Started in the late 60s/ early 70s, peaking in popularity in the mid to late 70s Very socially inclusive: blacks, whites, gays, Latinos, woman and men. Originated in New York and Philadelphia.
Started as a knee jerk reaction to the over powering position of rock music at that time. Takes influence from Latin, Funk and Soul music.
Prominent early exponents were Isaac Hayes and Barry White.
Later followed by Donna Summer, the Bee Gees, the Jacksons and Chic. Performers got the public attention but it was largely work done behind the scenes by producers and engineers that gave Disco its own distinct sound. Films such as Saturday Night Fever popularised the music.
4 on the floor:
Referring to the repeated bass drum pattern found on almost all Disco songs. 4 on the floor simply means that the bass drum is played on all 4 beats of the bar. It is a pattern used by drummers in other styles of music too, such as Jazz or Reggae, however, in Disco the 4 on the floor pattern is played far more prominently making it more audible to the listener. To accompany and help fill out the bottom end of a Disco song, the bass would often play a syncopated riff, which in Disco and along with the vocal line, would often be the main melody of the song.
Off beat hi hats.
Continuing on the development of rhythm in Disco, another key component is the off beat hi hat. Unlike the bass drum or bass however, the hi hats help fill out the top end.
Religiously, you will hear off beat hi hats, most commonly used on the 2nd and 4th beats in disco. The off beats are used to help give the music syncopation.
Unlike the other popular musical styles of the time, such as rock, jazz or soul, the musical orchestration involved in Disco was far more complex. Disco tracks would consist largely of a drum kit or drum machine, electric bass, rhythm guitar, synths and keyboards, latin percussion, a string section, a brass or horn section and at...
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