House music is a collection of styles of electronic dance music, the earliest forms of which originated in the United States in the early- to mid-1980s. The name is said to derive from the Warehouse nightclub in Chicago, where the resident DJ, Frankie Knuckles, mixed classic disco and European synth-pop recordings. Club regulars referred to his selection of music as "house" music. However, since Frankie was not creating new music at that time, it has been argued that Chip E. in his early recording "It's House" defined this new form of electronic music and gave it the name "House Music."
The common element of most house music is a 4/4 beat (a prominent kick drum on every beat) generated by a drum machine or other electronic means (such as a sampler), together with a continuous, repeating (usually also electronically generated) bass line. Typically added to this foundation are electronically generated sounds and samples of music such as jazz, blues and synth-pop, as well as additional percussion. As new recordings adhering to this general style emerged, the house genre divided into a number of subcategories or sub-genres, some of which are described below.
"House Music" also refers to the recorded music played while a theater audience takes their seats before a performance, or, in live music venues, the recorded music played before the live music begins. Well-known live acts can demand their choice of house music, or that there be none at all.