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Rave music may either refer to the late 1980s genres of house and techno, the first genres of music in the world to be played at raves, or any genre of electronic dance music that may be played at a rave, such as house, trance, techno, drum & bass, breakbeat, happy hardcore, psychedelic trance, breakbeat hardcore and gabber. Very rarely, the term is used to refer to less electronic related genres such as glam rock, power pop, psychedelic rock and dub parties.
The genre "rave", also known as 1980s hardcore by ravers, first appeared amongst the acid house movement in Scotland during the late 1980s as a reaction to New Beat. While New Beat usually borrowed an aggressive industrial sound, rave tended to borrow New Beat's elements that were harder than acid house, while retaining the neutral mooded sound of acid house. Rave tended to be a happy genre that favoured synthesized melodies over the duller sound of the TB-303 in order to attract a wider audience. The genre was later re-established as oldskool hardcore, which lead onto newer forms of rave music such as drum and bass and jazzstep, as well as other hardcore techno genres, such as gabber, hardstyle and happy hardcore.
The genres of electronic dance music played at raves and other forms of dance parties such as freetekno parties was very diverse, and included breakbeat music, Electro music, hardcore techno, House music (particularly "Rave house"), Industrial, Trance music, and Free Party Music.
Breakbeat music 
Breakbeat music refers to any form of rave music with breakbeats, this may range from nuskool breaks to drum 'n' bass, some genres such as hardstep and breakcore cross over into the hardcore techno sound (similar to the way digital hardcore, a hardcore punk/metal crossover has). Fusions of house and trance also exist but the drum 'n' bass still remains the most popular form of breakbeat played at rave parties.
Electro music 
Electro music refers to electro and techno, these two genres largely featured psychedelic sounds and are largely considered the earliest forms of electronic dance music genres to utilise the term "rave music" in respect to its modern terminological use. Techno sometimes crosses boundaries with house music, hence the genres trance and acid techno. Miami bass and crunk is sometimes included as "electro".
Hardcore techno 
Hardcore techno refers to any hard house genre that was influenced by the "rave" genre, usually these genres have a distorted kick drum, and a 3/4 or 4/4 rhythm. Happy hardcore blended the Dutch hardcore sound with Eurodance and bubblegum pop, the genre (also known as "happycore" for short) featured pitched-up vocals and a less distorted 4/4 beat. Trancecore also exists and is a less vocal fusion of happy hardcore with trance music, however hardstyle is a more purer form of the trance/hardcore genre since it retains the hardcore sound.
House music 
House music, especially acid house, is the first genre of music to be played at the earliest raves (Second Summer of Love). House is a genre of dance music that originated out of the African American and Latino 1980s disco scene in Chicago, USA. There are many sub-genres of house music that may be found on the respective pages of house music sub-genres (found below). Since house was originally club music, there are many forms of it, some more appropriate to be played at raves than others. In the UK, sub-genres such as UK funky, speed garage and dubstep emerged from garage house. Many "pop house" club music producers brand themselves as house music, however, in rave culture it is often disputed that pop house should be separated as a sub-genre of house.
"Rave house" is a sub-genre label of house music that originated from the styles of house that were typically played in the rave scene of the 1993-1999 period. It is a term used by the general population who do not follow the house or trance scene specifically, but identify certain house records as "rave music". It is a loose term that generally identifies progressive house, hard house or trance house styles (often instrumental with no words) that one would imagine being played at a large rave.
Industrial music 
Industrial is a goth/rock/punk related genre. While the genre is not usually considered rave music in itself, it is often fused with rave music genres. Industrial is the origin of many sounds found in rave music; it is one of the first genres that took the sounds that are now popular in rave music such as "acid" as its musical backdrop. Industrial music fans are usually considered rivetheads and do not tend to call themselves ravers.
Trance music 
Trance music in its most popular and modern form is an offshoot of house music that originated from the acid house movement and rave scene in the late 1980s. The history of trance music is complicated to refer to, as multiple generations of listeners and musicians have influenced the genre. The term "trance" was (and still to this day by many) used interchangeably with "progressive house" in the early rave years (1990–1994).
