History and Influence of House Music

House music was made in the 1980s from DJs altering disco songs by giving them a mechanical beat and heavier basslines. The pioneers of house music include Frankie Knuckles, Ron Hardy, Jesse Saunders, and many more hailing from Chicago. From its start in Chicago it spread across the world. Another integral city in the development of house music was Detroit. 

The Chicago house music scene developed throughout the 1980s. It is said that the first house record is “On and On”, which was produced in 1984 by DJ Jesse Saunders and co-written by Vince Lawrence. It included the usual elements of early house music including the Roland TB-303 bass synthesizer, minimal vocals, Roland TR-808 drum machine, and a Korg Poly-61 synthesizer. In 1985 and 86 more and more Chicago DJs began producing and releasing house music. This music style began to play on local radio stations and in clubs that catered mainly towards Black, Mexican Americans, and gay audiences. 

The Detroit house music scene developed throughout the early to mid-1980s. The Detroit style of house music had heavy influences from the Chicago house music scene with the addition of more futuristic sound. In Detroit the term “house” did not play as of an important role, so the term techno was established in its place. One of the most popular tracks hailing from Detroit was “Big Fun” by the Inner City group and produced by Kevin Saunderson, which unlike early Chicago house music, included vocals. 

House music was usually produced by using a repetitive 4/4 rhythm that included bass drums, off beat hi-hats, snare drums, claps, and snaps/claps at tempo between 115 and 130 beats per minute. The drum sounds were usually provided by the electronic drum machine, which was the Roland TR-909 or TR-707. Claps and snaps were used to add syncopation to the tracks and on of the signature rhythms in early house music was the clave pattern. The clave rhythmic pattern is often seen and used in Cuban music. 

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