House music is a genre that originated in the clubs of Chicago during the early 1980s. However, different types of house music have developed over the years encompassing various sub-genres.
House music has typical characteristics: a 120-130 bpm tempo, a 4/4 time signature, and a kick on each beat.
The music has standard song structures such as an intro, verses, a signature chorus, an interlude, and an outro.
While not all tracks follow this rule, we frequently hear House artists skip the verses by repeating a vocal sample from the chorus.
As a result, various subgenres of house music exist, each at slightly different speeds. Various synths, beats, and other instruments can indicate a distinct subgenre of house music.
Furthermore, there are different house music types, including deep house, acid house, electro house, Latin house, funk, tropical house, and progressive house.
Here are examples of the most common types of house music.
1. Acid House Music
This genre began in the mid-1980s as an electronic music genre in Chicago. It expanded to London, Manchester, Ibiza, and New York, still prevalent in rave culture.
Acid house music became popular in the late 1980s in the UK club scene, marking the Second Summer of Love.
Like many electronic genres, it is heavily influenced by club culture and drugs, especially MDMA (ecstasy).
In the acid house, the kick drum pulse is 4/4 time. These beats are created using electronic drum machines with off-beat handclaps.
Most acid house music is between 120 and 130 bpm, making them comfortable to dance to.
Acid house is named after a piece of gear—the Roland TB-303 Bass Line synthesizer. Producers built only a few of these machines between 1981 and 1984; however, the software currently emulates their sounds.
This type of house music combines big beat, Detroit techno, deep house, breakbeat hardcore, and psychedelic trance.
Some classic examples of Acid house music include “Acid Tracks” by Phuture, “I’ve Lost Control” by Sleazy D and Marshall Jefferson, and “Box Energy” by DJ Pierre.
2. Bass House & Electro House
Early in the 1990s, this genre was made as a heavy alternative. It wasn’t until the early and middle 2000s that it became a natural alternative.
Sawtooth wave bass sounds are familiar in Bass and Electro House. The speed is usually around 125-135 beats per minute, but this can vary from song to song (bpm).
Deadmau5 is said to be the person who made this genre famous. Zedd, Erol Alkan, and Bloody Beetroots also made this genre famous.
Discovery by Daft Punk is an excellent example of how the genre has impacted other artists, like Justice and Digitalism. This led them to do their original works.
3. Chicago house
Among the different types of house music, Chicago house is one of the earliest. Chicago house is another sub-genre from the mid-to-late 1980s.
The name refers to the original house music productions made in the 1980s by Chicago-based artists.
Furthermore, this subgenre mixes disco, European synth music, 1970s soul, and DJ-made beats, unlike other house music.
Handclaps and off-beat hi-hat rhythms add a quirky edge. While the house does not use live instruments, it often emulates soul and disco’s groovy, soulful vibe.
This is especially true of early house music like Mr. Fingers’ 1986 song “Can You Feel It?”
Chicago house musicians frequently use 1980s synthesizers like the Roland TR-808, TR-909, Korg Poly-61, and Roland TB-303 Bass Line. Early pioneers of this genre include Jesse Saunders, Frankie Knuckles, and Rod Hardy.
4. Deep House Music
Deep house originated in the early 1990s as a subgenre of Chicago house music. It was inspired by the soulful groove of the 1970s disco era.
The music is characterized by a slower tempo than acid house, usually around 80-125bpm.
This slower pace allows for more space between the bassline and the vocals. Deep house is also more likely to include lyrics than the average house.
Furthermore, this sub-genre combines typical house music’s pounding four-on-the-floor beat with jazz and funk harmonies and basslines.
Deep house is also known as “downtempo” or “slowcore.” It has a very smooth sound that makes it ideal for relaxing at home.
In particular, the TR-909 drum machine and the Juno-60 and Jupiter-6 keyboard synthesizers are prominent in many of the best deep house tracks.
