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How Music Travels – The Evolution of Western Dance Music

Music tourism (visiting a city or town to see a gig or festival) is on the rise. But why stop at gigs and festivals? Why not visit the birthplace of your favourite genre and follow the actual journey various music genres have taken as one style developed into another.

To make it easier to trace the threads of music history, we’ve created an interactive map detailing the evolution of western dance music over the last 100 years. The map shows the time and place where each of the music styles were born and which blend of genres influenced the next.

How Music Travels
How Music Travels - The Evolution of Western Dance Music

Click on the image above to launch  the interactive version

Click here to view the static version

You may need to upgrade to the latest version of your browser to view the interactive map.

 

We hope the graphic will allow you to learn more about the music you love and discover other forms of music you’ll enjoy — as well as possible locations to add to your wish-list.

About the Research:

The map shows the evolution of top level dance genres only, and does not delve into all possible sub-genres.

It is often difficult to pin-point the beginning of a genre to a single year, so we have placed the birth of each genre within 5-year periods.

When the explosion of dance music arrived in the 80s, many genres arrived in the same 5-year period as the genres they influenced. In this situation, the ‘influencer’ genre starts to fade in on the map at the time the influencing line appears.

Non-dance music genres which influenced dance music are also included, but their own influences are not shown.

Often where a genre was first born was not the location it eventually gained most popularity.

The sources used to create the map include Bass CultureLast Night A DJ Saved My Life,The All Music Guide to Electronica, and Wikipedia.

This is a fairly complex subject and much debate exists not only around how you define various genres of music, but also where they initially came from. If you’d like to share your thoughts, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

>>View the static version
>>Launch the interactive

To embed the infographic, use the following code:

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