80's House Music

Written by Charles Peacock
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It's been over twenty years since house music first made its way into dance clubs, but the style is as popular as ever. Much has changed with house music over the years, but it still retains much of the distinctive sound that set it apart on the dance floors of the 1980s. House music from the '80s, in fact, remains quite popular among DJs and dance music afficianados.

How It Began

Many people would be surprised (and perhaps disappointed) to learn that house music is a direct descendant of disco. Disco has gotten a bad rap over the years, but it was in fact one of the first types of music that was recorded (and pressed to vinyl) with DJ mixing in mind. The driving beats of disco and the ready-to-mix record format would eventually evolve into an even rawer type of dance music: house.

It is generally agreed upon that house music got its name from the Chicago dance club "The Warehouse," where DJ Frankie Knuckles, the "godfather of house," presided over the dance floor. Knuckles came to the Warehouse in 1977, bringing with him the music and spirit of the New York disco scene. Knuckles was one of the first DJs to employ mixing and programming in an attempt to create a continuous, uninterrupted flow of dance music.

House really began to take off in the early '80s, migrating out of Chicago's dance club scene and hitting the mainstream. Before long, audiences that were black, white, gay and straight were dancing to the beats pioneered by people like Frankie Knuckles. Around this time, house music began to influence (and to be influenced by) the dance music scene in Europe.


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