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Music Sound


Breakcore | Break | Breakbeat hardcore | Brokenbeat | Drill 'n bass | Garage | Nu skool breaks | Trancestep

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Stylistic origins: Rave, Techno, Hip-hop, Dancehall
Cultural origins: mid-1990s, London, Brighton, Bristol
Typical instruments: Synthesizer - Drum machine - Sequencer - Keyboard - Sampler - Laptop
Mainstream popularity: Small, largely in late 1990s United Kingdom and Europe. Australia has taken up the reputation among the major breaks DJs as the home of breaks world wide, specifically Sydney. Main room dance floors of clubs will often feature a breaks DJ, to a massive crowd, when the usual combination of House gets boring & old.
Derivative forms: Big beat
2Step - Hardcore - Breakcore - Brokenbeat - Drill n bass - Drum'n'bass - Grime - Jungle - Nu skool breaks - Techstep

Breakbeat (sometimes breakbeats or breaks) is a term used to describe a collection of sub-genres of electronic music, usually characterized by the use of a non-straighted 4/4 drum pattern (as opposed to the steady beat of house or trance). These rhythms may be characterised by their use of syncopation and polyrhythms, which are prominent in all music of African origin, including much Afro-American music.


In the 1970s, hip-hop DJs (starting with DJ Kool Herc) began using several breaks (the part of a funk and jazz song in which the music breaks to make room for the rhythm section only) in a row to use as the rhythmic basis for hip-hop songs.

In the early 1990s, acid house artists and producers started using breakbeat samples in their music to create breakbeat hardcore, aka rave music. The hardcore scene then diverged with one of the main offshoots being jungle music which had a darker sound and focused more on developing the use of complex breaks within its tracks. Jungle itself eventually diverged into various genres commonly known as drum and bass.

In recent times, the term breakbeat has become synonymous for many with the genres of breaks music which have become popular within the global dance music scene, including nu skool breaks and progressive breaks, with DJs from a variety of genres such as house and techno working breaks tracks into their sets. This may occur because the tempo of breaks tracks (ranging from 115 to 150 beats per minute) means they can be readily mixed with these genres, whereas the comparatively fast speed of jungle and drum and bass (165-180 bpm) may have restricted the utility of these subgenres to DJs playing slower-tempo music.

Trip hop and instrumental hip hop are also breakbeat genres, but downtempo. The tempo of these genres is closer to rap and R&B than to house and techno.

Breakbeat (or funky breakbeat) may also refer to the music of bands such as Breakestra, who play funk and soul music with an emphasis on the elements that would become popular in hip-hop and later breaks-based music.

External links

Home | Up | List of electronic music genres | Ambient music | Bhangra | Breakbeat | Breakcore | Computer and video game music | Drum and Bass | Electronica | Eurodance | Futurepop | House music | Industrial music | Noise music | Synthpop | Techno music | Technoid | Trance music | Acousmatic music | Balearic Beat | Electronic art music | Gamewave | Grime | Hard dance | Hi-NRG | Hipstep | Indietronica | Krautrock | Musique concrète | Shibuya-kei | Spacesynth | Trance fusion

Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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