Free Party Music 
This style of electronic music started in the early 90's and was mostly played in illegal parties hosted by Sound System, such as Spiral Tribe, Desert Storm, Hekate, Heretik, in warehouse, dismissed buildings, or even illegal open air festivals, called "Teknivals". It takes inspiration from various other genres, and mainly focuses on quick beats, 170/200 bpm, acid bassline, mentals sounds, and often samples taken from movies, popular songs or many other different media sources.
List of genres 
- Acid house & Acid techno — 808 State, Guru Josh, Brian Dougans, The KLF, Phuture, Luke Vibert & Acidwolf
- Breakbeat — DJ Mikey Mike, DJ Icey, DJ Marmik, Rob-e, DJ 303, Brad Smith & DJ Phunk
- Breakbeat hardcore — Acen, Altern-8, Brainstorm Crew, Bobs and Sounds, The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy, Shades Of Rhythm & Shut Up and Dance
- Brostep — Rusko, Skrillex, Flux Pavilion, Datsik, Chase & Status, Doctor P, Borgore, TC, Modestep, Feed Me, Kill the Noise & Excision
- Drum and bass / Jungle — 4Hero, Logistics, Andy C, Hyper On Experience, Spor, Goldie, Dieselboy, DJ Fresh, Pendulum, Freq Nasty & Freaky Flow
- Drumstep — Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Knife Party, Kill The Noise, Rollz, Fonik, Noisestorm, and DotEXE
- Goa trance / Psychedelic trance — Alien Project, Hallucinogen, Infected Mushroom, Ominus & Astral Projection
- Hardcore techno styles — Happy hardcore, Acidcore, Hardcore house, Gabber, Frenchcore — Angerfist, Evil Activities, Dune, Outblast, Scooter, Scot Majestik, Luke Slater, Anthony Acid, Dave Clarke, Darren Styles, Neophyte, Endymion, Tommyknocker, Hellfish & Vagabond
- Hard trance — Cosmic Gate, DJ Scot Project & Alphazone
- Hardstyle & Dubstyle — Technoboy, Showtek, Headhunterz, Brennan Heart, Frontliner, Code Black, Activator, DHHD, DJ Neo, Southstylers, Pavo, Zany, Donkey Rollers, Luna, DJ Lady Dana, DJ Isaac, Blutonium Boy & Da Tweekaz
- Moombahton — Knife Party, Dillion Francis, Munchi, Diplo
- Liquid funk — Netsky, High Contrast, London Elektricity, Brookes Brothers & Mediks
- Speed garage & Bassline — Platnum, DJXP, T2 & Double 99
- Free tekno, Crystal Distortion, 69db, Fky, Gotek
Downtempo and less dance oriented styles that might be heard in a rave "chill-out" room or at a rave that plays slower electronic music includes:
- Ambient, Minimalist & Computer music — Brian Eno, Mike Oldfield, Harold Budd, ATB, & The Orb
- Dubstep & Breakstep — Magnetic Man, Eskmo, Icicle, Loefah, Phaeleh & Burial
- Electro, Glitch, Techno, Experimental hip hop, Industrial hip hop — Flying Lotus, Pegboard Nerds, Juan Atkins, MARRS, Dopplereffekt, Egyptian Lover, Afrika Bambaataa, Techno Animal, Coldcut, The Glitch Mob & Kraftwerk
- IDM — Aphex Twin, Autechre & Boards of Canada
- UK garage & Grime — Todd Edwards, So Solid Crew, Wiley, Plastician
- Bennett Andy, Peterson Richard A.: "Music Scenes: Local, Translocal and Virtual." Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2004
- Reynolds, Simon: Generation Ecstasy: into the world of techno and rave culture Routledge, New York 1999.
- Lang, Morgan: "Futuresound: Techno Music and Mediation" University of Washington, Seattle, 1996.
- Dominic Buttitta, electro_DUB-scratch= champaign IL, 2010