Music Theory/Dance

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Dance music is a broad category, generally associated with the club and rave scene.

Major genres of contemporary dance music include House, Techno, Ambient, Trance, Drum and Bass, IDM and Glitch, most of which are frequently divided into sub-genres.

Dance music may be purely instrumental or may employ lyrics. The vocals are sometimes heavily-processed, distorted, or otherwise electronically manipulated above and beyond the norms for other forms of popular music.

Modern dance music shares technical similarities with musique concrète, including the use of sampling, often of "found sounds" other than musical instruments. Though this was once accomplished with the mechanical manipulation of physical tape loops, purpose-built machines or software known as samplers are now used for this purpose. Sampling may be combined with synthesized instruments, or samples of analog or digital synthesizers may be used. Effects such as delay, reverb, and flanging are often applied in very obvious ways.

House and Garage are heavily influenced by disco, and commonly feature repetitive 4/4 beats with heavy, synthesized or sampled bass drums. Drum and bass uses characteristically broken beats, typically in the 160 to 180 beat-per-minute range; distorted, synthesized bass and sub-bass plays a key role.

Dance music has grown in prominence since the 1980s, especially in North America and Europe. Notable artists include Fatboy Slim, Orbital, Basement Jaxx, New Order and Aphex Twin.