EDM Music Genres Family Tree

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EDM Sub-Genres


A genre that fuses elements of electronic music with rock and avant-garde aesthetics, known for its harsh, robotic, mechanical, or noisy sound.

Bands: Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Front 242

EDM (electronic dance music)

EDM, or Electronic Dance Music, is a broad range of percussive electronic music genres made largely for nightclubs, raves, and festivals. Developed in the late 1980s, it is characterized by its use of synthesizers, drum machines, and digital audio workstations. The music is generally built around a repetitive beat and often features build-ups and drops to enhance the dance experience. EDM encompasses a variety of styles including house, techno, dubstep, and trance, appealing to a global audience with its energetic and synthesized sounds.

Bands: Calvin Harris, David Guetta, Skrillex

Garage House

Garage house is a genre of electronic dance music that emerged in the early 1980s in the United States. It is characterized by a soulful, rhythm-focused sound that combines elements of house music with gospel-inspired vocals and piano riffs. The genre was popularized in clubs that catered to African-American and gay communities, and is named after the Paradise Garage club in New York.

Bands: Todd Edwards, Tuff Jam, Kerri Chandler


Features a repetitive 4/4 beat, a tempo of 120 to 130 BPM, and often includes piano, synth, or vocal elements.

Bands: Frankie Knuckles, Marshall Jefferson, Swedish House Mafia


A genre of electronic dance music characterized by a repetitive four on the floor beat and a tempo of 120 to 150 beats per minute.

Bands: Carl Cox, Jeff Mills, Richie Hawtin

Acid House

A subgenre of house music developed around the mid-1980s by DJs from Chicago. The defining feature is the squelchy sounds of the Roland TB-303 electronic synthesizer-sequencer.

Bands: Phuture, Larry Heard, DJ Pierre

Ambient House

A subgenre of house music that blends elements of ambient music with traditional house. The music typically features lush soundscapes and smooth beats.

Bands: The Orb, KLF, Moby


Known for its very fast tempo (often above 170 BPM), aggressive themes, and heavy use of sampling.

Bands: Scooter, Angerfist, DJ Paul Elstak


A genre of electronic music that incorporates fast-paced breakbeats and heavy basslines, derived from old school hardcore with influences from reggae and dancehall.

Bands: Shy FX, Goldie, Roni Size


Trance music is known for its ability to draw listeners into a hypnotic state with its complex layers of melody, build-ups, and drops.

Bands: Tiesto, Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyk


Also known as UK garage or UKG, it is distinguished by its shuffling hi-hats, syncopated rhythmic patterns, and typically features pitch-shifted vocal samples.

Bands: MJ Cole, Todd Edwards, The Artful Dodger

Emo (Electronic)

Typically, emo refers to a rock music genre. However, electronic emo has emerged as a fusion of emo's lyrical style with electronic music.

Bands: Owl City (in its early work), The Postal Service

Drum and Bass

Evolved from jungle, drum and bass features fast breakbeats (typically 160 - 180 BPM) with heavy bass and sub-bass lines.

Bands: Andy C, LTJ Bukem, Pendulum

Big Beat

Characterized by heavy breakbeats and synthesizer-generated loops and patterns common to techno and acid house.

Bands: The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, The Prodigy

see also Fatboy Slim albums


A style of trance characterized by arrangements of synthetic rhythms and complex layered melodies created by high tempo riffs.

Bands: Infected Mushroom, Vini Vici, Astrix


Characterized by hard beats and synthesized melodies

Bands: Headhunterz, Wildstylez, Brennan Heart


Characterized by sparse, syncopated rhythmic patterns with prominent sub-bass frequencies.

Bands: Skrillex, Benga, Burial

play my version of 'Rather Be' by Clean Bandit


Originating from East London, grime features rapid breakbeats, electronic sounds, and often involves rapid, syncopated rhyming.

Bands: Wiley, Dizzee Rascal, Stormzy

EDM Trap

Incorporates elements from the Southern trap music genre into a typical EDM framework. It's known for its use of thin, high-pitched lead synthesizers, atmospheric synths, and 808 kick drums.

Bands: Baauer, Flosstradamus, RL Grime

Future Bass

Known for its use of a wide range of pitch-bent sounds.

Bands: Flume, San Holo, Marshmello

See also EDM genre blog posts

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