Progressive House Music

Written by Charles Peacock
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House music has evolved quite a bit over the years, spawning new forms and styles and subsequently being influenced by other styles. In a sort of circular closing act, there is now something called progressive house, which is essentially the evolution and combination of traditional house with trance music--which was in many ways a descendant of house itself. This may seem a bit confusing, but it simplifies things quite a bit if you consider progressive house to be basically the same thing as trance. Some might argue with this labeling, but it's really all up to your ear.

Origins of Progressive House

House music has for much of its history been characterized by a driving but danceable beat, often with sample vocals added on top. As the years passed and techno broke off from house, the vocals tended to disappear and newer, softer, more ethereal forms were born. The result was trance music, which is mainly characterized by its long crescendos and its anthemic feel.

While trance was being developed and refined in Germany and Western Europe, house (and its many variants) was the rage in Britain. Certain house artists eventually began to create more trance-like sounding house music, perhaps influenced by other trance artists on the Continent. This new style was dubbed progressive house, and it combined qualities of both styles.

Progressive house retains the driving beat (and often the vocals) of traditional house, but it also adopts the crescendos and anthems of trance. The result is ethereal music that is a bit more human than traditional trance--which itself has started to evolve towards house. Indeed, these days there is much argument about what actually constitutes trance and what should be classified as progressive house. Many consider the terms to be synonymous.


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