Disco music and dancing-a trend that appears to be lost in today’s society. The Oxford English Dictionary defines disco as “a style of pop music intended mainly for dancing to, typically soul influenced and featuring a melodic bass beat. It was most popular throughout the 1970s”. In recent years, however, disco music has been replaced by hip-hop, rap, and R&B music. Society has grown accustomed to this type of music to the point where if somebody unfamiliar with disco music were to listen to the genre, even a small sample, they would become perplexed and diss the music as “obsolete”. However, here are a few reasons why the art of disco should be as relevant now as it was in the 1970s.
First, disco music had influenced an entirely new generation of thinking about music. According to historian Paul Strokes, prior to the advent of disco music, “Often to get into venues you’d need bring a someone of the opposite sex – and even if you managed to get in without one, to go on the dance floor you had to be a couple”. In other words, music was originally seen solely as a symbol of love between two people. When disco was invented, it completely altered society’s perspective on the definition of “music”. From then on, music was seen not only as a sign of love, but also as a method of enjoying oneself, to take one’s mind off of their worries. It should go without saying that rap and hip-hop music are not typically seen as romantic. In this way, it could be said that disco set the foundation for the captivating rhythms that rap music had created throughout the 1980s and beyond which is one reason why the genre should still be respected.
Second, disco music was also responsible for bringing about the rise of the Disc Jockey (DJ). In fact, analyst Elwood Johnson reports that “looking at all DJ techniques that exist now, 90 percent of them were developed during 1970s disco”. Examples of such techniques include “using a pair of headphones to listen to the incoming record so he could mix the two together and maintain a continuous flow” as well as “buying two copies of the same single and then mixing them together, thus creating the remix”. These techniques are still utilized in nightclubs and parties today, creating crowds of dancers and enhancing the experience of listening of music. This experience would never be discovered without the genre of disco.
In terms of disco music itself, the rhythm of the songs was at a swifter tempo then any songs prior at the time, which encouraged a new style of reacting to the rhythm of the music. This reaction is known as “dancing” and is shown to have numerous health benefits. Examples of benefits as described by Harvard Health Publishing include “reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety while boosting aerobic power and muscle strength”. Therefore, listening to disco music can improve one’s overall mood as well as keeping their mind and body youthful.
For these three reasons, disco music is just as relevant today as it was in the 1970s-or rather, it should be. This genre brought about the rise and awareness of music as a method of dancing and having fun with friends rather than as a form of entertainment solely for couples. It also laid the foundation for modern styles of music. If for no other reason, disco music should at least be respected for its impact and importance on the world and the future of music.