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Hardstyle is a music genre that shows similarities to , and . Hardstyle is also known as hard dance, hard trance or hardbass in countries outside the Netherlands. The sound is best described as hard beats with a strong melody. The average BPM is somewhere between 140 and 160 beats per minute.

The first hardstyle events started near the end of 1999 and the beginning of 2000. Persons accredited in the development of the style is Dov J. Elkabas aka The Prophet, Raoul Van Grinsven aka Dj Zany, Wouter and Sjoerd Janssen aka Showtek and Dana van Dreven aka Lady Dana.

In 2007 the style started becoming popular in several countries in the world, including: Belgium, Poland, Estonia, Denmark, Australia, South Africa, Sweden and United Kingdom.

The English sound was very popular in the Netherlands for a short time, but it soon appeared that the Dutch public preferred a harder bassline. Artists like Dana, and Pavo & The Prophet combined the English sound with new productions. This sound also gained some popularity in Germany

Afterwards, hardstyle productions briefly became popular in Italy, and later in Germany. This led to the emergenece of new hardstyle which eventually arrived at and became popular in the Netherlands. Q-Dance organised a monthly event in the (known today as the North Sea Venue) under the name Qlubtempo, an event which could be called the melting pot of the Hardstyle. Nowadays hardstyle events are very common in Dutch clubs.

After several successful editions of Qlubtempo and Qlimax, Q-dance registered the word hardstyle as their brand on the 4th of July 2002.

The Hardstyle sound is heavily rooted in the Netherlands. Great artist such as the Headhunterz call Holland home. Recently the Hardstyle sound has had major contributions from artist such as the Headhunterz, Brennan Heart, The Prophet, Donkeyrollerz, and the Noisecontrollers.

Hardstyle is a rising star, the same way house music was, with events like Qlimax, Hardbass, Defqon.1, and many more. The hardstyle sound gathers hundreds of thousands of fans from all over the world.

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