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  • Writer's picturegercekdorman

House Music and Chicago House

vinyl dj turntables
vinyl dj turntables

Greetings to everyone, I would like to start a series of articles on my blog that I have been wanting to write for a long time. It is very important for me to know what we listen to, the history of the music we listen to and where it comes from. This is one of the topics I tell most to both my audience and my students while playing on stage. Thanks to my personal blog, I decided to share this history and my knowledge with you, and as the first topic, I wanted to tell you about House Music and its sub-branches. I hope this series of articles will be useful to you. If you want to learn details from me and dive deeper into the work, please do not hesitate to contact me. I wish you all a good reading in advance. Our first topic is House Music in general and of course the beginning of everything, Chicago House.

What is House Music?

House is considered the mother of disco music and typically has a steady rhythm, creating an upbeat atmosphere on dance floors. The main reason why house differs from other dance genres is that it offers groove and soul. House is a digital Rhythm 'front' It is blues and when positive energy is focused, it turns into other top genres.

House's rise was accelerated by a combination of factors such as the emergence of new drum machines and electronic instruments in the early 1980s, the discovery of XTC, and the spread of AIDS. House emerged as a reflection of escapism, involving elements such as sexual dancing, sweating and getting lost in music. House remains popular today as music that offers pleasure and joy in a universal language.

House is characterized by a straight 4/4 drum beat, usually ranging from 120-130 bpm. "Four to the floor" Its beat features a prominent bass drum on a quarter beat. House's name comes from the Chicago-based Warehouse club where the genre originated, and also symbolizes unity, love and acceptance.

House can be divided into three major waves: Classic House (Chicago, Garage, Acid House), styles evolving in Europe (Prog, Deep, Funky, French, Euro-House), and Nu-Disco as well as Electro House. Increasing interest in classics such as. House's future evolution is uncertain with the popularity of outcast genres.

Chicago House (1984)

chicago city

Place of Origin and Story:

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA.

  • Time: early 1980s.

  • Context: Chicago house revolutionized the music scene and became the foundation of electronic dance music (EDM). This style gained popularity, often being played in nightclubs and on local radio stations.

Main DJs and Producers:

  1. Frankie Knuckles: "The father of house music" Known as Knuckles, he is one of the important figures of Chicago house. He contributed to the development of the style by working as a DJ at the club called The Warehouse.

  2. Larry Heard (Mr. Fingers): "Can You Feel It" and "Mystery of Love" Known for his iconic tracks such as, Larry Heard is one of the leading producers of Chicago house.

  3. Marshall Jefferson: "Move Your Body" and "7 Ways to Jack" He is another important name known for his important pieces such as.

Key Features:

  1. Rhythm: Based on a simple and regular 4/4 rhythm. This ensures rhythmic harmony on dance floors.

  2. Bass Lines: Strong bass lines are characteristic features of Chicago house. Bass emphasizes the energy and danceability of the music.

  3. Vocals: Vocals with soul and gospel influences are often used. This emphasizes an emotional and human-centered aspect of Chicago house.

  4. Technology: Equipment such as drum machines, synthesizers, and especially the Roland TB-303 play a key role in shaping the sound of Chicago house.


  1. Acid House: It is one of the subgenres of Chicago house. Contains acidic and synthetic sounds.

  2. Deep House: It is a subgenre that contains deeper and emotional elements.

  3. Jazz House: It is a subgenre containing jazz elements.

  4. Ghetto House: It is a more aggressive and fast-paced subgenre.

Chicago house has an influence that still forms the basis of house music today. This genre has played a critical role in the evolution of electronic dance music, gaining a large fan base around the world.

Discos in Chicago had long, decadent and excessively sexual parties before 1984. But suddenly the scene became even busier: Disco's four-beat rhythm became more prominent, most lyrics disappeared and were replaced by offbeat hi-hats, synth bass lines and pianos. The king of Chicago House was the TR-909 drum machine, which constantly played harder kick drums than before at the popular speed (122-125bpm - not too fast, not too slow). The combination of a slower EDM tempo, a deep and rich R&B bass, diva vocals and poignant piano melodies triggered a dancing feeling that lasted all night long,

 / Garage House

The same story happened in New York, but Soul & There were more gospel elements; it's called Garage House or US Garage. New York House DJs, like the legendary Larry Levan, shaped Garage House in its long evolution by mixing Ambient music with more House. Its origins can be traced back to the late 70s, before Chicago House. Garage House is named after the New York club from which it originated (Paradise Garage).

Although House seemed like a sudden revolution, it was not actually like that. This was another step in the continuing evolution of Disco decay, with Italo-Disco and Hi-NRG being the intermediate steps. However, the difference from Disco was that House was permanent. Chicago and Garage House have never lost their appeal and remain the music that still fills dance floors today, because for many the original recipe is still the most delicious.

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