more experimental, cerebral, cinematic and complex Electronica to a confined Techno beat. 

The BPM of Melodic Techno is commonly between 120-135 BPM but can be higher. 


Miami Bass

Originating from Hip Hip. Electro and Breakbeat. Characterised by the use of the Roland TR-808, sustained kick drum, heavy bass, raised dance tempos. Sexually explicit lyrical content differentiate it from other hip hop sub-genres. Its rhythms have a stop-start flavour and hissy cymbals. 

The BPM of Miami Bass music is commonly 128-135 BPM.


Minimal House / Micro House

Originating from Minimal Techno, House, Glitch and 8-Bit. Characterised by an afrocentric palette of sounds and a focus more on deep basses. Minimal House is a marriage of the funky and groovy backroom House elements with Bitpop and driving influence of Minimal Techno. Emphasis is given to a cushiony kick-drum thump and the accompanying hi-hats, with faint textures provided by synthetic strings and dreamy keyboard tones.

The BPM of Minimal House or Micro House is commonly 115-130 BPM. 


Minimal / Minimal Techno

Originating from Detroit Techno, Acid House and Minimalism. Characterised by a stripped-down raw Techno aesthetic that exploits the use of repetition and fewer or no melodies or chord progressions. It commonly includes short sounds and stabs, blips, beeps and electronic percussion with a focus on using only what is essential to make people move. The drum tracks are often created using the Roland TR-808 or Roland TR-909 drum machines.

The BPM of Minimal Techno is commonly 125-130 BPM.


Moombahton

Originating from Dutch House, Reggaeton, Electro House, Dancehall, Afrobeats and Latin music. Characterised by a Dutch House or EDM beat slowed down to a Reggaeton tempo with the added tropical flavours of Caribbean, Latin and African rhythms and percussion. Commonly it features thick and spread-out basslines, dramatic builds, a two-step pulse with quick drum fills. Occasionally Moombahton includes rave music synthesisers and acappella rap samples. The genre has spawned many sub-genres including Moombahcore, Moombahsoul, Moombahtrap and more. 

The BPM of Moombahton is usually 108 BPM but can vary between 100 and 128 BPM. 


Mumble Rap

Originating from Emo, Hip-Hop, EDM and Trap. Characterised by its emo-led lyrics and lower than speech level mumble rapping with less emphasis on lyricism or lyrical quality. Stylistically it follows down-tempo Hip-Hop fused with vocoders and Trap-style beats often displaying sparse drum patterns, only basic melodies and lo-fi editing techniques. 

The BPM of Mumble Rap is commonly 60-75 BPM but can vary. 


Neurofunk

Originating from Drum & Bass, Funk, Techstep, House, Techno, Ambient, Industrial and Film Score. Characterised by juxtaposed elements of darker, heavier, and harder forms of Funk with multiple influences ranging from Techno, House and Jazz, distinguished by consecutive stabs over the bassline; razor-sharp backbeats; scarce or nonexistent traditional melodies; a hyper focus on sub sound design; the use of modulated, distorted and filtered synthesisers and audio capture from samplers such as the Akai S1000 and Emu E6400. Neurofunk is very closely related to Techstep, but the primary characteristic that distinguishes the two genres is Neurofunk has more emphasis on flowing complex rhythms using processed and enhanced sampled breakbeats/percussion and expressive, distorted, filtered and modulated bass sounds overlaid with rich layered soundscapes and percussive stab sounds. 

The BPM of Neurofunk is commonly 160-175 BPM. 


New Beat 

Originating from Chicago House, Acid House and EDM. Characterised by post-punk style vocals, stripped back 4x4 electronic house beats with heavy use of samples; especially vocal chops and sound FX from film and TV. An eighties drum palette with lots of big snares and clap rhythms combined with echoes of EBM, Electro Funk and turntablism merge to create an art-house influence on the then emerging electronic dance music format. 

