House music is believed to have originated in the early 1980s in Chicago, USA, where it was played in clubs such as The Warehouse. The name “house” comes from this club, as the music that was played there became known as “Warehouse music” and eventually shortened to just “house music”.
Although the origins of the name are somewhat disputed, what is clear is that house music was heavily influenced by the African-American and Latino communities in Chicago, who were using drum machines, synthesizers, and other electronic instruments to create a new form of dance music.
Here’s a mix I made with a variety of different house music styles:
House Music Origins: From “Warehouse” To “House”
House music is believed to have originated at a club in Chicago called The Warehouse which was opened in 1977 by Robert Williams.
The music played at The Warehouse was a mix of disco, funk, and soul, but it was the introduction of drum machines, synthesizers, and other electronic instruments that would give rise to a new form of dance music.
To learn more about what goes into the creation of house music, check out this article on the 4 House Music Elements that I created based on my study of house music and experience producing it for the last 5 years.
As the popularity of The Warehouse club grew, so too did the reputation of the music being played there, with the music becoming known as “Warehouse music” and eventually just “house music”.
There are several theories as to why the name “house” was chosen. The main theory is that the name comes from the club itself with another theory being that the name comes from the fact that the music was being played at “house parties” as well as in clubs.
…Who Invented House Music?
While it is difficult to attribute the invention of house music to a single individual, there were several DJs and producers who were instrumental in its development.
One of the most significant figures in the creation of house music was Frankie Knuckles. Known as the “Godfather of House Music”, Knuckles was a DJ at The Warehouse, a nightclub in Chicago, where he played a mix of disco, soul, and European electronic music.
Another influential figure in the development of house music was Ron Hardy, who was also a DJ at The Warehouse. Hardy was known for his experimental approach to mixing and his ability to create a seamless flow between tracks.
He would often play records at the wrong speed or mix tracks together in unconventional ways, which helped to create a unique sound that was distinctly different from other forms of dance music at the time.
Other notable figures in the early days of house music include Larry Heard, Marshall Jefferson, and Jesse Saunders.
Heard, who performed under the name Mr. Fingers, is credited with producing some of the first house tracks, including “Mystery of Love” and “Can You Feel It”.
Jefferson is best known for his track “Move Your Body”, which is widely considered to be one of the first house records.
Saunders produced the track “On and On”, which was another early example of the house sound.
Where Is House Music Most Popular?
House music has gained a global following since its inception in the early 1980s. It is played and enjoyed by fans all over the world, with different regions having their own unique spin on the genre.
That being said, there are several places where house music is particularly popular and has a strong presence in the local music scene.
One of the cities most closely associated with house music is Chicago, where the genre first originated. The city is home to several legendary clubs and DJs that helped to create the house sound, including The Warehouse and Frankie Knuckles.
Today, Chicago continues to be a hub for house music, with several annual music festivals and events dedicated to the genre, such as the Chosen Few Picnic & Festival and the Chicago House Music Conference.
Another city with a strong connection to house music is New York, where the genre has been popular since the early days of disco.
DJs like David Morales, Frankie Knuckles, and Louie Vega have helped to shape the sound of house music in the city, and it continues to be an important part of the local music scene.
The city is also home to several iconic clubs that are known for their house music, such as the Paradise Garage and Sound Factory.
London, UK has a thriving house scene, with clubs like Ministry of Sound and Fabric attracting top DJs and producers from around the world.
The city is also home to several influential record labels, such as Defected Records and Strictly Rhythm, which have helped to shape the sound of house music.
Berlin, Germany is another European city with a strong house music presence. The city is known for its techno scene, but house music has also found a home there, with several clubs and events dedicated to the genre.
The city’s underground music scene has helped to cultivate a unique and experimental sound that blends elements of house, techno, and other electronic genres.
Other cities with a strong house music presence include Amsterdam, Netherlands, where the annual Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) brings together some of the world’s top DJs and producers, and Ibiza, Spain, which is known for its vibrant club scene and legendary parties.