New Wave music is largely considered an offshoot of punk music that began its popularity in the 1970s. Punk music was seen as a music genre that is separate from heavy metal and even generally rock bands because of its anti corporate and anti government philosophies. New Wave, on the other hand, was more open to embrace corporate intervention especially in marketing bands and their music. This generally resulted in the proliferation of many band that are considered one-hit wonders. They produced a single hit record and just as quickly become obscure. New Wave also became associated with the general excess that defined the 1980s. But some bands still think that New Wave still adheres to the punk philosophy.
Bands that are classified within the New Wave genre possess a very distinct and different structure. Some of the earliest New Wave artists to become famous include Elvis Costello and The Attractions, The Pretenders, Duran Duran, The Police and U2. Even though some of the bands in the new wave genre still depended and used tried and tested rock strategies and sounds that are already used in punk and rock, there were some bands that took on the modern developments in music technology particularly the synthesizer, and then used it to replace many of the standard instruments that is used in rock or punk.
One of the best examples of synth based New Wave music is Duran Duran. the band used artificial drumbeats and also orchestral sounds and employed it heavily in their music in lieu of the more standard configuration of drums, bass, guitar and piano.