The BPM of New Beat can vary but is commonly 100-115 BPM. 


New Rave / Nu Rave

Originating from Electroclash, Indie Dance, Mash-Up, Punk and Rave. Characterised by a high-energy evolution of electroclash with heavy use of rave synths, whistles and rave and new-age satirical new-age or occult aesthetics. It is primarily Indie-driven, DIY dance music incorporating Chip-Tune, Lo-Fi and Art-House elements. Punk Rock vocals or spoken rap provide a Pop element with the more dance-floor orientated songs in club-edit formats often have a memorable vocal hook. 

The BPM of New Rave can vary but is commonly above 120 BPM. 


Nu-Disco

Originating from Disco, House, Euro House, Italo Disco, Post-Disco and Funky House and Balearic music. Nu-Disco is an electronic interpretation of Disco which can also include samples of original Disco and Boogie or be entirely new compositions. Characterised by the typical song structure of pop or a classic disco song, with various breakdowns, and often with verses and a chorus over a lower energy house beat. Stylistically it is less dramatic and high-octane than the original disco genre and instead has more of a chilled out vibe more in line with the Balearic style. 

The BPM of Nu-Disco is commonly 115-124 BPM but can be between 110 and 130 BPM. 


Nu Wave

Originating from Pop, Post-Rock, Disco, Electronic, Glam-Rock, R&B and Reggae. Characterised by Post-Punk style alternative Indie-Pop music with a quirky and sometimes DIY or Art-House aesthetic. While it has many Pop styles within the genre, Nu Wave tracks often feature synthesisers and electronic sounds, distinguishing it from the more traditional Pop music of the time. Common features include; a twitchy, agitated feel, choppy rhythm guitars with fast tempos, keyboards, stop-start song structures and melodies. New Wave vocalists sounded high-pitched, geeky and suburban. 

The BPM of New Wave, as with pop music, can vary. 


Pop

Pop music or ‘Popular’ music originated from Traditional Pop, Rock & Roll and Folk music. It's characterised by any music that falls under the vast umbrella of pandering to the commercially popular forms of song at the time. It can now also be used to describe music styles that pursue the established Pop style or aesthetic, or even music styles that mimic Pop in an attempt to subterfuge or hijack the genre, as with Hyper Pop. The stylistic goal posts of Pop are constantly changing but the overriding formula is that of a traditional song structure that has great emphasis on the singer or band and encourages celebrity. Structurally the song structure has repeated choruses and hooks, short to medium-length songs (radio edits) written in a basic and memorable format (often the verse-chorus structure). 

The BPM of Pop music can vary. 


Progressive House

Originating from House, Trance, Balearic and Italo House. The term ‘progressive’ has changed its meaning as House music has evolved but is now commonly used in reference to 4x4 House music that features build-ups that progressively evolve often with the use of long automation and modulation techniques. This is then followed by a breakdown and then a climax known as a drop. 

The BPM of Progressive House is commonly between 124 and 130 BPM while older styles tend to be faster and can go up to 140 BPM. 


Psy Trance / Psy 

Psychedelic Trance, Psytrance or simply Psy originates from Trance, Psychedelia, Goa Trance, Eurodance, Techno, New Beat, Acid, Indian Classical music. It is characterised by arrangements of rhythms and layered melodies created by high tempo riffs. There is often a back-bone of a 4x4 beat at a fast tempo often coupled with an off-beat bass stab. Different sub-genres of Psy will display different interpretations and stylistic attributes meaning that Psy Trance is now somewhat of an umbrella term. 

The BPM of Psy Trance can vary between sub-genres but is commonly between 135 BPM and 160 BPM. Minimal Psy can be slower while Hi-Tech can be much faster. 


