In the late 1960s, pop and rock musicians, including the Beach Boys and the Beatles, began to use electronic instruments, like the theremin and Mellotron, to supplement and define their sound.
In his book Electronic and Experimental Music, Thom Holmes recognises the Beatles' 1966 recording "Tomorrow Never Knows" as the song that "ushered in a new era in the use of electronic music in rock and pop music" due to the band's incorporation of tape loops and reversed and speed-manipulated tape sounds. By the end of the decade, the Moog synthesizer took a leading place in the sound of emerging progressive rock with bands including Pink Floyd, Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and Genesis making them part of their sound. Gershon Kingsley's "Popcorn" was the first international electronic dance hit in 1969.
Instrumental prog rock was particularly significant in continental Europe, allowing bands like Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Can, and Faust to circumvent the language barrier. Their synthesiser-heavy "krautrock", along with the work of Brian Eno (for a time the keyboard player with Roxy Music), would be a major influence on subsequent electronic rock. Electronic rock was also produced by several Japanese musicians, including Isao Tomita's Electric Samurai: Switched on Rock (1972), which featured Moog synthesizer renditions of contemporary pop and rock songs, and Osamu Kitajima's progressive rock album Benzaiten (1974).
The mid-1970s saw the rise of electronic art music musicians such as Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis, Tomita and Klaus Schulze were a significant influence on the development of new-age music. Dub music influenced electronic musical techniques later adopted by hip hop music, when Jamaican immigrant DJ Kool Herc in the early 1970s introduced Jamaica's sound system culture and dub music techniques to America. One such technique that became popular in hip hop culture was playing two copies of the same record on two turntables in alternation, extending the b-dancers' favorite section.
After the arrival of punk rock, a form of basic electronic rock emerged, increasingly using new digital technology to replace other instruments. Pioneering bands included Ultravox with their 1977 track "Hiroshima Mon Amour" on Ha!-Ha!-Ha! Gary Numan, Depeche Mode and The Human League. Yellow Magic Orchestra in particular helped pioneer synth-pop with their self-titled album (1978) and Solid State Survivor (1979). The definition of MIDI and the development of digital audio made the development of purely electronic sounds much easier. These developments led to the growth of synth-pop, which after it was adopted by the New Romantic movement, allowed synthesizers to dominate the pop and rock music of the early 80s. Key acts included Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Spandau Ballet, A Flock of Seagulls, Culture Club, Talk Talk, Japan, and Eurythmics. Synth-pop sometimes used synthesizers to replace all other instruments, until the style began to fall from popularity in the mid-1980s.
The trend has continued to the present day with modern nightclubs worldwide regularly playing electronic dance music (EDM). Today, electronic dance music has radio stations, websites, and publications like Mixmag dedicated solely to the genre. Moreover, the genre has found commercial and cultural significance in the United States and North America, thanks to the wildly popular big room house/EDM sound that has been incorporated into U.S. pop music and the rise of large-scale commercial raves such as Electric Daisy Carnival, Tomorrowland (festival) and Ultra Music Festival.