Trance (music genre)

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Trance is a genre of electronic dance music that developed in the 1990s in Germany.[5] It is characterized by a tempo of between 125 to mid 160 beats per minute (BPM),[5] repeating melodic phrases,[5] and a musical form that builds up and down throughout a track.[5] Trance is a genre on its own, but also will include other styles of electronic music such as techno,[3] house,[1] pop,[3] chill-out,[3] classical music,[3][4] and film music.[4]

A trance refers to a state of hypnotism and heightened consciousness. This drifting sensation is portrayed in this genre by mixing many layers and rhythms to create build and release. For example, a characteristic of virtually all trance songs is the soft mid-song breakdown,[3][5] beginning with and occurring after the orchestration is broken down and the rhythm tracks (typically provided by a Roland TR-909 drum machine) fade out rapidly, leaving the melody, atmospherics, or both to stand alone for anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Although this genre can be devoid of vocals, with mixes done by semi-amateurs posted online at informal locations, mixers who have gained recognition of major labels put out mixes for the radio market with mostly but not limited to female vocals, typically soloists and notably photogenic. Vocal talents range from mezzo-soprano to soprano sometimes without verse/chorus structure. These are categorized as vocal trance. Vocals have been described as "grand, soaring, and operatic" and "ethereal female leads floating amongst the synths".[9][10]

History[edit]

Trance Energy Festival in Utrecht, Netherlands

Origins[edit]

The origin of the term is uncertain; one theory suggests that the term is derived from the Klaus Schulze album Trancefer (1981). The earliest reference to 'trance' in modern dance music is British act The KLF on their 1988 track What Time Is Love (Pure Trance 1), on which the record sleeve is also annotated 'Pure Trance'.[11] Dance 2 Trance is also an early example of trance music, having first released single in 1991.[12]

Other schools of thought argue the name may refer to an induced emotional feeling, high, euphoria, chills, or uplifting rush that listeners claim to experience, while other suggestions trace the name to the actual trance-like state the earliest forms of this music attempted to emulate in the 1990s before the genre's focus changed.[5]

Some trace Trance's antecedents back to Klaus Schulze, a German experimental electronic music artist who concentrated in mixing minimalist music repetitive rhythms and arpeggiated sounds (specifically his 1988 album "En=Trance".[citation needed] In truth it was really Sven Vath, his labels and others in the same group that saw the initial releases of trance. In France, Jean Michel Jarre, an early electronic musician,[13] released two albums in the late 1970s: Oxygène in 1976 and Equinoxe in 1978.[citation needed] Also a possible antecedent, Neil Young's 1982 electronic album, Trans, bears resemblance to the trance music genre.[14] Another possible antecedent is Yuzo Koshiro's electronic soundtracks for the Streets of Rage series of video games from 1991 to 1994; and Wangan Midnignt Maximum Tune (series) series from 2001 up to present.[15][16][17][18] It was promoted by the well-known UK club-night megatripolis (London, Heaven, Thursdays) whose scene catapulted it to international fame.

Examples of early Trance releases include but are not limited to German duo Jam & Spoon's 1992 12" Single remix of the 1990 song The Age Of Love.,[1] German duo Dance 2 Trance's 1990 track "We Came in Peace".[5]

One writer traces the roots of trance to Paul van Dyk's 1993 remix of Humate's "Love Stimulation".[1] However, van Dyk's trance origins can be traced further back to his work with Visions Of Shiva, which were his first ever tracks to be released.[19] In subsequent years, one genre, vocal trance, arose as the combination of progressive elements and pop music,[3] and the development of another subgenre, epic trance, had some of its origins in classical music.,[3] with film music also being influential.[4]

Trance was arguably at its commercial peak in the second part of 1990s and early 2000s.[20][21]

Production[edit]

Roland JP-8000, a synthesizer famous for its incorporation of the supersaw waveform

