House music is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in Chicago in the early 1980s. It was initially popularized circa 1984 in Chicago, but beginning in 1985, it fanned out to other major cities across North and South America, as well as Europe and later Australia. Early house music commercial success in Europe saw songs such as “Pump Up The Volume” by MARRS (1987), “House Nation” by House Master Boyz and the Rude Boy of House (1987), “Theme from S’Express” by S’Express (1988) and “Doctorin’ the House” by Coldcut (1988) in the pop charts. Since the early to mid-1990s, house music has been infused in mainstream pop and dance music worldwide.
Early house music was generally dance-based music characterized by repetitive 4/4 beats, rhythms mainly provided by drum machines, off-beat hi-hat cymbals, and synthesized basslines. While house displayed several characteristics similar to disco music, it was more electronic and minimalistic, and the repetitive rhythm of house was more important than the song itself. House music today, while keeping several of these core elements, notably the prominent kick drum on every beat, varies a lot in style and influence, ranging from the soulful and atmospheric deep house to the more minimalistic microhouse. House music has also fused with several other genres creating fusion subgenres,such as euro house, tech house, electro house and jump house.
In the late 1980s, many local Chicago house music artists suddenly found themselves with major label deals. House music proved to be a commercially successful genre and a more mainstream pop-based variation grew increasingly popular. Artists and groups such as Madonna, Janet Jackson, Björk, Aretha Franklin, Steps, Daft Punk, and C+C Music Factory incorporated the genre into their work. After enjoying significant success in the early to mid-90s, house music grew even larger during the second wave of progressive house (1999–2001). The genre has remained popular and fused into other popular subgenres, as the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll has been dominated by house DJs since the beginning of the polls. Today, house music remains popular in both clubs and in the mainstream pop scene while retaining a strong foothold on underground scenes across the globe.