How Music Travels - The Evolution of Western Dance Music Mapped

Sunday, November 20, 2011

LONDON, November 21, 2011 - has built an interactive map that details the evolution of western dance music over the last hundred years.  

This interactive timeline shows the birth place and evolution of different genres of western dance music, and how they influenced each other to create more genres.

The map is formatted like an audio player. Press play and visual connections between genres shoot around a map of the world, revealing how music evolved from early 19th-century African songs and marching-band music to 21st century dubstep, grime, and electro house. Users can press pause to pick up all the minute details.

The journey begins with traditional folk music from Europe, Africa and the Caribbean, then jazz, blues and R&B arrive by 1950. The sixties soul and funk explosions are documented, which then trigger the rise of disco in the States and synth pop in Europe. In the late 70s and early 80s, hip-hop, house, techno and electro explode, and the chain reaction spawns a multitude of other genres.  

The sources used to create the map include Bass Culture, Last Night A DJ Saved My Life, The All Music Guide to Electronica, and Wikipedia.  It is intended to be less of a definitive statement than it is a conversation starter.

Thomson says, “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 five-year periods. When the explosion of dance music arrived in the 80s, many genres arrived in the same five-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.

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

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. “

For the best experience view the larger, interactive version here:

To read about how the designers, Thomson, researched and arranged the map visit:

Thomson offers a great range of cheap holidays, beach holidays, package holidays and more.

Notes to editors:

You can view the Interactive version here:

If you require a print ready version, please email Lexi Mills lexi.mills at; Contact: Lexi Mills PR Consultant, Distilled Ltd., lexi.mills at, Tel: +44(0)20-7183-0767, Mob: +44(0)79-2102-0345

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