The word “techno” became a usage for the music in 80s and this was mainly used in conjunction with the music in parties and clubs. Techno music is a form of electronic music for dance, an idea that is said to have conceived in the mind of Detroit people. The electronic dance music can be broadly defined as the music genres produced for clubs, festivals and raves using a percussion music instrument. A percussion instrument is a musical instrument that is sounded by striking or scraping using a beater or rubbed by hand.
Enough with the definition, now let us peek into the history. The Belleville Three are widely accepted as the individuals responsible for the origin of techno music in Detroit. Juan Atkins and his school friends Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson are known as the Belleville three since they studied in the same school – Belleville. In these three Juan Atkins is always cited as “The originator” of techno music. It was their passion to make something different than the conventional musical events using the percussion instruments. They went on to make so many musical materials and released them under pseudo names which later became their stage names. The writers and even Juan Atkins himself has mentioned that the Kraftwerk (A German music band) has influenced their techno music recording. The Kraftwerk’s signature was the mixing of repetitive and driving rhythms with melodies.
In simple words the techno music means a drum-kick on each beat. In a full measure there are 32 drum kicks. There are two words used by fans for techno music. One is tech house and one is trance. Tech house is the mix of techno elements in the house music (emerged in Chicago). Trance was a German origin electronic dance music which was influenced by the genres like techno, house etc. The trance is described using a tempo between 125 -150 BPM (beats per minute).
Little about the composition
The creation of techno music can be achieved by using different methods, however the widely used method is to use a loop based music sequencer to record and edit the music. In the production studio there will be different instruments to create different sounds and effects which are synchronized using sequencer (can be a hardware or computer program). These sound layers are overdubbed (combining sound layers to produce completely new sound track) until a suitable track is created.
The instruments which were used for the music production at the time of origin are highly sought after and are available in the retro market. The company Roland based in UK was the number one manufacturer of music instruments at that time and their programmable drum machines were the composition aid for the musicians.
As the computer gained more accessibility software companies started making virtual studio environments to replace the instruments. Now most of the techno music is composed using this software based studio environment.