Trance is a genre that started out as the purpose to creating a true entrancement in people. Trance is a rather diverse genre, with extremely descriptive subgenres that define the rules of Trance. Recent developments in the scene happened soon after the release of Saving Light, being the first Trance song to hit #1 across multiple digital stores in over a decade. Ever since then labels like A State Of Trance, Armada, Statement!, Flashover, Armind, & Anjunabeats have taken over the scene & have risen in popularity tremendously.
The BPM range of Trance can be anywhere from 115 BPM to 155 BPM, which is made possible by its many subgenres, the most common of which are listed and explained below.
Trance began in the late 1980s in the United Kingdom and gained popularity in the 1990s as it spread throughout other parts of the rave scene.
- Classic Trance - The origins of the genre, sounding similar to Uplifting Trance but with a slightly less forceful kick. Most songs that have been labelled as Classic Trance have become known as Anthems over the last decade.
- Neotrance - A recent revival of Classic Trance that focuses more on bass development, creating very eerie tracks, pioneered and made famous by Virtual Self.
- Uplifting Trance - The most common form of Trance, typically produced with a layered & muffled kick drum and extremely upbeat melodies, which give the subgenre its name.
- Pure Trance - Trance that resulted as a movement created by Solarstone; The Pure Trance Movement is a movement started in 2011 dedicated to making Uplifting & Tech Trance that derives influences from Classic Trance.
- Tech Trance - A form of Trance with heavy influence from the 138 BPM Uplifting style, but with more complex basslines. It is typically not driven by uplifting breakdowns, and includes heavier, bass-driven choruses.
- Melbourne Trance - A form of Trance originating from Melbourne, Australia. It is a hybrid between Melbourne Bounce & Trance. It includes all elements from Melbourne Bounce but makes use of progressions and melodies similar to Trance.
- Hard Trance - A form of Trance that used to be known as its counterpart, Hardstyle (in its early forms), which has evolved into something new. It makes heavy uses of the one-note bass structure and derives heavy influences from the early sounds of Gabber. It is not produced as much in today's climates, but it can be found on labels such as Sneijder's Afterdark on occasion.
- Hands-Up - A faster form of Trance that is made for the club and festival scenes. It can be described as a faster form of Uplifting Trance.
- Anthem Trance - A form of Trance that has withstood the test of time and remains popular many years after its original release. This can fall within any major subgenre of Trance, whether it be Uplifting, Progressive, or Psytrance.
- Big Room Trance - Big Room Trance is a form of Progressive Trance that makes use of Big Room melodies, but typically is more fleshed out and distinguishable than where it came from. It can be distinguished by its trance-influenced melodies and Big Room influenced sound design.
- Electro Trance - A side of Progressive Trance that typically does not include euphoric choruses and melodies. It emphasizes the bass throughout the complete track, as well as replaces the uplifting sound design of Progressive Trance with a bassline-driven melody.
- Minimal Progressive - A side to Progressive Trance that is similar to the minimal side of Progressive House, but with Trancier structures and melodies. It progresses slowly over time, and typically stretches to lengths of eight to ten minutes.
- Progressive Trance - A form of trance that focuses on bass-driven intros and fleshed-out progression over extended periods of time. Prog. Trance songs typically have Electro-influenced introductions and euphoric, melodic choruses.
- Darkpsy - The shorter way of saying Dark Psychedelic Trance; A very experimental form of Psytrance, focusing on extremely high BPMs (200+), horror themes, screaming, and brooding atmospheric pads and plucks.
- Full-On - Full-on is a dynamic, playful, and musical subgenre of Psytrance that appeals to a broader audience because of its positive vibe. Unlike of a typical straight Psytrance bassline pattern, the Full-on bassline plays on various notes across few octaves, creating a special rhythm and melody that way. Full-On ranges from 144-152 BPM in most cases.
- Goa Trance - Goa Trance is the ancestor of all Psytrance music as a whole we know today. Goa Trance is considered as “organic”, that is to say, it does not have the typical “metallic” sounds of electronic music and often presents an oriental aesthetics in its melodies, mostly with Indian consonance, as well as various tribal elements from the Indian culture such as references to the Buddhist or Hinduist mythology and mysticism. BPM's can be as low as 135 and as high as 148.
- Hi-Tech Psytrance - Hi-Tech is a Psytrance style strongly influenced by Dark Psytrance, Psycore, and Full-On. It is characterized by a synthetic aesthetic pushed to the extreme. Hi-Tech can present an absence of atmosphere in favor of a non-regular melodic structure. In addition, Hi-Tech is generally the least predictable and constant of all Psychedelic Trance styles. BPM for Hi-Tech can vary from 144-160 depending on the song and artist.
- Mainstream Psytrance: Less of a genre and more of a term for Psytrance songs that lack ethnic or true psychedelic influence. Considered as "Fake Psytrance" by fans of other styles of Psy, the style has gotten a reputation as a way for unoriginal artists to seem original by using the style as switchups within bass music songs.
- Progressive Psytrance - A subgenre of Psytrance that doesn’t utilize one particular type of sound, but rather focuses on the groove, the flow, and how it progresses over time. Sitting around 134-140 BPM, the genre is the most popular style of Psytrance for newer listeners.
- Psychedelic Trance (aka Psytrance) - A genre of Trance that stemmed off the back of Acid Trance; It focuses on creating heavily distorted vocals, usually samples. It is driven by a 4/4 melody made up of triplets atop a four-on-the-floor kick drum.
- Psycore - Psytrance at a much faster BPM (170-200), essentially a slower version of the aforementioned Darkpsy. Do not confuse this with the Hardcore subgenre of the same name.
- Psy Tech-Trance: Psy Tech-Trance is a product of a clash between Psytrance and a regular Trance worlds. Tracks in this subgenre typically have the Psy bassline, longer uplifting breakdowns, and acidic riffs at the climax.