Trance is a genre of electronic dance music that emerged from the British new-age music scene and the early 1990s German techno and hardcore scenes.
Trance music is characterized by a tempo lying between 125–150 bpm (BPM), repeating melodic phrases and a musical form that distinctly builds tension and elements throughout a track often culminating in 1 to 2 “peaks” or “drops”. Although trance is a genre of its own, it liberally incorporates influences from other musical styles such as techno, house, pop, chill-out, classical music, tech house, ambient and film music.
A trance is a state of hypnotism and heightened consciousness. This is portrayed in trance music by the mixing of layers with distinctly foreshadowed build-up and release. A common characteristic of trance music is a mid-song climax followed by a soft breakdown disposing of beats and percussion entirely, leaving the melody or atmospherics to stand alone for an extended period before gradually building up again. Trance tracks are often lengthy to allow for such progression and commonly have sufficiently sparse opening and closing sections to facilitate mixing by DJs.
Trance is mostly instrumental, although vocals can be mixed in: typically they are performed by mezzo-soprano to soprano female soloists, mostly without a traditional verse/chorus structure. Structured vocal form in trance music forms the basis of the vocal trance subgenre, which has been described as “grand, soaring, and operatic” and “ethereal female leads floating amongst the synths”. However, male singers, such as Jonathan Mendelsohn, are also featured.
Its more prominent representatives ventured into other musical landscapes, with Goa remaining almost exclusively a herald by the mid-1990s - if it had anything to do with trance at all … The period of stagnation may have followed: Descent from A-category to Z-series, repetitions, popularization in shopping malls. Trance was pushed to the periphery of electronics.
In the second half of the nineties, the activities of the undead, who ran to the zenith of glory in the turn of the millennium, mainly Global Underground disc jockeys (Sasha, John Digweed, Anthony Pappa, Timo Maas). Allegedly, they don’t even play trance anymore, but something else, spiced with deep house and other notes, even breakbeat elements, which struck minds have called progressive…
And the euro-trance sector is more popular than ever, even in polar spices in all supermarkets.
Kitschy, for example, the well-off Paul Paul Dyk.
Timo Maas (SoundCloud)
You can find more details about its formation and development on Ishkur’s Guide to Electronic Music, and you can listen to trance music right away.
The Every Noise at Once platform provides an opportunity for people to get to know better the names of the creators who have ever been in the genre and thus the peculiarities of it.
- MENNYEK KAPUI - Az elektroniks zene évtizede (The decade of electronic music)
- Ishkur’s Guide to Electronic Music
- Every Noise at Once