R&B / Rhythm and Blues

R&B music originated from Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Spirituals, Boogie, Jump Blues and Swing. It traditionally consists of a piano, one or two guitars, bass, drums, one or more saxophones, and sometimes background vocalists. R&B lyrical themes often encapsulate the African-American experience. Contemporary R&B combines Rhythm and Blues with elements of Pop, Soul, Funk, Disco, Hip Hop, and Electronic music. The modern style often replaces the traditional R&B band with electronic drum machines and instruments like the synthesiser. 

The BPM of R&B varies but is commonly between 70 and 115 BPM. However, as a form of popular music with a vast history and many sub-genres,  the BPM can sometimes surpass this range. 


Rave

Rave most commonly refers to the late 1980s/early 1990s genres of House, New Beat, Breakbeat, Acid house, Techno and Hardcore Techno which were played at illegal raves. Stylistically these genres feature electronic beats and high-energy synths and basslines designed to make you dance, and dance hard! Rave can also reference certain sounds like rave horns, whistles and sirens. Lyrically it can often reference party drugs like ecstasy which as a drug was synonymous with the early rave scene. 

The BPM of Rave music varies between its constituent genres. 


Reggaeton

Originating from Spanish-language-Reggae, Soca, Dancehall, Hip-Hop and Toasting. Characterised by the skeletal Dembow riddim combined with Jamaican riddims constructed with drum machines and drum samples. Lyrics take Hip Hop form and are rapped, often in Spanish, with a strong repetitive hook. 

The BPM of Reggaeton is commonly around 100 BPM. 


Soca

Originating from Afro-Caribbean styles including Kaiso, Calypso and Chutney. Soca is often synonymous with the earlier style called Calypso. It is characterised by a strong Afro-Caribbean rhythm using drum machines and synthesisers replacing the traditional instruments of Calypso bands. Sounds include horns (trumpets, trombone and occasional saxophones), electric and bass guitars, cowbells and metallic percussion. 

The BPM of Soca is commonly between 115 and 160 BPM. 


Soul

Originating from Rhythm and Blues, Gospel, Doo-Wop and Jazz. An expansive genre characterised primarily by its soulful lyrics, pop-friendly but orchestral sound with Doo-Wop-inspired vocals. Catchy rhythms, stressed by handclaps and extemporaneous body moves, are an important feature of soul music. Other characteristics are a call and response between the lead vocalist and the chorus and an especially tense vocal sound. 

The BPM of Soul can vary. 


Speedcore

Originating from Hardcore, Breakcore and Gabba. Characterised by high tempo 4x4 beat and aggressive themes. The BPM rarely drops below 300 BPM with some tracks sometimes exceeding 1000 bpm where it then becomes known as Extratone, the world's fastest music genre. The Amen break is commonly used with heavy overdrive distortion and square wave distortion techniques to create a harder sound. 

The BPM of Speedcore is 300-1000 BPM. 


Synth Pop

Originating from New Wave, Pop, Punk and Art Pop. Synth Pop features the treble-dominant synthesiser as the dominant musical instrument along with drum machines and sequencers. Synth-pop has less onus on musicianship and more on deliberate artificiality. The music was often minimalist, with grooves that were typically woven together from simple repeated riffs often with little harmonic progression. Early synth-pop has been described as "eerie, sterile, and vaguely menacing" 

The BPM of Synth Pop can vary. 


Synthwave

Originating from Electronic, French House, Electro, Eurodisco, 1980s film soundtracks and computer game music. Characterised by a style associated with the nostalgic sounds of the 1980s including Pop, film, advertising and computer game music. Synthwave is cinematic and often instrumental but can have Pop-like vocals and song structures. 

The BPM is commonly between 80 and 118 BPM but some styles are faster and may go up to 140 BPM. 


Tech House

Originating from House, Techno, Minimal House and Deep House. Characterised by the combination of house and techno, often seen as the mid-way point between the two. A strong raw techno-styled kick, short hi-hat and strong snare drum pattern is commonly programmed at the tempo of house music. The beat is decorated with sounds that are influenced by the soulful, jazzy end of House (although not as rich and more stripped back), some minimal and very often some dub elements. There is less emphasis on musicality and more focus on repetition and groove in the genre. 

