Techno Music

Music has played a vital role throughout history. Ancient and Medieval civilizations used music as a way to communicate and

was important for religious ceremonies, using bone flutes and other primitive instruments. Stomping and clapping were early

example of percussion instruments. Nowadays, electronic instruments, computers, acoustic instruments, and the human voice

are all used to create music in a variety of styles in different areas of the world. For example, reggae is very popular in Jamaica,

while Flamenco tends to be popular in southern Spain. In the United States, Rock, Country, and Pop music are the most popular

as of now. Certain types of music, such as Jazz and Classical, are dying out, while Electronic Dance Music is gaining popularity.

Techno music is a certain type of electronic dance music that often incorporates futurism, which rejects traditional instruments

and replaces them with computer generated sounds. Techno music usually 120 to 150 beats per minute, which, in comparison to

other genres of music, is fast. Techno is usually generated by a computer system, but before the availability of computers,

electronic instruments were used, such as electric bass and drum kits. There are several subgenres of Techno as well. Minimal

Techno, for example, is usually characterized by understated development and repetition. Minimal techno can either include core

elements or music that is layered over time. Tech House incorporates many elements of Techno and other forms of electronic

dance music. Hardstyle is a type of electronic music that has a dark mood. Hardstyle also has a kick drum and a dissonant synth


Techno music first originated in the late 1980s in Detroit, Michigan. A trio of friends, dubbed the “Belleville Three”, are often

considered to have created the first Techno music. The name was developed since the trio went to school together at Belleville

High, around thirty miles away from Detroit. Juan Atkins is generally considered the “Godfather of Techno”. Atkins had instructed

his two friends, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May how to DJ. The trio in fact still tours today. Techno was a hit in Germany and

Belgium. Eventually, the Germans began spelling techno, “tekkno”, and now, there is a large difference between the two.

Tekkno is generally a harder sounding version of Techno, which softened in the 2000s. Underground clubs had been set up in

Germany, particularly in Berlin and Frankfurt, but the clubs were distinctly different in relation to each other. In Berlin, clubs were

founded near the foundations of the once famous Berlin Wall, a symbol of the divide between capitalist west and communist

east. Berlin had more of a hardcore approach, and started fresh. Frankfurt, on the other hand, had arranged clubs with existing

owners. By the late 1990s, new clubs would have an impossible task of getting popularity or even starting a club, since there had

been so many deals with previous owners. These major differences, along with techno being largely undefined in Germany, had

caused tension between the two cities about, whose clubs are the real techno music. Eventually Berlin had moved away from

techno and became the fusion genre called Tech House. By the twenty-first century, Americans had finally started to have a

sizeable interest in techno, and electronic dance music had begun to quickly rise in the United States and Canada, boosted by

the hit song, “I Gotta Feeling”, by David Guetta and the Black Eyed Peas.

Techno music used a variety of tools and instruments. When techno first began in Detroit, Roland and Yamaha were the two

main companies that made electronic drum kits, bass, and synthesizers, which were used by the “Belleville Three”. The

renowned Roland TR-808 and TR-909 models have received legendary status, and are still almost as expensive as they were

when they were first released, being around 900 Pounds (£), or around 1500 U.S. Dollars ($). By the latter half of the 1990s,

computers had become more widely available to the public. As a result, software companies had created programs for techno

music to be constructed. One of these was the ReBirth RB-338 was a huge package with two Roland TR-303 synthesizers, a

TR-808 and TR-909 drum kit in a computer program stated to be “… the ultimate techno software package” from a Sound on

Sound review. The ReBirth RB-338 had been on computers until Propellerhead, the Swedish company that created the ReBirth

software, discontinued production in 2005. Eventually an app for the iPhone and iPod Touch was made so users could make

Techno mixes anywhere they wished. Another computer program called Reason became available on the market in 2001, and

the company enjoyed success. As of November 6, 2014, Reason is on their eighth version. Wii and PlayStation 3 users can also

make Techno songs using the Mix Superstar game, which enables the player to make mixes using loops. Many performances

are now used with a mere laptop computer as computer hardware progressed throughout the twenty-first century, as it still does


Techno music isn’t currently the most popular music in the United States, which has been clearly seen since according to, there have been 27.49 million electronic dance music albums sold between 2010 and 2012. This isn’t much

compared to more popular genres such as Rock, which have sold over 125 million albums between 2010 and 2012. Overall,

electronic dance music is the tenth most popular, or from a more negative perspective, the fourth least popular music genre.

However, electronic dance music is growing much faster than other genres, and will soon be among the most popular genres in

the United States.

Many songs have been altered to suit the techno genre, especially soundtracks. This is an example of what is called remixing.

Remixes are made for a variety of reasons. These include to extend the song, to change the song to suit a nightclub

performance, artistic purposes, reaching a specific audience, to improve the song from someone’s viewpoint, or to provide

alternate versions of the song. Some artists took remixing to the extreme. Instead of changing a song or recreating one, these

“underground mixers” took sound clips from two or more songs and made mash-ups, which were legally questionable in terms of

copyrights. This style of remixing was extremely difficult since clean tracks of those sound clips weren’t available to the public.

In conclusion, Techno music is a genre of electronic dance music made by computer programs in exchange for instruments such

as electric guitars containing 120 to 150 beats per minute. Techno has developed over the years and different subgenres have

been created out of desire for change in music. Techno was first founded by the “Belleville Three” in Detroit, Michigan, but

transferred to Europe and became popular in nations such as Germany and Belgium. Throughout the 1990s, techno in Berlin

had slowly changed to being more hardcore, and eventually tech-house, while Frankfurt had stuck to techno music throughout

the decade. The renowned Roland TR-808 drum kit was used by the “Belleville Three” in the first years of Techno, but gave way

to the 909 and then computer programs such as the ReBirth RB-338 and Reason, both being very successful computer

packages. Techno’s popularity is rising quickly, but still has ways to go before the genre competes with country, pop, and rock.

Many remixes, or songs that are edited or recreated, are altered to suit the style of Techno music. Remixes can be legally

questionable, however, if the song is only slightly different or the song is a mash-up similar to that of “underground mixers”. Both

Techno music and remixes are new forms of music that are gaining popularity across America and Europe.