The common element of house music is a prominent kick drum on every beat (also known as a four-to-the-floor beat), usually generated by a drum machine or sampler. The kick drum sound is augmented by various kick fills and extended dropouts. The drum track is filled out with hi-hat cymbal patterns that nearly always include an open hi-hat on eighth note off-beats between each kick, and a snare drum or clap sound on beats two and four of every bar. This pattern is derived from so-called "four-on-the-floor" dance drumbeats of the 1960s and especially the 1970s disco drummers. Producers commonly layer sampled drum sounds to achieve a more complex sound, and they tailor the mix for large club sound systems, de-emphasizing lower mid-range frequencies (where the fundamental frequencies of the human voice and other instruments lie) in favor of bass and hi-hats.
Producers use many different sound sources for bass sounds in house music, from continuous, repeating electronically-generated lines sequenced on a synthesizer, such as a Roland SH-101 or TB-303, to studio recordings or samples of live electric bassists, or simply filtered-down samples from whole stereo recordings of classic funk tracks or any other songs. House bass lines tend to favor notes that fall within a single-octave range, whereas disco bass lines often alternated between octave-separated notes and would span greater ranges. Some early house productions used parts of bass lines from earlier disco tracks. For example, producer Mark "Hot Rod" Trollan copied bass line sections from the 1983 Italo disco song "Feels Good (Carrots & Beets)" (by Electra featuring Tara Butler) to form the basis of his 1986 production of "Your Love" by Jamie Principle. Frankie Knuckles used the same notes in his more famous 1987 version of "Your Love", which also featured Principle on vocals.
Electronically-generated sounds and samples of recordings from genres such as jazz, blues and synth pop are often added to the foundation of the drum beat and synth bass line. House songs may also include disco, soul-style, or gospel vocals and additional percussion such as tambourine. Many house mixes also include repeating, short, syncopated, staccato chord loops that are usually composed of 5-7 chords in a 4-beat measure.
Techno and trance, which developed alongside house music, share this basic beat infrastructure, but they usually eschew house's live-music-influenced feel and Black or Latin music influences in favor of more synthetic sound sources and approach
House dance itself is a lot older than house music, which arose in the early 1980s upon the end of the disco era during the times of such nightclubs as Chicago's Warehouse, New York's The Loft and Paradise Garage. House dance takes from many different dance elements such as the Lindy era, African, Latin, Brazilian, jazz, tap, and even modern. Contrary to popular belief, House dance is not a decendant of hip-hop. A lot of hip- hop dancers have crossed into house music in the early 80's and 90's to bring in a sequence of steps. House music is now a popular form of culture throughout the world in which people are now competing (sometimes even for cash prizes) and formulating groups to express their love of house music.
House dance has been debatingly broken down in 3 styles: Footwork, Jacking, and Lofting. It includes a variety of techniques and sub-styles that include skating, stomping, and shuffling. It also incorporates movements from many other sources such as whacking, voguing, Capoeira, tap, and Latin dances such as salsa. A wide variety of the movements came from jazz and bebop styles and even from African and Latin descent.
One of the primary elements in house dancing is a technique that came from Chicago that involves moving the torso forward and backward in a rippling motion, as if a wave were passing through it. When this movement is repeated and sped up to match the beat of a song it is called jacking, or "the jack." All footwork in house dancing is said to initiate from the way the jack moves the center of gravity through space.
In house dancing there is an emphasis on the subtle rhythms and riffs of the music, and the footwork follows them closely. This is one of the main features that distinguishes house dancing from dancing that was done to disco before house emerged, and current dancing that is done to techno as part of the rave culture.
Major contributors to the house dance scene in the US include Brian "Footwork" Green, Marjory Smarth, Caleaf Sellers, Ejoe Wilson, Terry Wright, Shannon Mabra, Tony McGregor, and many others before them that danced at places such as The Warehouse in Chicago, The Loft in NYC, Paradise Garage, and other places that are long forgotten.
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