Keyboard Presents the Evolution of Electronic Dance Music


The technology, techniques, and breakthroughs in electronic dance music from 30 years of Keyboard magazine.

MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Electronic Dance Music (EDM) was born in 1970s New York disco and 1980s Detroit techno. Alongside jazz, the blues, and rock and roll, it stands as one of the great cultural-musical hybrids of the past century, one that crosses racial, cultural, and geographic boundaries. Over the years, EDM has achieved international mainstream success with such subgenres as house, trance, and dubstep and has reshaped the popular musical landscape.

Keyboard Presents the Evolution of Electronic Dance Music (Backbeat Books, $16.99) digs deep through the archives of Keyboard and Remix magazines to unearth the insider history of the art and technology of the EDM movement. Peter Kirn has selected articles written at each phase of EDM’s history, and we hear from the artists who defined the genre (Jean Michel Jarre, Depeche Mode, BT, Kraftwerk, and more). Key players describe the creative process of making music with innovative technology – how the gear inspired the music and how the music catalyzed advances in the gear.

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Through the pages of Keyboard Presents the Evolution of Electronic Dance Music, fans can revisit the most significant synths, beat boxes, and musical tools that make the music possible and see how the pioneers embraced these machines. Musicians can understand the building blocks of EDM and use the expert techniques behind the music in their own craft.

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Peter Kirn is a technology journalist and creative tech practitioner and teacher. His sites, and, have become widely read chronicles of recent transformations in music and visual technology and design, from DIY culture to new interfaces and platforms. A contributing editor to Keyboard, he has written for Macworld, Make, Computer Music, Wax Poetics, and Popular Science. Classically trained, he speaks internationally to audiences ranging from musicians and designers to software developers on the connections between and creation. He lives in Berlin.

November 2011
$16.99, Paperback Original
978-1-61713-019-9, 240 pages, 6" x 9"
Backbeat Books is an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group