What is Trance Music

Trance music is a form of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) or more broadly Electronica.  Wikipedia says that Trance “seeks to evoke ethereal, trance-like qualities in listeners and dancers.”  Like most EDM it is 4/4 (four-on-the-floor) with a bass kick drum on every downbeat through much of the song. Usually the tempo is between 125 and 150 beats per minute.

The traditional form is Intro – Buildup – Chorus – Verse – Breakdown – Buildup – Chorus – Outro.

  • Intro is generally a simple introduction intended to make it easy for the DJ to match the beat to the previous song.
  • First Buildup will gradually build up instruments and loudness to the:
  • First Chorus which will be a louder but perhaps simple statement of the theme of the song going into the:
  • Verse which is often a restatement of the Intro with some embellishment so that it is not too repetitive.
  • Breakdown is a sudden drop and release of tension, relatively quiet, perhaps with no percussion.
  • Second Buildup may be similar to the first but with more tension toward the end.
  • Final Chorus is the emotional climax with usually many leads, pads and accompanying effects
  • The Outro is often similar to the Intro turned backwards again to make it easy for the DJ to match the beat to the next song.

If there is a vocalist, the vocalist is usually a female.  Normally all leads, pads are synthesized and many special effects can be used.  Much of the artistry involves designing the sound of the leads and pads on synthesizers.

This is a short compilation of trance tunes on YouTube: Trance Compilation. Some pretty good stuff.

About two weeks ago, I introduced a piece in Finally back to music!. I said it was Trance and perhaps it is but it does not have the dance feel that I was going for. For the past two weeks I have been taking a tutorial in Trance at Boy in a Band – Trance Tutorial. It was a significant challenge partly because the tutor uses the Reason DAW which is expensive and comes with some excellent tools for designing and building sounds. I use Reaper which is very good but does not come with the synthesizers and drum machines and other stuff. I generally have found these things as free downloads on the web and I am happy with them. Sometimes however, they are very different from tools in the Reason package so I have to learn a lot! There is always more to learn.

Here is the result.  I did not compose the music.  I did build all of the synthesized instruments and select my own sound effects.

Trance Tutor – 10 August 2012, trance.


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What is Trance Music was last modified: March 8th, 2018 by cy

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