History of House Music

House music is an electronic dance music style that originated in the early 1980s in Chicago, Illinois. It was originally made popular during this period in many discotheques that catered to various communities, including Latino American, African-American, and gay. House music eventually spread into Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City. It hit Europe before going main stream around the globe in the 1990s.

House music is strongly influenced by funk and soul-infused types of disco. This music genre tends to mimic the percussion found in disco music, but also showcases other prominent features, including electronic drums, pop and funk samples, synthesizer bass-line, electronic effects, and re-verb enhanced vocals.

There are many different stories behind how the musical genre got the name “house.” One story is that the title “house music” originated from The Warehouse, a Chicago-based nightclub running from 1977 to 1982 and was often visited by gay Latino and black men. The DJ of The Warehouse, Frankie Knuckles, said in a documentary that the name “house music” originated after he and some friends passed a sign that said “we play house music” and his friends joked that this was the type of music Knuckles played. A 1985 recording by Chip E. called “It’s House” may have also assisted in creating the name for the new music genre. However, Chip E. states that the name came from music bins at a record store that had music played by Knuckles and was marked “As Heard at the Warehouse,” which was eventually shortened to “House.”

Today, house music is celebrated. In Chicago, where it began, August 10, starting in 2005, was said to be “House Unity Day” to mark the anniversary of house music. There are also a number of fusion genres available today including tech house and electro house. House music is celebrated every year at the Burning Man Festival in Nevada.