Music & Sound: Pop Music is House Music

By Thomas BeckmannIt was the early 1980s in Chicago, Illinois and a new wave of music was emerging with a force equivalent to that of the ancient Roman Empire. Within a matter of years, House music conquered clubs worldwide and began to influence the type of music we have all come to identify as modern-pop.

Combining elements of funk and soul-infused disco and the advent of new synthesizers and drum machines, House music catered to African-American, Latino, and gay communities beginning a domino effect that would eventually hit every major city and community in the United States. The up-tempo feel with a punching kick drum on every beat became the recipe for viral dance music and full body liberation in clubs worldwide. House music’s message was simple: a celebratory expression of dance, love, and sexuality.

Upon its inception in Chicago, house music was not initially distributed to the mainstream commercial market. Only select music stores such as Importes, Inc., State Street Records, JR’s Music Shop and Gramaphone Records supplied the original 12-inch vinyl. The advent of drum machines and mixers provided the necessary boost to propel simply disco music into the new house genre. The first house record pressed and sold to the general public was “On and On” (1984) of which Slang Music Group’s Vince Lawrence had an integral part in producing. After this release, DJ’s citywide began producing records that contributed to the rapid growth of this genre. In a matter of years, Detroit, New York City, Miami, New Jersey, and the UK adopted this trend, which in turn, continued to grow internationally.

Today, house music and pop music genres are more similar than ever. Artists such as Justice and David Guetta have contributed to a new emergence of house music in the pop genre. The aforementioned artists not only represent a new trend in the fusion of pop and house music, but they represent the international influence that house music has had. A musical trend that began in teenage basements, changed clubs in Chicago and has evolved into new genres and emerging global artists from France and around the world.

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