House music originated in Chicago and Detroit during the early 1980s.Early house music was generally characterized by repetitive 4/4 beats and rhythms centered around drum machines, off-beat hi-hats and synthesized basslines. While house music displays characteristics similar to disco music, it is more minimalistic, and the focus around a repetitive rhythm is more important than the song itself. For some producers the German electronic band Kraftwerk was a major source of inspiration.
Initially catering to gay and mixed, primarily African-American and Latino audiences, but after enjoying significant underground and club-based success in Chicago, it quickly fanned out to all major cities wordwide.
House music today varies a lot in style and influence, ranging from soulful and atmospheric deep house, to the more minimalistic house. House music has also fused with several other genres creating subgenres, such as tech house, electro house, tribal house.
In the late 80s House music emerged into the UK mainstream pop market. Popularity in the rest of Europe quickly followed, and it became a global phenomenon from the early-to-mid 90s onwards. Since the early 1990s, house music has been infused in mainstream pop and dance music. It proved to be a commercially successful genre and a more mainstream pop-based variation grew increasingly popular. Mainstream artists such as Madonna and Janet Jackson incorporated the genre into their work. House music grew even larger during the second wave of Progressive House beginning this century. The genre still remains popular and obtains both commercial success and critical acclaim.