What is EDM –  A Deep Dive into Electronic Dance Music

Published: October 11, 2023
edm concert edm fans

Ever wonder what is EDM? Well, EDM, short for Electronic Dance Music, encompasses various electronic music genres known for their energetic beats, synthesized sounds, and emphasis on rhythm. 

Emerging from disco, house, techno, and other electronic genres, EDM has evolved into a global phenomenon since its inception in the late 1970s and early 1980s and moving into 90s electronic dance music.

Driven by its infectious energy and captivating soundscapes, EDM has garnered immense popularity worldwide. With the term “EDM music” widely used to describe this genre and its various subgenres, it has become a dominant force in the music industry. In fact, the EDM market is estimated to have a substantial economic impact, with a value estimated at around USD 8230 million.

Embark on this comprehensive exploration of EDM as we uncover its definition, delve into its historical roots, explore its soaring popularity, and examine its significant presence in the global music landscape. Join us as we immerse ourselves in the pulsating beats and electrifying melodies that define EDM!

What is Electronic Dance Music? 

Electronic Dance Music (EDM) is a genre of music that gets people moving and grooving. It’s all about using electronic instruments, cool synthesizers, and digital tricks to create catchy beats and energetic tunes that make you want to dance. Types of EDM include distyles like house, techno, trance, and dubstep, each with its own unique sound. 

What are the Characteristics of EDM?

dj playing the turntable at an edm festival

In our journey towards understanding what electronic dance music is, let us now look at the characteristics of EDM as the next obvious step.

  1. Rhythm And Tempo
  2. Instrumentation And Production Techniques
  3. Vocals And Lyrics
  4. DJ Culture

1. Rhythm and Tempo

It’s infectious rhythm and energetic tempo characterize EDM. However, the driving force behind EDM tracks is the carefully crafted combination of rhythmic elements.

The beats are often consistent and pulsating, designed to get people moving and dancing. In addition, the rhythmic patterns create a sense of groove and excitement that keeps the energy high throughout the song, making EDM a perfect genre for parties and club environments.

2. Instrumentation and Production Techniques

EDM relies heavily on electronic instruments and advanced production techniques. Producers use a wide array of tools, such as synthesizers, drum machines, and samplers, to create unique sounds and textures. 

They experiment with various effects, filters, and plugins to sculpt the signature EDM sound. The use of cutting-edge production techniques allows for precise control over every element of the music, resulting in a dynamic and futuristic sonic landscape.

3. Vocals and Lyrics

While not always present, vocals and lyrics play a significant role in many EDM tracks. Vocals can range from catchy hooks and anthemic sing-alongs to ethereal or heavily processed vocal samples. 

The lyrics often revolve around universal themes of love, freedom, and celebration, adding an extra layer of emotion and connection to the music. They contribute to EDM’s overall uplifting and positive vibe, creating an engaging and relatable experience for listeners.

4. DJ Culture

DM and DJ culture are deeply intertwined. DJs play a crucial role in the EDM scene, not only as performers but also as tastemakers and curators of electrifying live experiences.

In addition to creating and producing their own music, DJs are known for their skillful mixing and seamless transitions between tracks, which you can also learn by enrolling in these best DJ courses.

They often incorporate remixes, mashups, and live improvisation, creating a continuous flow of energy on the dancefloor. In addition, the dynamic interaction between DJs and the crowd is a fundamental aspect of EDM’s live performances, fostering a sense of community and shared experience.

What are Subgenres of EDM?

an artist playing at an edm dance festival

Let us now explore the types of EDM, which are also called subgenres when it comes to using musical jargon.

1. House

House music is known for its infectious grooves and steady beats, making it perfect for dancing. With its origins in Chicago, house music is characterized by its soulful vocals, uplifting melodies, and repetitive basslines.

It often creates a feel-good atmosphere and has various subgenres like deep house, progressive house, and tropical house.

DITVAK, Emie, VILNYY – Everything You Wanna (Live Version) [Official Music Video]

2. Techno

Techno is a genre that originated in Detroit and is defined by its driving rhythm and futuristic soundscapes. It typically features repetitive beats, synthesized melodies, and a focus on creating a hypnotic and immersive experience. In addition, Techno is known for its minimalistic approach and strongly emphasizes the power of rhythm.

Tujamo, VINNE & Murotani – Techno Party (Bass House / Tech House)

3. Trance

Trance music is all about taking listeners on a euphoric journey. Its melodic and emotional qualities are characterized by uplifting synthesizers, layered melodies, and driving basslines. Trance often features build-ups and breakdowns that create a sense of anticipation and release, allowing listeners to get lost in its mesmerizing sounds.