Classic trance employs a 4/4 time signature,[5] a tempo of 125 to 150 BPM,[5] and 32 beat phrases and is somewhat faster than house music.[22] A kick drum is usually placed on every downbeat and a regular open hi-hat is often placed on the upbeat or every 1/8th division of the bar.[5] Extra percussive elements are usually added, and major transitions, builds or climaxes are often foreshadowed by lengthy "snare rolls"—a quick succession of snare drum hits that build in velocity, frequency, and volume towards the end of a measure or phrase.[5]

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A Simple arpeggiated (Roland JP-8000) Supersaw waveform pattern with chorus and flanging (some professionals used Lexicon Hall programs without pre delay).
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A trancegate pattern at 141 bpm as it is heard on a software trancegate. The gated pattern gradually changes, to hear the various rhythms possible with a trance gate. Note that some trancegate patterns are off-beat. (A Roland JP-8000 with the supersaw waveform is used. Minor EQ edits are made).

Rapid arpeggios and minor keys are common features of Trance, the latter being almost universal. Trance tracks often use one central "hook", or melody, which runs through almost the entire song, repeating at intervals anywhere between 2 beats and 32 bars, in addition to harmonies and motifs in different timbres from the central melody.[5] Instruments are added or removed every 4, 8, 16, or 32 bars.[5]

In the section before the breakdown, the lead motiff is often introduced in a sliced up and simplified form,[5] to give the audience a "taste" of what they will hear after the breakdown.[5] Then later, the final climax is usually "a culmination of the first part of the track mixed with the main melodic reprise".[5]

As is the case with many dance music tracks, trance tracks are usually built with sparser intros ("mix-ins") and outros ("mix-outs") in order to enable DJs to blend them together immediately.[3][5] As trance is more melodic and harmonic than other electronic dance music,[citation needed] the construction of trance tracks in the proper way is particularly important in order to avoid dissonant (or "key clashing," i.e., out of tune with one another) mixes.[citation needed]

More recent forms of trance music incorporate other styles and elements of electronic music such as electro and progressive house into its production. It emphasizes harsher basslines and drum beats which decrease the importance of offbeats and focus primarily on a four on the floor stylistic house drum pattern. The bpm of more recent styles tends to be on par with house music at 120 - 135 beats per minute. However, unlike house music, recent forms of trance stay true to their melodic breakdowns and longer transitions.[23]

Subgenres[edit]

Trance music is broken into a large number of subgenres.[citation needed] Chronologically, the major subgenres are classic trance, acid trance, progressive trance,[3] uplifting trance,[3] and hard trance.[citation needed] Uplifting trance is also known as "anthem trance", "epic trance",[3] "stadium trance", or "euphoric trance",[5] and has been strongly influenced by classical music both in the 1990s[3] and at present with the development of the subgenre "orchestral uplifting trance" or "uplifting trance with symphonic orchestra" by such artists as Andy Blueman, Soundlift, Arctic Moon, Simon O'Shine etc. Closely related to Uplifting Trance is Euro-trance, which has become a general term for a wide variety of highly commercialized European dance music. Several subgenres are crossovers with other major genres of electronic music. For instance, Tech trance is a mixture of trance and techno, and Vocal trance "combines [trance's] progressive elements with pop music".[3] Balearic beat, which is associated with the laid back vacation lifestyle of Ibiza, Spain, is often called "Balearic trance", as espoused by Roger Shah.[citation needed] The dream trance genre originated in the mid-1990s, with its popularity then led by Robert Miles. There is also a slower bpm trance music, this styles are often called "psybient" (synonyms are "psychill", "ambient trance").[8]

Since the 00's, trance music is often divided into Uplifting Trance and Progressive Trance. Thus, many well-known compilations such as A State Of Trance usually showcase Progressive Trance in disc 1 and Uplifting in disc 2. Many labels focusing Uplifting Trance also set up more Progressive-oriented imprints, for example, Enhanced Music, Alter Ego Recordings, Infrasonic Recordings and Anjunadeep. As opposed to Uplifting Trance, Progressive Trance features slower bpm around 128~132, more emphasis on bassline rather than kicks, and more chilled listening experience. Prominent labels are Armind, Lost Language and Anjunabeats.