The BPM of Tech House is commonly 122-125 BPM but can vary within the BPM parameters of House music.


Techno

Originating from House, Synth Pop, Electro, Italo Disco, Hi-NRG, Chicago House, EBM, New Beat and Detroit Techno. The evolution of Detroit Techno, simply known as ‘Techno’ is characterised by repetitive four-four beats produced deliberately to be used in the context of a continuous layered DJ set in a club. Much of the instrumentation in Techno emphasises the role of rhythm and repetition over other musical parameters. Techno music uses a disco-beat foundation but deconstructs the concept of using a lead instrument or instruments. It employs the modernist tradition of Klangfarbenmelodie, which means to use multiple sounds to construct a melodic sentence, as opposed to a lead instrument, creating a form of tech tribalism. These Techno melodies and patterns are formed using drum machines, synthesisers, keyboards and electronic instruments, commonly including the Roland TR-808, TR-909, TB-303 and synthesisers such as the Roland SH-101, Kawai KC10, Yamaha DX7, and Yamaha DX100.
The BPM of Techno music is commonly between 120 and 150 BPM. 


Techstep 

Originating from 2-Step Garage, Drum & Bass, Industrial, Darkcore and Techno. Characterised by a dark, sci-fi mood, near-exclusive use of synthesised or sampled sound sources, 2-step kicks and snares and influences from industrial and Techno music. Stylistically it's a clinical and high-energy collage of abstract, synthetic noises, including samples, bleeps and squelches using a D&B template. In a diversion from D&B, it focuses on a quantised drum-machine and percussion kit over more naturalistic human breakbeat. Following the D&B musical structure, it has a strong focus on the drop. In addition, there is an emphasis on exploring the timbre of the bassline, this often manifests with a deeper and more experimental bass. 

The BPM of Techstep is commonly between 160 and 180 BPM. 


Trance

Originating from House, Techno, Chill-Out, Classical, Hardcore Techno and Ambient. Characterised by repeating melodic phrases and a musical form that distinctly builds tension over time often culminating in one or two drops. Breakdowns are often long and devoid of percussion, crescendos often borrow dramatics from Classical music. Cinematic, cerebral and ambient soundscapes create a trance-like state, hence the name, as the style aims to promote a higher level of consciousness or ecstasy. Trance is mostly instrumental club edits for DJs to mix at clubs but can sometimes feature vocals. Vocals on trance often reflect the operatic style, spirituality of the music or higher-consciousness and sometimes sci-fi themes. 

The BPM of Trance is between 135 and 150 BPM. 


Trap

Originating from Southern Hip Hop, Gangsta Rap, Crunk and Memphis Rap. Trap music uses synthesised drums and is characterised by complicated hi-hat patterns, booming 808 kick drums, synths and lyrical content that often reflects but is not limited to that of Gangsta Rap. It utilises sparse instrumentation with less emphasis on musicality. There is a strong focus on snare and hi hat rolls often in triplet patterns, cow bells and only limited use of longer melodies. Trap can often feature talk and response musical structures and rhythmical glitches or super fast repetitions.

The BPM of Trap music is commonly 70 BPM but can also be seen as 140 BPM in double-time. Other Trap songs can vary with the BPM going as low as 50 BPM, although you can say this is 100 BPM in double-time. The half-time-double-time feature of Trap productions allow the producers to utilise greater subdivisions in the music, helping them create those super-fast percussion rolls. 


Tribal House

Originating from House, Deep House and traditional music and instrumentation from South American and African cultures. Characterised by a Deep House format with polyrhythmic ethnic or indigenous musical percussion (typically conga drums or its synthesised derivative). More emphasis is given on rhythm and rhythmic progression than melody or melodic progression in Tribal House. 

The BPM of Tribal House is typically between 115 BPM and 135 BPM. 


