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  • Ambient music focuses on creating atmosphere and vibe rather that following traditional musical structures or formats. Brian Eno described ambient “as ignorable as it is interesting.”

  • Ambient trance is an subgenre of trance which incorporates ambient elements. It has a slower BPM than traditional trance music. Ambient trance crosses over with psybient and psychill.

  • Breakbeat refers to both a distinct musical section and a genre. Breakbeat as a musical style refers to an electronic music genre that features sampled breakbeats and other lo-fi samples.

  • Chillout music is a mid-tempo form of electronic music with a mellow style. Chillout was first developed in the early 90s for use in chill rooms at clubs in the UK in the early 90s.

  • Cinematic music refers to music composed to accompany the visuals in a film. It can also be used to describe music written in the same style or influenced by soundtrack pieces.

  • Dark trance is a heavy form of trance music. The style is closely related to psytrance. It is characterised by intense synth bass lines and aggressive percussion.

  • Downtempo is a sub-genre of electronic music that crosses over with ambient, although it has a greater rhythmic focus.

  • Dream pop is a genre that grew out of alternative rock and neo-psychedelia in the 1980s. Music in this sub-genre is often focused on building texture and atmosphere as much as melody.

  • Drum and bass is a form of electronic music which originated in England in the early '90s, developing out of the rave and jungle scenes. The style features breakbeats in the 150-180 BPM range.

  • Electronic dance music (EDM) is a term used to describe a wide array of electronic music intended for clubs, festivals and raves. Related genres include dance, trance, house and dancehall.

  • Electronic music is any music that prominently features electronic instruments or electronic production techniques. Electronic music styles include trance, house and electropop.

  • Electronica is a broad term which describes an array of electronic music, including house, techno, drum and bass, ambient and trip hop, among others.

  • Electropop is a style which mixes pop and electronic music, with synthesizers as the primary instrument. The genre initially developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

  • House music is a form of electronic music that was first heard in Chicago in the early 1980s. Later in the decade notables scenes developed in the US, Europe, South America and Australia.

  • Industrial is an experimental style of music which features non-traditional sounds and frequently explores controversial themes. Genesis P-Orridge formed Industrial Records in 1976.

  • Instrumental music refers to songs composed without the use of any lyrics. An array of styles are performed in this manner, including jazz, electronic music and soundtracks.

  • Lounge music refers to easy-listening music. Early lounge music was commonly influenced by jazz, while modern lounge music often steps into electronica, chillout and downtempo territory

  • Mid-tempo music refers to compositions which are played at a medium tempo, i.e. neither fast or slow. Many electronic genres are partially defined by how fast the songs are in BPM.

  • Pop

    Pop music is a style of Western music that originally emerged as a softer version of rock 'n' roll. 'Popular music' covers all popular music, while 'pop' describes a specific genre of music.

  • Psytrance (psychedelic trance) is a sub-genre of trance which developed in the 1990s. It grew out of Goa trance, which was itself named for the scene in the Indian coastal region.

  • A soundscape refers to a number of sounds which can be heard in an environment. A soundscape composition can be made using recordings of natural phenomena, instruments or electronic sounds.

  • Synthpop is a style of music which developed out of the new wave scene in the late 1970s. As the name would suggest, the signature instrument of the genre is the synthesizer.

  • Techno is a style of music which developed in the mid '80s in Detroit. Detroit techno mixed African American influences (funk, electric jazz, Chicago house) with electronic influences.

  • Trance is a form of electronic dance music which was first heard in Germany in the late 1980s. The early 1990s saw the genre develop more fully and expand globally.

  • Vocal music is a style which is performed by a singer or a group of singers, where the singing is the focus of the piece. It can be performed with instrumental backing or without (a cappella).

  • World music is a term which includes a wide variety of musical styles, including indigenous music, ethnic music and folk music.