A trance refers to a state of hypnotism and lessened consciousness. This drifting sensation is portrayed in the 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, beginning with and occurring after the orchestration is broken down and the rhythm tracks fade out rapidly, leaving the melody, atmospherics, or both to stand alone for anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Another common characteristic would be the use of vocals often sung by a female voice ranging from mezzo-soprano to soprano sometimes without verse/chorus structure. This is sometimes catogorized into a sub-genre, Vocal Trance. Less often, the female vocals may be in a grand, soaring, or operatic style, which has been described as "ethereal female leads floating amongst the synths".
Germany is regarded as the birthplace of trance music, with the original melodic trance sound first appearing around 1993 in Frankfurt.
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'. German producers Dance 2 Trance are also an early example of trance music having first released single in 1991.
Other schools of thought argue the name may refer to an induced emotional feeling, high, euphoria, chills, or uplifting rush listeners claim to experience, while other suggestions trace the name to the actual trance-like states the earliest forms of the music attempted to emulate in the 1990s before the genre's focus changed.
As for the roots of contemporary trance, some trace it to Paul van Dyk's 1993 remix of Humate's 'Love Stimulation'. 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. In subsequent years, one genre, vocal trance, arose as the combination of progressive elements and pop music, and the development of another subgenre, epic trance, had some of its origins in classical music., with film music also being influential.
Trance was arguably at its commercial peak in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Roland JP-8000, a synthesizer famous for its incorporation of the supersaw waveform
Classic trance employs a 4/4 time signature, a tempo of 125 to 150 BPM, and 32 beat phrases and is somewhat faster than house music. 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. 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.
A Simple arpeggiated (Roland JP-8000) Supersaw waveform pattern with chorus and flanging (some professionals used Lexicon Hall programs without pre delay).
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, 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. Instruments are added or removed every 4, 8, 16, or 32 bars.
In the section before the breakdown, the lead motiff is often introduced in a sliced up and simplified form, to give the audience a "taste" of what they will hear after the breakdown. Then later, the final climax is usually "a culmination of the first part of the track mixed with the main melodic reprise".
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 more readily. As trance is more melodic and harmonic than much electronic dance music, the construction of trance tracks in such a way is particularly important in order to avoid dissonant (or "key clashing," i.e., out of tune with one another) mixes.
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.
Trance music is broken into a large number of sub-genres. Chronologically, the major sub-genres are Classic trance, Acid trance, Progressive trance,Uplifting trance, and Hard trance.Uplifting trance is also known as "Anthem trance", "Epic trance", "Stadium trance", or "Euphoric trance", and has been strongly influenced by classical music both in the 1990s and at present with the development of the sub-genre "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".Balearic beat, which is associated with the laid back vacation lifestyle of Ibiza, Spain, is often called "Balearic trance", as espoused by Roger Shah. The genre Dream trance 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").
The following is a list of dance music festivals that showcase Trance music.
India: Sunburn Festival launched in December 2007 as South Asia's first electronic music festival, and featured heavyweights like Carl Cox and John '00' Fleming. Located seaside in Goa, on India's west coast, the festival has its roots in Goa trance. Sunburn treated more than 5,000 electro revelers to a three-day party by the beach in December 2008. At the 2009 festival, DJs such as Armin Van Buuren and Sander van Doorn participated with audience numbers running between 15,000 to 18,000 making it the biggest edition yet.As of the 2010 festival, it showed the likes of Paul Van Dyk and many other DJ's with estimated crowds of 30,000 people.
Thailand: Full Moon Party Held each month on the island of Koh Phangan. Thousands of people from across the world gather on Haad Rin Nok (Sunrise Beach) to dance under the moonlight.
Clubbers at Gatecrasher on April 16th, 2006
Portugal: Boom Festival (the last edition was in Idanha-a-Nova) since 1997. This event is an outdoor festival running every two years with a duration of several days, focusing in psychedelic Goa trance. The festival also features workshops, presentations, and cinema.
Switzerland: Street Parade – The world's biggest electronic music festival (more than one million visitors attend this event year by year).
Czech Republic: Transmission, Prague, since 2006. The biggest indoor Trance Music event in middle and eastern Europe.
Germany: We Are One, Berlin, since 2010. This is an Electronic Dance Music event, with the presence of Trance music stars like Paul van Dyk, Armin van Buuren and many others. "We are One" is a Paul van Dyk's brand. After the success of the last edition (Summer of 2013), they are looking forward to the next episode in 2014, developing this unique Berlin Dance Festival.
Electronic Dance Music festivals in the Netherlands are mainly organized by four companies ALDA Events, ID&T, UDC and Q-dance:
Armin Only, Jaarbeurs Utrecht, Utrecht: the only DJ to mix at this event is Armin van Buuren. Organized by ALDA Events. Armin Only 2005 was held in Ahoy, Rotterdam. The 2008 and 2010 editions were held in Jaarbeurs Utrecht. The 2013 edition was held in the Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam
Energy, (Formerly Trance Energy) Jaarbeurs, Utrecht: Previously Trance only under the name "Trance Energy", the festival was renamed "Energy" in 2011 and begun to incorporate other genres. Organized by ID&T.
Amsterdam dance event, One of the worlds trance and electronic music festivals held every year in Amsterdam in October.
Electronic Family. A Trance only festival. This year for the third time in the Amsterdamse Bos, Amsterdam. Organized by ALDA Events.
Mysteryland. A series of electronic dance music festivals held by the Netherlands-based promoter ID&T. Being the first of its kind in the country dates back to 1993.
Luminosity, Amsterdam, founded in 2007. With the slogan "Spreading The Love Of Trance Music", the Luminosity festival is considered to be a 100% Trance by some followers, and it's organized by a foundation named Luminosity Events. In 2013, the event keeps the tradition, with a beach festival plenty of trance music stars, and as they say: "Luminosity Events is a non profit foundation run by volunteers who have a big heart for Trance music.".
Canada: Bal en Blanc is a rave party that is hosted annually, in April during Easter holiday weekend, in Montreal. This event usually has two separate rooms, one catering to house music and the other to trance music. It usually lasts for more than 14 hours.
Electronic Dance Music festivals in the US feature various EDM genres such as Trance, House, Techno, Electro, Dubstep, Breaks, and Drum & Bass:
Ultra Music Festival, an annual outdoor electronic music festival that occurs in March in the city of Miami, Florida.
Electric Daisy Carnival, an annual massive organized by Insomniac Events that was held in Southern California from 1997 to 2010, and was moved to Las Vegas in 2011. In 2009, the festival was expanded to a three day event.
Doof - A type of outdoor dance party, generally held in a remote country area or just outside big cities in surrounding bush or rainforests and similar to raves or teknivals. Doof generally has live electronic artists and DJs playing a range of electronic music, commonly goa trance, eurodance, happy hardcore and psychedelic trance.
Rainbow Serpent Festival - A large electronic music, art and lifestyle festival, located in Victoria. The festival is mainly known for psychedelic trance and minimal techno music, but also features other genres of electronic music and non electronic music in the smaller stages.
Stereosonic - Largest Electronic music festival in Oceania, two days celebration since 2013, located in Australia. The festival features a full Trance Stage every year during summer, and also includes big names of Trance music in the Main Stage such as, Armin Van Buuren, Above And Beyond, etc.
^ abcdeBom, 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