20th - 21st Century dance
In the 1970's dance music moved into new venues called Discotheques, with faster, more 'bassy', electric music. By the 1980's the music had become faster, harder and more electronic. In the 1990's clubbing took over, DJs mixed their own music, and dance rhythms dominated popular music.
During the 1970's, Disco music began to develop in the USA and around Europe. Music of this kind was quite fast, usually played at 120 BPM (beats per minute).
Disco music became even more popular after the film Saturday Night Fever.
Two features of disco music were a very strong bass part and a strong accent on the 2nd and 4th beats of the bar. Disco music often made use of riffs (repeated patterns of notes) on the bass guitar, guitar or keyboards.
Many bands during the 1970's used a horn section as part of the band. This was the term used for a section of brass instruments, such as trombones, trumpets and saxophones. Some of these horn sections played very complex music and filling patterns.
Guitars in disco music were played with a clean rather than distorted sound. Other instruments used were the electric piano, electric guitar, bass guitar and drum kit. Occasionally, a string section was also included.
Salsa is a style of dance music developed in Cuba. Today, you can hear salsa being played on dancefloors throughout the world.
A noticeable feature of many salsa pieces is the use of syncopated rhythm.
Bands such as Gloria Estefan and the Buena Vista Social Club toured widely across the world, making salsa popular throughout the world.
Salsa music usually contains many drums and other percussion instruments.
Call and response is very common in salsa music - where a soloist sings something that is immediately answered by a chorus or a section of musicians.
Club dance music
Club dance music of the late 20th and 21st centuries has many different forms, including drum and bass, hip-hop, garage, R and B, trip-hop, house, rave, techno, ambient and europop. You won't have to know all the differences between these styles, but you will need to be able to pick out the main musical elements and comment on the use of technology in GCSE questions.
Looping: where a pattern, usually in the bass or drum part, is repeated constantly.
Sampling: where a voice or a sound clip has been processed by a computer to distort it.
Digital effects: such as reverb, an echo effect on the voice.
Scratching: a DJ technique where the hand is put on the vinyl disc and moved backwards and forwards on the turntable.