Trip Hop

Originating from Hip Hop, Ambient, Electronica, Breakbeat, Jazz, Soul, House, Reggae, Dub, Minimal and more. Characterised by a fusion of Hip Hop and Electronica and may incorporate a variety of styles from other genres. Trip Hop can be highly experimental and is often used as a catch-all for tracks that borrow from Hip-Hop and Electronica but can’t be defined under either of those parameters. It often features a bass-heavy and slowed down breakbeat combined with ambient psychedelia. Vocals in trip hop are often but not exclusively female and feature characteristics of various singing styles including R&B, Jazz and Rock. Trip Hop is also known for its atmospherics, melancholia and reflective overtone that contrasted both stylistically and lyrically with Gangsta Rap. It incorporates Rhodes pianos, saxophones, trumpets, flutes and unconventional instruments like the Mellotron or Theremin. 

The BPM of Trip Hop can vary but is typically no more than 120 BPM. 


Tropical Bass

Originating from Baile Funk, Kuduro, UK Funky, Grime, Electro Funk, Electro House and more. Tropical Bass is an umbrella term that is often used to describe bass-heavy Electro dance music that references a global set of emerging or underground dance styles from South America and the Caribbean, Africa, The Indian sub-continent and various Island cultures associated with the tropical climate. It is characterised by a fusion of rhythms and traditional percussion combined with an Electro dance beat with a rave style and heavy bassline. 

The BPM of Tropical Bass can vary but is commonly 120-135 BPM. 


Tropical House

Originating from Deep House, Big Room House (EDM), Tropical Bass, Dancehall and Balearic. Tropical House can be described as having a more uplifting and relaxing sound compared to other styles of House music or EDM. Tropical percussion and instruments include the steel drums, marimba and pan flute all alongside guitars, saxophones and chilled-out synths. It often utilises the four-four drum pattern of House but can sometimes use the dembow rhythm from Dancehall. 

The BPM of Tropical House is 100-115 BPM. 


UK Funky

Originating from Soulful House, Afrobeat, Soca, Tribal House, UK Garage, Grime and Electro House. UK Funky blends drum machine beats, bass loops and synths with African and Latin percussion. A syncopated drum rhythm can sometimes vary between a standard four-four rhythm and the typical Dembow rhythm used in Dancehall. Vocals take influences from R&B, Soulful House, UK Garage and Grime. 

The BPM of UK Funky is around 130 BPM. 


Vaporwave

Originating from Electronica, Ambient, Lounge, Chiptune, Pop, Synth and Smooth Jazz. It is also heavily influenced by early computer game music and internet culture. It is in equal parts a visual aesthetic and musical genre. Vaporwave is a partly satirical reimagining of 80s and 90s computer adverts and early internet culture. Typically instrumental, it uses highly stylised synths with digital and ambient soundscapes to create a futuristic form of elevator music with overtones of corporate electronica. 

The BPM of Vaporwave is commonly 60-95 BPM. 


Witch House

Originating from Pop, Emo, Shoegaze, Trap, Synth Pop and Goth. Characterised by its dark overtone and themes including the occult, witchcraft, shamanism, terror and horror. Experimental, sparse, syncopated, chopped and skewed drum patterns are combined with drone-like pads and sustained sounds FX. Vocals are often operatic, female-dominant, pitched-down and ethereal. The heavy use of reverberation and echo effects is common. It borrows some elements of Trap including hi-hat triplets. 

The BPM of Witch House is commonly 55-65 BPM but can vary. 


Zouk / Compas

Zouk is considered a synthesis of various French Antillean dance music styles of the 20th century including Kadans, Konpa and Biguine. Typical instruments include the Gwo Ka drum, Tibwa and Shak-Shak combined with modern drum machines, guitars, horns and synths. 

The BPM of Zouk is commonly 120-145 BPM although some modern styles are slower or in half-time. 

*End of the alphabetical list of EDM music genres - Last Updated March 1st 2021*

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