The word disco is short for the French word disctotheque. This form of music emerged in the underground dance venues in New York in the 1970s. The disco wave was developed by DJs whose intial form of entertainment was geared toward African American, Latino, and gay dancers. The term disco started off as something just to describe the musical genre and it quickly evolved to encompass a style of dance, as well as fashion amd even hairstyles.

The clientele that were brought to disco venues showcased some of the latest dance trends and helped them to gain more popularity. Examples are: 

  • The Twist by Chubby Checker 
  • Mashed Potato by Dee Dee Sharp 
  • Monkey Time by Major Lance 
  • The Jerk by the Larks 
  • The Watsui by the Vibrations


Disco Dancing All Night Long

The Distinct Sound of Disco

The disco sound is so unique that it is hard to mistake it for anything else. A few distinguishable characteristics of disco are:

  • The general tempo of disco is about 120 beats per minute with a 4/4 time signature. 
  • Four-on- the floor: a drum pattern where the bass drum hits on all four beats of the 4/4 time signature 
  • Bass line is prominent and syncopated. The bass line drives the rhythm of the song.
  • Electric piano, string synth, and synthesizers are commonly used in disco music. 


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Jada Bowden

Jada Bowden

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