Electronic music is undeniably popular.
Turn on the radio today and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a track that doesn’t have some elements of electronic music running through it. The electronic music industry is worth over USD$7 billion, with its highest paid DJs (The Chainsmokers and Marshmello) raking in over USD$40 million per year. A Google search of ‘electronic music’ returns nearly two billion results, and Spotify’s curated electronic playlists have millions of followers. From dance and techno, to hardstyle and trap, there’s pretty much a style of electronic music for everyone. But where did it come from, and why do we like it so much?
Early electronic music began in the 1920s and 1930s, but it wasn’t until around the 1960s that electronic instruments began to be used more frequently. Synthesisers came to the fore as an instrument of choice for ground-breaking artists like Pink Floyd and Genesis. The 70s saw a stronger wave of electronic tinged tracks, with Depeche Mode and Eurythmics leading the charge. However, it was the invention of MIDI in the 1980s that truly changed the game. As computers became more powerful, people were finding new and exciting ways to twist and bend the traditional boundaries of music.