Armin van Buuren feat. Miri Ben-Ari – Intense

4. Dubstep

Dubstep is a genre known for its heavy basslines, aggressive sound design, and distinct rhythmic patterns. Originating in the UK, it features a combination of electronic elements, sub-bass frequencies, and syncopated beats. Dubstep often incorporates intense drops and wobbling bass sounds, creating a dynamic and energetic listening experience.

Best Dubstep Mix 2020 [Brutal Dubstep Drops]

5. Future Bass

Future Bass is a genre that blends elements of EDM, hip-hop, and R&B. It is characterized by its lush synthesizers, catchy melodies, and emotional vocals. Future bass often combines uplifting chords with intricate electronic production, resulting in a unique fusion of melodic and energetic genres.

Sineself – Already Gone (feat. Luma) | Future Bass

6. Hardstyle

Hardstyle is a high-energy genre known for its intense beats and distorted sounds. Originating in the Netherlands, it features aggressive kick drums, heavy basslines, and rapid synth sequences. Hardstyle is characterized by its energetic and hard-hitting nature, often incorporating trance, hardcore, and techno elements.

Kit Hype – In My Head (Hardstyle) | HQ Videoclip

4 Main Examples of EDM Music

To help you further understand what is EDM, we have curated some famous examples for movies and TV for your ease.

  1. “I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas (featured in the movie “The Hangover”): This upbeat EDM-pop anthem became a worldwide hit and was prominently featured in the comedy film, adding to the festive atmosphere of the storyline.
  2. “Turn Down for What” by DJ Snake & Lil Jon (featured in the movie “Furious 7”): This high-energy EDM track was featured in the action-packed film, enhancing the intensity of the scenes and capturing the adrenaline-fueled spirit of the franchise.
  3. “Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap (featured in the movie “(500) Days of Summer”): While not purely EDM, this indie-electronic song created an atmospheric backdrop for pivotal moments in the romantic comedy-drama film, adding depth and emotion to the storytelling.
  4. “The Power” by Snap! (featured in TV shows like “Friends” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”): This iconic dance track from the 90s has been used in various TV shows to create energetic and nostalgic moments, infusing the scenes with a lively and vibrant atmosphere.

These examples demonstrate how EDM and electronic-influenced music have been integrated into movies and TV shows, adding energy, setting the mood, and enhancing the overall viewing experience.

Benefits of Learning EDM Music

Learning EDM offers a range of benefits beyond musical skills. It provides a platform for personal expression and emotional release, allowing you to channel your thoughts and feelings into captivating compositions.

Moreover, delving into the realm of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) not only broadens your musical horizons but also provides numerous musical benefits that can significantly enhance your overall music skills. As you immerse yourself in the captivating world of EDM, you have the opportunity to cultivate technical abilities like sound design, arrangement, and sound mixing. These skills are instrumental in enabling you to produce tracks of exceptional quality that exude a professional touch.

Beyond the technical aspects, learning EDM fosters personal growth and cultivates valuable qualities. It requires discipline and perseverance, pushing you to overcome challenges and expand your creative boundaries. As you develop your skills, you gain confidence in your abilities and experience the joy of artistic achievement. 

What is EDM (Electronic Dance Music)- FAQs

What Are Some Edm Examples?

Some popular EDM examples include “Wake Me Up” by Avicii and “Clarity” by Zedd ft. Foxes, and “Animals” by Martin Garrix.

Why Is Edm So Popular?

EDM’s popularity is due to its energetic beats, catchy melodies, and ability to create a vibrant and immersive atmosphere for listeners and dancers.

What Is Considered Edm Music?

EDM music encompasses a wide range of electronic genres that emphasize danceability, electronic production techniques, and energetic rhythms, including subgenres like house, techno, trance, and dubstep.


To conclude our write-up, exploring the world of EDM has been an exciting journey; unraveling the vibrant and diverse landscape of electronic dance music has been interesting. 

We’ve learned that EDM is a genre characterized by its infectious beats, mesmerizing melodies, and pulsating rhythms. From house to techno, trance to dubstep, each subgenre brings its own unique flavor to the EDM scene.

So, what is EDM? It’s a powerful force that ignites emotions, fuels creativity, and creates unforgettable experiences on dance floors and music festivals worldwide.

If the infectious energy inspires you and you want to dive deeper into the world of EDM, why not take the next step? Consider exploring the best EDM courses available and unlock your potential as a music producer or DJ.