Disco is a musical style that emerged in the early 1970s from America's urban nightlife scene, where it originated in house parties and makeshift discothèques, reaching its peak popularity between the mid-1970s to and early 1980s. Its initial audiences in the U.S. were club-goers, both male and female, from the African American, Italian American, Latino, gay, and psychedelic communities in Philadelphia and New York City during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Disco can be seen as a reaction against both the domination of rock music and the stigmatization of dance music by the counterculture during this period. Several dances styles were also developed during this time including the Bump and the Hustle. The disco sound often has several components, a "four-on-the-floor" beat, an eighth note (quaver) or 16th note (semi-quaver) hi-hat pattern with an open hi-hat on the off-beat, and a prominent, syncopated electric bass line. In most disco tracks, string sections, horns, electric piano, and electric rhythm guitars create a lush background sound. Orchestral instruments such as the flute are often used for solo melodies, and lead guitar is less frequently used in disco than in rock. Many disco songs use electronic synthesizers, particularly in the late 1970s. Well-known disco performers include Donna Summer, the Bee Gees, Gloria Gaynor, KC and the Sunshine Band, the Village People, Thelma Houston, and Chic. While performers and singers garnered much public attention, record producers working behind the scenes played an important role in developing the "disco sound".
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