View Full Version : What is the difference between dance, house, electronica, rave and trance music?

Payton's Servant
04-21-2003, 02:57 PM
Is it related to the amount of ectascy you take before you start listening?


Seriously, they seem to be quite similar if not the same thing to me.

'Course I mostly listen to rock so what do I know?;)

04-22-2003, 12:04 AM
trance & house are subsets of rave which is a subset of electronica which is a subset of dance.

Too bad Ishkur's site doesn't work anymore.

04-22-2003, 12:24 AM
some people label electronica as it's own genre, alongside house, trance, breakbeat, jungle, drum+bass, etc.

i'll see if I can dig up a site that has examples of everything, there are a few out there.

I can listen to deep deep house, trance(preferably dark), or dark, progressive breaks.

If I'm in the right club, I can deal with clubby trance....dark just doesn't work in some clubs.

04-22-2003, 02:28 AM
Dance or electronic music is the umbrella title that covers all the genres like house, trance, techno, breakbeat, etc.

Fundamentally, the differences between these genres are their BPM (Beats Per Minute). House and Garage (a more vocals oriented and soulful version of house) music range from 120 to 130 BPM.
Progressive, tribal, and breakbeat are in the 130 to 140 range. Trance and techno are in the 140 to 150 range. Jungle and drum and bass are 150 plus. To put this in perspective, Rap or Hip Hop ranges from 80 to 100 BPM.

As far as sound, it is difficult to describe the different genres. What I may recommend is that you listen to DJ's that play these different types of music. For example, if you want to hear house or garage, I recommend "Little" Louie Vega, Larry Heard, or Tony Humphries. This (http://www.deephousepage.com/) website offers many mixes with them and others who play house and garage.

If you want to hear trance, techno, or progressive, I'd recommend this (http://www.thumpradio.com/) website. Just click on radio, then archives. They list their DJ's by genre. Also, this (http://www.clubradio.net/music/) website has many different DJ's and many different genres.


04-22-2003, 04:45 AM
You can't classify them exactly by their BPM, there are stylistic differences. (For the record, I can't stand any of them. Ooontz oontz oontz - ack, my brain.)

Also, "dance" is a very wide category that covers several sub-genres (like techno, d&b, etc.), and "electronica" is some generic term someone at MTV (I assume) coined the term to apply a trendy new label to all sorts of genres of crappy electronic music.

gex gex
04-22-2003, 08:56 AM
Dance and electronic a fairly generic labels that don't describe any particular style of music. Dance refers to pretty much anything that is made with machines or samples and you can dance to. Electronica is even more broad and is used to desrcibe something that uses machines or samples that you can't call rock or hip-hop. It's not a very helpful name.

House started in the early eighties, growing from disco and is marked by its simple 4/4 beat, mid tempo rhythm (120-130 bpm as Chaco said) and it usually involves an acoustic element (keyboards, etc). Have a listen to Daft Punk's Homework album and you'll recognise the style.

Rave grew in the late 80's, is faster and more synth based. It's strongly associated with drug-taking and the songs were long and somewhat psychadelic.

Trance is more about the rhythms than rave; the songs consist of long, repetitive sequences that, as the title suggests, create a trancelike sound. The beats are consistent and change very little. Machines make the sounds rather than samples and there is little melody.

04-22-2003, 09:46 AM
As said above, dance and electronica are umbrella terms encompassing several different genres.

"Rave" isn't really a widely used description. It could mean anything played at raves, in which case it would mean the same as dance music - an umbrella term. Here in the UK though raves are associated with "hardcore" and "happy hardcore" so i guess thats what rave music would mean. Hardcore is an old genre from the early 90s characterised by fast breakbeats, some vocals, silly samples, and a lot of drug references. Happy hardcore is similar but even faster, harder, and more cartoonlike.

House can be split into several sub genres like progressive house, US house, funky house, hard house, deep house etc. These are so different you could argue house as a specific genre doesn't really exist any more. If you're from the US though then i imagine house there will mainly be US house, which is fairly slow, vocal dominated, and based on straight 4/4 beats.

There are a lot of different varieties of trance too. Generally though they're faster than house, with a lot of uplifting synth type sounds.

04-22-2003, 09:59 AM
IANADJ but, this is my understanding of the genres:

Electronica and rave are catch-all phrases for all the various techno styles (all subsumed under "dance").

Trance has a more etherial (or trance-y) style. Like Darude's "Sandstorm" which was in every club and on every dance tape mix in 2001.

Drum and Bass has a harder style. Chemical Brothers would be a good example of this.

House seems very similar to trance and I honestly can't tell them apart. Amazon classifis Sasha and John Digweed as House but I thought they were more Trance.

I don't know what the heck Moby or Fat Boy Slim are considered. Doesn't matter really because all these styles blend together. All you have to do is change the beat in and voila!

04-22-2003, 10:19 AM
Since others already addressed the terms dance and electronica, here is some information about the sub-genres (like house and trance). If it all sounds the same to you, then read the descriptions of the sub-genres and listen to the clips to get a better idea of the differences.

The Electronica Primer http://phobos.plato.nl/e-primer/
Covers the roots of electronica and describes house, techno, jungle, and breakbeat along with audio clips.

Dance Music Genre Guide http://dancemusic.about.com/library/blgenres.htm
Describes house, trance, drum & bass / jungle, and two-step / UK garage. Some audio clips.

04-22-2003, 10:23 AM
The Electronica Primer (http://phobos.plato.nl/e-primer/) is a great web site that will explain the differences, along with history, and a bunch of sound samples. Lots of fun reading!

msmith537: No, I've never heard Sasha and Digweed classified as House, either.

D'oh! And on preview, I see Zhora has beaten me to it by only seconds!

04-22-2003, 11:10 AM

Drum and Bass is a lot harder than the chemical brothers!
They and Fatboy slim are usually considered "big beat".

Sasha and Digweed are progressive house.

Not sure what Moby would be classified as, he's more chill out than dance music anyway really..

As you said though the genres do blend and merge into each other a lot..

04-22-2003, 02:10 PM
Originally posted by msmith537
Drum and Bass has a harder style. Chemical Brothers would be a good example of this.

no offense, but Chemical Brothers are in no way, shape or form even similar to DnB. If you want to hear some DnB that's not hard to find, go to your local Best Buy, go the the dance section and check out AK1200, Aphrodite, Freaky Flow or Dieselboy. there's better DnB out there, but those are the ones they usually have.
or just check out this site (http://www.breakbeat.co.uk/)

04-22-2003, 02:17 PM
Originally posted by Yookeroo
trance & house are subsets of rave which is a subset of electronica which is a subset of dance.

Too bad Ishkur's site doesn't work anymore.

don't worry, Ishkur SWEARS the new version of the guide will be up soon.

04-23-2003, 12:05 AM
Originally posted by mooka
Not sure what Moby would be classified as, he's more chill out than dance music anyway really..

A lot of his early stuff is definitely dance music. Stuff like Go, Next Is the E, Drop A Beat, Feeling So Real etc.