History of Trance Music


Trance music is a genre of electronic music that came from the British new-age music scene. During the same time, Trance music was developing in Europe, the genre was also gaining followers in the Indian State of Goa. Even if Trance music is a genre of its own, it has influences from other musical styles like pop, house, techno, classical music, chill-out, ambient, and tech house. 

Generally, a trance is a state of hypnotism that is heightened by consciousness. The reason why it’s called trance music is that this genre mixes a lot of layers that distinctly foreshadowed build-up and release. In fact, one familiar characteristic of trance music is that it has a mid-song climax that is followed by a soft breakdown of beats and percussion. That is why trance tracks are often lengthy so that it has more time for progression, and they usually have sparse opening and closing sections to give way for the DJ’s mixes. 

Trance music is usually instrumental, but in some cases, vocals are mixed in. Still, it does not have a traditional verse/chorus structure. In this article, we are going to know more about the history of Trance music and how it came to be. 

History of Trance Music

As we mentioned, “Trance” is a name that is often referred to as being induced emotional high, feeling, chills, uplifting rush, or euphoria. That is why the genre is named as such because listeners can experience such feelings that can or an actual trance-like state. A writer for Billboard magazine described trance music as a mixture of 70s disco and 60s psychedelia music.

 The first form of trance music was first released in the early 1990s when the dance revolution was hyped in the UK and mainland Europe. During this time, the theme focused on regular 4/4 time with 32 beat phrases, and it was a bit faster compared to house music, but it builds up much more slowly. 

Trance music began to grow in popularity and started spreading to other countries in Europe, where Manchester Trance parties became a thing. Trance music tracks began to last for half an hour and have nine-minute builds. One of the earliest examples of trance music is one of KLF’s 1988 release entitled “What Time Is Love,” German duo’s Jam and Spoon’s 1992 12’’ single remix of the song “The Age of Love,” and Dance 2 Trance 1990 song entitled “We Came in Peace.”

The genre began to overpower the techno and house drenched raves and clubs. That is why through the late ‘90s, the genre grew slowly with popularity. During the early 2000s, one of the most famous trance music that has ever been released is entitled “Sandstorm” by Darude, which managed to sell two million copies worldwide. It was even used as the anthem to a popular reality TV show, Jersey Shore.

Since then, trance and electro music grow into popularity, and since the 2000s, it allowed the DJs to take people on journeys that are imaginative and lush than ever before. That is why trance music also made slotting into festivals; DJs started to fit onto lineups, which attracted the people to attend these festivals. 

Trance Subgenres 

  • Acid Trance – This trance subgenre originated in the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Germany. This is a ‘90s style trance music, which is often called as the “first-wave” trance. This subgenre is distinguished by the use of a Roland TB-303 bass machine as the lead synthesizer of the tracks. 
  • Classic Trance – This subgenre originated in Germany, and it is often considered as the original form of trance music. It is first heard during the late ‘80s or early ‘90s. You can characterize this trance subgenre by less percussion, more melody, and repetitive melodic chords. 
  • Dream Trance – This subgenre was first heard in Italy, and it is a variety of epic trance that was made famous by Robert Miles during the mid-‘90s. This type of trance music uses soothing piano riffs as well as deep and progressive house music vibes. 
  • Goa Trance – This subgenre originated in Goa, Somalia, Israel, and Haiti. It is a complex and melodic form of trance music that was first heard during the early ‘90s. You can determine this trance subgenre by its use of Raga, which is a soothing melody that is made using a harmonium, sitar, and other Indian instruments. 
  • Hard Trance – Hard trance is a subgenre that originated in Germany. Compared to other trance tracks, hard trance has an aggressive and slower trance sound, which has influences from hardcore music. 
  • Progressive Trance – This type of trance music originated in Poland, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. It is differentiated from a regular trance by having less acid-like sound, more breakdowns, and bass chords that change. 
  • Psychedelic Trance – This is a trance subgenre that was developed during the late ‘90s, and it grew from the Goa trance culture in India. One of the things that define this subgenre is its use of random samples and sounds.
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