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Dance music is generally the name given to commercial, mainstream club music.

In 1981, a form of Dance music was developing. This music, made using electronics, is a style of popular music commonly played in Dance music nightclubs, radio stations, shows and raves. During its gradual decline in the late 1970s, disco became influenced by computerization. Looping, sampling and segueing as found in disco continued to be used as creative techniques within Trance, Techno, and House.


Dance music experienced a boom after the proliferation of personal computers in the 1980s, manifest in the Dance element of Tony Wilson's Ha├žienda scene (in Manchester) and London clubs like Delirium, The Trip, and Shoom. The scene rapidly expanded to the Summer Of Love in Ibiza, which became the European capital of House and Trance. Clubs like Sundissential and Manumission became household names with British, German and Italian tourists.

Many music genres that made use of electronic instruments developed into contemporary styles mainly due to the MIDI protocol, which enabled computers, synthesizers, sound cards, samplers, and drum machines to interact with each other and achieve the full synchronization of sounds. Dance music is typically composed using computers and synthesizers, and rarely has any physical instruments. Instead, this is replaced by digital or electronic sounds, with a 4/4 beat. Dance music typically ranges from 120bpm, up to 200bpm (Hip Hop in comparison usually plays at a speed of 80 to 100bpm), with Techno, Trance, and House being the most widespread. Many producers of this kind of music however, such as Darren Tate and MJ Cole, were trained in classical music before they moved into the electronic medium.

Associated with Dance music are usually commercial tracks that may not easily be categorized, such as Snap! - The Power, C+C Music Factory - Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now), and the Beatmaster - Rok Da House but the term "Dance music" is generally applied to many forms of popular Electronic music, both commercial and non commercial.

Some of the most popular upbeat genres includes House, Techno, Drum & Bass, Jungle, Hardcore, Electronic, Industrial, Breakbeat, Trance, Psychedelic Trance, UK Garage, and Electro. There are also much slower styles, such as Downtempo, Chillout and Nu Jazz.

Many sub-genres of Dance music have evolved. Sub-genres of House include Acid House, Hard House, Funky House, Deep House, Tribal House, Dark House, Hip House, Tech House and US Garage. Sub-genres of Drum & Bass include Tech Step, Hard Step, Jump Up, Intelligent D&B, Atmospheric D&B, Liquid Funk, Sambass, Drum Funk, Neuro Funk and Ragga Jungle. Sub-genres of other styles include Progressive Breaks, Rave Breaks, Booty Bass, Goa Trance, Euro Trance, Hard Trance, Hardstyle, Minimal Techno, Gabber Techno, Breakcore, Broken Beat, Trip Hop, Folktronica and Glitch. Speed Garage, Breakstep, Bassline, Grime and the Reggae-inspired Dubstep are all sub-genres of UK Garage.

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