Artists like Larry Heard (Mr. Fingers), Kerri Chandler, and Marshall Jefferson are considered pioneers of the genre.
Other notable artists include Sasha & John Digweed, Carl Cox, Danny Tenaglia, Todd Terry, Derrick Carter, and Laurent Garnier.
5. Electro House Music
Electro house is a hybrid style of house music combining electro, garage, and tech-house elements. It incorporates electro, hip hop, and R&B elements into its class.
This type of house music is often associated with the British underground party scene.
Heavy bass defines electro-house. These are often buzzing baselines made with sawtooth waves and distortion.
Electro house has a pace of 125-135 beats per minute. Also, it incorporates large bass drum sounds in a four-on-the-floor arrangement.
Lastly, this subgenre has a lot of melodic elements, electro-influenced samples, and synths.
The term “electro house” was coined by Pete Tong on BBC Radio 1 in 1995. However, the first track was labeled “The Rhythm Divine” by Groove Chronicles.
Since then, the term has been used to describe house music that fits this description. Early electro house tunes include Arrivers’ “Dark Invader” and Basement Jaxx’s “Raw S*it.” “Flat Beat” (1999) by Mr. Oizo is also considered an early example.
6. French house music
This type of house music is a subgenre of EDM that combines disco, funk, and house components.
French house features funky basslines, filtered and phased vocals, and 1970s and 1980s funk and disco samples.
As a result of the effects, French house music became known as “filter house.”
French house is heavily influenced by American funk and disco and Italo disco and space disco. It adopted Italo disco’s filters and phasing effects to treat voices and samples.
The synth sweep of Daft Punk’s “One More Time” embodies the French house’s disco roots.
In the late 1990s, the sub-genre peaked with artists like Daft Punk and Air. Both Air’s “Sexy Boy” and Daft Punk’s “Around the World” feature vocoded choruses and samples.
Chicago and New York house impacted French house music with their four-on-the-floor beats and hip-hop samples.
It’s in Starbass’ “Music Sounds Better with You” with its cyclical guitar and keyboard riffs.
7. Latin House
Latin House came to the forefront in the mid-1990s thanks to labels like Nervous Records and Cutting Records.
These labels can be seen in artists like Diplo, who have used Latin House in their music. Latin house is considered to be quite different from other types of house music.
Songs like Samba, Bossa Nova, Tango, and Mambo use a lot of different rhythm patterns. These patterns are combined with various drums and different time signatures to the Latin House genre.
8. Minimal House
Minimal house is a type of electronic dance music with few instruments and simple rhythms. It usually has a beat of about 140 BPM. In the early 1990s, the genre came from the UK rave scene.
There were a lot of raves in the 1980s, and DJs were playing minimal techno songs in dark rooms.
There were also a lot of labels like Warp Records and Ninja Tune in the early 1990s that helped shape the genre.
Minimal or Microhouse comprises parts of deep house and minimal techno. During the late 90s and early 2000s, producers mixed the steady rhythm of techno with the patterns of House kick drums and hi-hats.
Synths are layered for texture, and the tempo stays between 115 and 130 beats per minute, so the song doesn’t get too loud.
9. Progressive House
This genre is simply a mixture of progressive rock and jazz fusion with typical house music to give it the effect.
Progressive House is usually played live with synthesizers, sequencers, samplers, drum machines, electric guitars, keyboards, and other instruments.
It has rhythmic layers added and taken away throughout the song to build intensity.
There are highs and lows in this genre, but they don’t sound as hard as Deep House. When you listen to some songs, long build-ups last for up to 4 minutes, like in the song “Strobe” by Deadmau5.
10. Tropical House
Tropical House is relaxing music with a laid-back feel and is often thought of as a beach vacation. ‘What Do You Mean’ by Justin Beiber is an example of this genre.
Not to mention, it was produced by MdL, a producer who worked with Tropical House. Since the mid-2010s, Tropical House has been making its way into mainstream pop through songs like this one.
Among the different types of house music, tropical house is more contemporary in sound.