Trance Music

Written by Charles Peacock
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Trance is one of the most popular types of electronic dance music in the world. All the biggest raves and parties since at least the 1990s have primarily spun trance music. What is it that makes trance so popular in the dance party community? To put it simply: trance is designed for maximum impact in exactly these types of occasions.

Trance: Past and Present

Trance music basically evolved out of techno and house music in Europe in the 1990s. While certain types of techno and house were progressively getting harder and faster at the time, certain artists began to experiment with the softer side of electronic music. Their goal was to create music that was accessible, great for dancing, and mood-enhancing (much like the drugs that many people at raves were taking).

Trance is similar to techno in that it uses a consistent, fundamental beat without an overbearing bassline. It is similar to house, on the other hand, in its "anthemic" properties: trance songs tend to have a happy vibe that builds up during long crescendos. The mood of trance music is ethereal--it's literally intended to induce a type of hypnotic trance over the audience.

Trance music has traditionally been free of vocals, but at the same time it is usually very melodic. Like other types of dance music, it has continued to evolve; today there are lots of types of trance that have vocals and sound almost like house music. Progressive trance, in fact, is basically the synthesis of trance and house.

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