||This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2012)|
|Cultural origins||Late 1980s, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany|
|Typical instruments||Keyboard, synthesizer, drum machine, sequencer, sampler, bitcrusher|
|Derivative forms||Happy hardcore
|Breakbeat hardcore –Happy hardcore – Makina – UK hardcore – Mainstream happy hardcore – Freeform Hardcore – Trancecore – Hardcore Breaks – Early hardcore – Mainstream hardcore – Darkcore – Industrial Hardcore – Digital Hardcore – Breakcore – Speedcore – Terrorcore – Frenchcore|
|Digital hardcore – Breakcore – Cybergrind –Happy hardcore – Dubcore – Jumpstyle – Hardstyle – Dubstyle – Crossbreed|
Hardcore or hardcore techno is a type of electronic dance music typified by the rhythmic use of distorted and atonal industrial-like beats and samples. The tempo of various kinds of hardcore ranges from about 95 beats per minute (Belgian "New Beat" and rave/techno), to over 300 bpm ("speedcore"), with the more popular styles ranging from about 150 bpm to 200 bpm..
The origins of hardcore emerged in the late 1980s. It largely derived from the combining of techno with EBM and New Beat sounds coming from the Belgian club scene at the time. A number of artists such as à;GRUMH... and later Leather Strip began to call their music hardcore techno. à;GRUMH...'s Sucking Energy (Hard Core Mix), released in 1985, was the first track ever to use the term Hardcore, within a EDM context. The origins of the name are largely rooted in this scene, although hardcore also regularly incorporated elements of house into its sound.
In the early 1990s, the hardcore sound began to introduce sped up hip-hop breakbeats, piano breaks, dub and low frequency basslines and cartoon-like noises, which has been retrospectively called 'old skool' hardcore, and is widely regarded as the progenitor of happy hardcore (which later lost the breakbeats) and jungle (which alternatively lost the techno style keyboard stabs and piano breaks).
Around 1993, the style became clearly defined and was simply named hardcore, as it left its influences of the techno of Detroit.
Production techniques 
Hardcore is usually composed using music sequencers, and many earlier tracks were produced on home computers with module tracker software. Some examples of the software used are FL Studio, Ableton Live, Cubase, Logic, Nuendo and Reason. The wide availability of computers, combined with the absence of financial remuneration, means that many hardcore musicians write for their own enjoyment and the pleasure of innovation.
Hardcore spawned several subgenres and derivative styles, including:
- Breakbeat hardcore (often referred to as 'old skool' hardcore) - This retrospective term is usually reserved for tracks produced in the early 90s, a large period of growth for the UK Rave scene. These tracks are characterized by piano sections, bouncy basslines, breakbeats, and high-pitched vocals.
- Breakcore - Uses distorted, fragmented breakbeats and sampling to create a hectic effect.
- Darkcore (Not to be confused with Darkcore Jungle) - Broad categorical description characterized by elements of breakbeat, hardcore, and dark musical themes. Emerged in response to the happy party sound of UK hardcore.
- Digital Hardcore - Hardcore punk/hardcore techno fusion. Closely related to hardcore punk music.
- Freeform Hardcore - Sub genre of UK Hardcore with strong influence of Trance, mainly instrumental.
- Frenchcore (or Tribalcore) - Originated in the French rave scene of the early 90's. Involves the re-creation of a distorted bass drum sound with a synthesizer. It is also considered a type of Free Tekno. Frenchcore achieved wider recognition in 1998 with the release of Micropoint's first album Neurophonie.
- Hardcore Breaks (aka Nu Rave) - A genre written in the style of breakbeat hardcore and produced using modern technology and production techniques.
- Early hardcore - Popular in the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, Italy, Belgium & Scotland, characterized by a heavy bass drum sound, usually distorted, and generally 150-220 bpm.
- Mainstream hardcore aka New style - Modern form of gabber, often melodic, with more complex sounds. Generally 160-180 bpm.
- Happy hardcore - Form of dance music known for its high tempos, usually around 165-180 bpm, often coupled with male or female vocals and sentimental lyrics. Popular in the UK, Australia and Spain, amongst other countries.
- Industrial Hardcore - A form of hardcore that was primarily influenced by notable French producers such as La Peste, Joshua, Laurent Ho, NKJE, Micropoint, Speedy Q, Armaguet Nad, Taciturne and producers from the UK, such as Dj Freak, UK Skullfuck and Pressurehead. The beats were typically hard, but often the industrial factory 'organised chaos' sounds layered on the bass were more prominent than the bass itself in comparison to a speedcore track from Noize Creator's Brutal Chud label. The speed could typically range from 160bpm to 350bpm, but the usual set was played at 220bpm.
- Makina - Fast electronic dance music from Spain, fairly similar to happy hardcore.
- Speedcore (Not to be confused with Thrashcore or Speed metal) - Subgenre of gabber, distinguished by very fast tempos (300 BPM to 500-600 BPM), infused with heavily distorted percussion and aggressive themes.
- Splittercore — Microgenre of speedcore, usually 700-800 BPM, the term was created by a dutch girl called DJ PENGO.
- Extratone — Applied when the tempo exceeds 1000 BPM; the individual beats can no longer be distinguished and are perceived as audio tones.
- Terrorcore - Faster, darker form of gabber with highly aggressive themes.
- UK hardcore - Modern adaptation of Happy Hardcore, distinguishable from its predecessor by a style that is less "happy" and features harsher sounds such as saw leadlines.
Notable producers 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (April 2010)|
See also 
- Reynolds, Simon (1998). Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture. ISBN 978-0330350563.
- New Life-Soundmagazine october/november. 1989.
- "Classic Hardcore Glossary" – Various sounds/instruments used in the production of hardcore are explained