Pronunciation: DOUN-TEM-poe

What is Downtempo?

Downtempo is a musical genre defined as electronic music with a greater emphasis on beats and offers a mellow, slow sound. It is often sometimes used interchangeably with trip-hop but downtempo is considered to have a more “earthy” sound.

Key Takeaways

  1. Downtempo is a kind of electronic music described as ambient background music.
  2. It focuses more on beats and is mellow and slow.
  3. Downtempo is typically used in lounges, warm up before a live show, or during the early house of a bar.

Understanding Downtempo

Downtempo has a BPM of 90-110 and is best suited for background or ambient listening, such as in a lounge, or right before a show. Trip-hop emerged in the late 1980s in Bristol, which consisted of elements of hip hop, drum and bass, and ambient atmosphere music. It was in the late 1990s that trip-hop progressed into downtempo with the popularity of rave parties in Ibiza, wherein DJs would play a slower type of trip-hop at the end of their sets, specifically those that ended in the early hours of the morning.

Related Terms

Beat Beat is the basic unit of time in music. more

A Tempo A Tempo is an indicator on a musical composition indicating to return to the original tempo or the song. more

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