- Disco, Italo Disco, Synth-Pop, early Electronic Music
House Music is a DJ and producer-driven rhythmic electronic dance music style that developed in Chicago in The '80s. It was an underground style that received little exposure outside Chicago until the late Eighties/Nineties) when DJs started looping the breaks (a part of the song where the beat is the emphasis) of Disco songs over and over, because they found that the crowd reacted to those specific parts the best.
While disco was an important influence, whereas disco was produced in big, expensive professional studios, with a team of session musicians and arrangers, house music was done by DJs and music producers in their home studios using relatively inexpensive gear. After a while early house musicians started doing their own songs where the break was the foundation and used electronic instruments and sequencers to create new melodies based on the rhythm. When electronic drum machines and bassline sequencers came out it allowed for even more freedom in beat making.
The drum machine beats had a steady four beat to the bar (almost always 4/4) bass drum beat that made the music highly danceable. The thumping, insistent bass drum created a powerful sonic impact when played through huge subwoofer speakers that house clubs used. The constant, mechanical drum beat was criticized by people outside the house scene, but they were not understanding the intention. Unlike pop music, which is designed with an emphasis on melody and intended to be listened to in your room, house music is designed to be played loud in a club, so loud that you feel the beat, and danced to. Like disco, house music was associated with club drugs that enhanced the experience of dancing in a nightclub. MDMA, known as Ecstasy, was a popular drug at house clubs.
Early Chicago house has a definite gospel influence in the vocals, and producers chose soaring, powerful vocal samples that could range from choirs and divas to a preacher-esque person yelling about the tenets of house music. This paved the way for the freeform vocal samples (people yelling, rapping, singing, generally doing whatever as long as it's with the beat) to dominate later house tracks. In addition to sampling vocals, producers would sample short instrumental riffs and repeat them throughout the song, or create a new riff that would be played on a synthesizer. The producers designed songs to build gradually by adding new layers of sampling and intensifying the instrumental parts to bring the song to an exciting climax.
Other influences were Italo Disco (disco that got progressively more electronic and stayed strong in Europe after its fade in the U.S.A.) and New Wave. As technology improved experimentation within the medium grew. Experimenting with the Roland TB-303 (a synthesizer/sequencer) resulted in acid house, which basically started the rave movement as we know it.
From there, many sub-genres of house music developed. It went from being an obscure, underground style in a few US cities to a global pop style with hit records, massive clubs, and festivals.
- Boléro Effect: Common with many songs, with simplistic drum parts turning into lush, deep songs by the end.
- The sub-genre of Progressive House features the Boléro Effect itself as one of its core features.
- Common Time: With very few exceptions, House is always in 4/4, with a kick drum that basically goes "Unce, Unce, Unce, Unce" and so on..
- Coolest Club Ever: Pretty much any Post-1980s scene in a nightclub (or rave) is going to be playing House music, as it is the most quintessential form of Electronic Dance Music.
- "Days of the Week" Song: Reel 2 Real's 'Conway'
- Dance Sensation: A lot of early house music tunes referred (in the title or the lyrics) to "jacking".
- Epic Riff: Pretty much any piano house tune from the early rave days.
- Gratuitous Disco Sequence: Groups like Daft Punk, Full Intention, The Freemasons and Joey Negro have used this trope in mind to revitalize both the house and disco genres in the mid-'90s.
- Have a Gay Old Time: "Jackin'" used to refer to a dance style that emerged from 80's Chicago house parties and not its modern interpretation. Although one has to wonder if artists like Jackmaster Dick (who had a track entitled "Jack The Dick") were doing this intentionally and this euphemism is Older Than We Think.
- Heartbeat Soundtrack: Armand's Cardiac mix of Jimmy Somerville's Heartbeat.
- Lyrical Tic: House music will often contain certain Catchphrases depending on the time period and city it was made in. 1980's Chicago house uses the term "jackin" along, and no that doesn't mean what you might think.
- Non-Appearing Title: Of course the opposite to Title-Only Chorus, also happens frequently. Makes it rough on Trainspotters.
- Rock Me, Amadeus!: An early example would be Apotheosis O Fortuna
- Sampling Much of today's house mixes are based on older obscure disco records. Black Box, Cevin Fisher and Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch popularizing Loleatta Holloway's vocals on Love Sensation are a good example.
- Techno: Has quite a lot of cross over with both this and progressive.
- Title-Only Chorus: Very often house music will contain minimal lyrics, sometimes only one or two words, which will be the title of the song.
Examples of house artists<!—index—>
- Adamski: Best remembered for "Killer" (1990)
- Steve Aoki
- Basement Jaxx
- C&C Music Factory: Had a hit with "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)".
- Hernan Cattaneo
- Daft Punk (the Trope Codifier; also the Trope Maker for the French House subgenre)
- 1997 - Homework
- 2001 - Discovery
- 2005 - Human After All
- Deee-Lite: Best known for "Groove Is In The Heart".
- Todd Edwards
- Etienne De Crécy
- Farley "Jackmaster Funk".
- Fatboy Slim
- Felix da Housecat
- Frankie Knuckles (the Trope Maker)
- Funky Green Dogs: Had a hit with "Fired Up" (1996)
- David Guetta
- Jax Jones
- Knife Party (mixed with Electro House and Dubstep)
- Little Boots
- Derrick May
- Edward Maya
- Modjo: Best remembered for "Lady".
- Sarina Paris
- Pet Shop Boys
- Primal Scream
- 1991 - Screamadelica
- Eric Prydz
- Reel 2 Real: Had a hit with "I Like To Move It", best known for its appearance in the Madagascar films.
- Robin S.: Scored a hit with "Show Me Love".
- St Germain
- 2000 - Tourist
- Swedish House Mafia
- Utah Saints
- Armand van Helden