Music festivals[edit]

The following is a list of dance music festivals that showcase Trance music.

Asia[edit]

Artists from India Aftermorning Productions, lost stories

Europe[edit]

Clubbers at Gatecrasher on April 16, 2006

Netherlands[edit]

Sensation White 2006

Electronic Dance Music festivals in the Netherlands are mainly organized by four companies ALDA Events, ID&T, UDC and Q-dance:

North America[edit]

Canada[edit]

United States[edit]

Electronic Music festivals in the US feature various electronic music genres such as Trance, House, Techno, Electro, Dubstep, Breaks, and Drum & Bass:

Australia[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Bom, Coen (2009). Armin Only: A Year in the Life of the World's No. 1 DJ. Oxford, UK: Dutch Media Uitgevers BV. ISBN 978-90-488-0323-1: p. 15
  2. ^ a b "Trance". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Fassbender, Torsten (2008). The Trance Experience. Knoxville, Tennessee: Sound Org Inc. ISBN 978-0-2405-2107-7: p. 15, 16, 17, 19
  4. ^ a b c d e Webber, Stephen (2008). DJ Skills: The Essential Guide to Mixing and Scratching. Oxford, UK: Elsevier Press. ISBN 978-0-240-52069-8: p. 35
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Snoman, Rick (2009). The Dance Music Manual: Tools, Toys, and Techniques – Second Edition. Oxford, UK: Elsevier Press. ISBN 0-9748438-4-9: p. 251, 252, 253, 266
  6. ^ a b c d e f Hewitt, Michael (2009). Composition for Computer Musicians. Knoxville, Tennessee: Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-1-59863-861-5: p. 9
  7. ^ "Goa Trance". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  8. ^ a b http://psybient.org, psybient.org portal
  9. ^ Hawkins, Erik (2004). The Complete Guide to Remixing. Boston, MA: Berklee Press. ISBN 0-87639-044-0: p. 51
  10. ^ Trance Music — What is Trance Music? http://dancemusic.about.com/od/genres/g/Trance_Music
  11. ^ http://www.discogs.com/KLF-What-Time-Is-Love-Pure-Trance-1/release/92768
  12. ^ http://www.discogs.com/artist/4762-Dance-2-Trance
  13. ^ Lundin, Glen (Feb 1999). "Trans". Indy Rock News (Indianapolis) 2 (2). [It's] hard to ignore the likeness in timbre, texture, tenor, and name of Trans album and trance 
  14. ^ McNeilly, Joe (April 19, 2010). "Game music of the day: Streets of Rage 2". GamesRadar. Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
  15. ^ Ryan. "Streets of Rage 2 Original Soundtrack (US): Review". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  16. ^ "Streets of Rage 3 review — Sega Megadrive". Mean Machines. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  17. ^ . IGN http://m.ign.com/articles/2007/03/02/yuzo-koshiro-the-dj.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ http://www.discogs.com/artist/5379-Visions-Of-Shiva-The
  19. ^ http://www.clubglow.com/dj-news/is-trance-dead/
  20. ^ http://www.toucanmusic.co.uk/articles/trance.html
  21. ^ Hewitt, Michael (2008). Music Theory for Computer Musicians. Boston, MA: Course Technology. ISBN 978-1-59863-503-4
  22. ^ Paterson, Angus. "Above & Beyond talk shop on Australian tour & ’trance 2.0’". inthemix. nthemix Pty Ltd. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  23. ^ https://www.wald-frieden.de/index.php/en/
  24. ^ http://www.mondaybar.com
  25. ^ http://www.summersound.fi
  26. ^ http://dreamland-greece.gr

External links[edit]