As a musical genre that came into existence in the latter part of the 20th century, trance music is an art form that relies heavily on the use of electronic equipment and a specific tempo range to create a musical arrangement that is understood to have somewhat hypnotic qualities. Trance music is generally considered to be a form of electronic music that has been influenced by other electronic music genres, such as house music, techno, and ambient music.
The exact origins of trance music are usually traced to the late 1980s, where the first compositions considered to be trance in nature emerged from the acid house movement in the United Kingdom. The emerging compositions included beat ranges that were in the range of 130 to 160 beats per minute, and involved repetitious chains of melodies that were connected with a series of crescendos and breakdowns. While most of the earliest examples of trance music were instrumental in nature, vocals soon came to be included with the arrangements as well.
During the 1990s, trance music became part of the club scene in a number of counties around Europe, especially in Germany. The popularity of the genre in Frankfurt was so pronounced that there are many musical experts who trace the origin of trance music with vocals to that city. The pattern for vocals usually took a course of being somewhat uplifting in nature, rather than addressing social issues or focusing on story lines that tended to focus on negative emotional subjects, such as broken hearts.
Trance music offered an alternative to the techno and house music of the era, in that the genre was thought to be a musical style that was intended to help revitalize people, rather than be a vehicle for perpetuating stereotypes or promoting political agendas. Since the beginning of the 21st century, trance music has captured audiences on a global basis, with record labels, clubs, and radio outlets around the world.
Today, the general positive attitude of trance music remains a positive music form that attracts a number of fans. The musical compositions are often produced with a combination of traditional instruments used in conjunction with a musical synthesizer. Many of the most popular trance music artists today have tended to structure the recordings so that the sound has more in common with more mainstream pop, which has helped trance music to be more accessible to the general public.