Trance – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Musical Genres Glossary

I. What is Trance Music?

Trance music is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in the 1990s. It is characterized by a tempo typically between 125 to 150 beats per minute, melodic phrases, and a repetitive structure. Trance music often features a build-up and breakdown of tension, creating a hypnotic and euphoric experience for listeners. The name “trance” comes from the feeling of being in a trance-like state induced by the music.

II. History of Trance

Trance music originated in Germany in the early 1990s, with artists like Sven Väth and Cosmic Baby pioneering the genre. It quickly gained popularity in the underground dance music scene and eventually crossed over into mainstream music. Trance music became associated with the rave culture of the 1990s, with iconic clubs like Gatecrasher and Cream in the UK hosting trance events.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, trance music experienced a surge in popularity with artists like Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyk, and Tiesto leading the way. Trance music continued to evolve, incorporating elements from other genres like progressive house and techno. Today, trance music remains a popular genre in the electronic dance music scene, with a dedicated fan base around the world.

III. Characteristics of Trance Music

Trance music is characterized by its repetitive structure, melodic phrases, and hypnotic rhythms. The tempo of trance music typically ranges from 125 to 150 beats per minute, creating a fast-paced and energetic feel. Trance tracks often feature a build-up and breakdown of tension, with soaring melodies and uplifting chords.

One of the defining characteristics of trance music is the use of synthesizers and electronic instruments to create a futuristic and otherworldly sound. Trance music often incorporates elements of ambient music, creating a dreamy and ethereal atmosphere for listeners. The use of vocal samples and effects like reverb and delay are also common in trance music, adding to the hypnotic and euphoric experience.

IV. Subgenres of Trance

Trance music has several subgenres that have emerged over the years, each with its own unique characteristics and style. Some of the most popular subgenres of trance include:

1. Progressive Trance: Progressive trance is characterized by its melodic and atmospheric sound, with a focus on evolving and changing musical elements. Artists like Sasha, John Digweed, and Above & Beyond are known for their contributions to progressive trance.

2. Uplifting Trance: Uplifting trance is known for its euphoric and uplifting melodies, with a focus on emotional and uplifting chord progressions. Artists like Aly & Fila, Solarstone, and Ferry Corsten are known for their uplifting trance productions.

3. Psytrance: Psytrance is a subgenre of trance music that incorporates elements of psychedelic music, with a focus on hypnotic rhythms and trippy soundscapes. Artists like Infected Mushroom, Astrix, and Vini Vici are known for their contributions to psytrance.

4. Tech Trance: Tech trance is characterized by its driving and energetic sound, with a focus on powerful basslines and futuristic synths. Artists like Mark Sherry, Indecent Noise, and Bryan Kearney are known for their tech trance productions.

V. Influential Trance Artists

There have been many influential artists in the trance music scene who have helped shape the genre and push it forward. Some of the most influential trance artists include:

1. Armin van Buuren: Dutch DJ and producer Armin van Buuren is one of the most well-known and respected artists in the trance music scene. He is known for his uplifting and melodic trance productions, as well as his popular radio show “A State of Trance.”

2. Paul van Dyk: German DJ and producer Paul van Dyk is another pioneer of the trance music scene, known for his energetic and driving trance sound. He has released numerous albums and singles, and is a regular performer at major trance music festivals around the world.

3. Tiesto: Dutch DJ and producer Tiesto is one of the most successful artists in the electronic dance music scene, known for his diverse range of musical styles. He started out as a trance DJ before transitioning to a more mainstream sound, but his early trance productions are still highly regarded by fans.

4. Above & Beyond: British trance trio Above & Beyond are known for their emotional and uplifting trance sound, as well as their popular radio show “Group Therapy.” They have a dedicated fan base around the world and are considered one of the top trance acts in the industry.

VI. Trance Music Festivals

Trance music festivals are a popular way for fans to experience their favorite artists and immerse themselves in the trance music scene. Some of the most popular trance music festivals include:

1. Tomorrowland: Tomorrowland is one of the largest electronic dance music festivals in the world, featuring a diverse lineup of trance, house, and techno artists. The festival takes place in Boom, Belgium, and attracts thousands of fans from around the world.

2. A State of Trance Festival: A State of Trance Festival is a series of trance music events hosted by Armin van Buuren, featuring some of the biggest names in the trance music scene. The festival has taken place in cities like Utrecht, Miami, and Sydney, and continues to attract a dedicated fan base.

3. Dreamstate: Dreamstate is a trance music festival hosted by Insomniac Events, featuring a lineup of trance artists from around the world. The festival takes place in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Mexico City, and is known for its immersive and euphoric atmosphere.

Trance music festivals provide fans with a unique opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, dance to their favorite music, and experience the magic of trance music in a live setting. Whether you’re a seasoned trance fan or a newcomer to the genre, attending a trance music festival is an unforgettable experience that will leave you feeling uplifted and inspired.