“Trance 4 life” - Why does Trance carry such meaning for its listeners? Why do music genres in general have such dramatic impact on our species?

Spacetime

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“Trance 4 Life”, “Trance is a religion” - within the slight cringe speaks a truth that is undeniable. No matter how many decades pass and how wide the music taste has expanded, I always return to hypnotic and dream inducing Trance music. From the first moment I played the compilation Nyana it was like I had found what I’d been looking for my whole life. Not just a genre I liked, but something I truly loved. Can you also relate to this? My taste has changed a lot, but Trance is always there. At 70 I’ll be declaring my love for it still, hopefully on this forum.

It’s such a common theme with this music, why is it that it has such a power to make us feel this way?

Of course, this is not exclusive to Trance. Many other genres evoke the same decade long passion. But isn’t this a strange, strange phenomenon not really discussed? Music can ‘change my life’ it may also ‘save my life’, if those comments in YouTube are to be believed. It clearly has that power to heal and evolve us as people. But the perplexity is that it's simply just frequencies. Vibrations in the air, arranged in certain ways, become the most important thing in people’s lives. Reason or science offers no explanation, yet here music is, the most powerful and globally popular phenomenon in human existence. Why?
 

HTY

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I had found what I’d been looking for my whole life.

I felt the same and really Trance is the one genre I feel passionate enough to visit music forums or watch documentaries of on youtube, even though I enjoy a lot of music. Maybe it's because I grew up with it at a certain age and those are good memories. It's also very emotional music, maybe more so than Techno, House, Dubstep, Breakbeat and so on.

Why do we feel this way about sound waves I don't really know. People like to be part of something together and music offers big shared experience, with the dancing and the enjoyment we all get from the same tracks. It is empowering.
 
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Gagi

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I was just thinking about this yesterday, and couldn't really find a conclusion. It's just a collection of electronically-generated noises, and when distilled down to its core parts it just doesn't make any sense even listening to it, yet alone loving it. I can't even figure out why we emotionally connect to it.
 
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Magnevi

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I'm not sure if trance is the only one with this behavior.

Don't all music genres have forums and fans who believe their music is "holy" ?

Ask a Justin Bieber fan and they'll say Justin's music is deep, glorious, meaningful, etc.
 
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Magnevi

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I mean... I think it's just our bubble.

If you are at ASOT Festival... there are a few hundred hardcore fans, like us... who post on forums, reply on FB twitter, whatever. Check out the tracklist on 1001.com... Pray for a dj to play your favorite tune.... Listen to radio shows.

But.... don't forget that there are thousands of others... who just casually visit the event. Do they proove that trance isn't as elitist as you think?
 
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jetflag

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It’s such a common theme with this music, why is it that it has such a power to make us feel this way?

But the perplexity is that it's simply just frequencies. Vibrations in the air, arranged in certain ways, become the most important thing in people’s lives. Reason or science offers no explanation, yet here music is, the most powerful and globally popular phenomenon in human existence. Why?
It is, as @Magnevi pointed out, not exclusively Trance that sees this. Phrases like hardcore will never die is something that springs to mind right of the batt. So I think we can savely conclude its a common phenomenon regardless of the genre,

As for a purely rational/ scientific explanation why humans as a species in particular seem to resonate so much with it is I think (as least partially) explained by evolution.

We are, in essence, Pattern seeking/recognizing apes, who're individual in nature and have a tendency to form tribes.

Sounds to recognize places, interact with our fellow human and warn of predators have been present ever since we've developed vocal chords and arms to hit something with. You can think of primitive village Drums, Hymns, or just plain shouting/nature imitation. Its an ancesteral heritage that trickles all the way down to our modern era, providing feelings of Community, Protection, Wonder/Exploration and even further down the line (like all forms of art) Spirituality.

Music in particular is a form of art that is very much based on patterns, which (I think) is partly why its so appealing to the human ear. Everytime to recognize a pattern or see the connection in something your brain releases a little bit of endorphine reward. Same goes for things like Sport or Sex by the way. Both are advantageous from an evolutionairy standpoint (a good, succesfull hunt/ escape and reproduction which speaks for itself)

Music provides aside from that (again like all art really), a conduit/ connection with the Unknown and the Divine. The change you see nowadays is only in the format, not the concept. so basically we're still doing the same thing except instead of cave wall paintings and Log drums we now use to Photoshop and Synthesizers.
 
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dmgtz96

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I'm not sure if trance is the only one with this behavior.

Don't all music genres have forums and fans who believe their music is "holy" ?

Ask a Justin Bieber fan and they'll say Justin's music is deep, glorious, meaningful, etc.
hop on twitter and you'll immediately see the same with kpop

(edit: the first two comments in this thread are precisely how fans express themselves about kpop on reddit)

For the sake of argument (and since this is a trance forum), I do wonder what about the genre drew us all in.
 

jetflag

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this is actually, in relation to the industry of concerts & raves and such, a severly under appriciated and under employed sensory organ.

most music preformance endeavours focus in highly on Sound and Sight in sync. In case of raves you can maybe add Touch to that because of the crowdedness and movement (as opposed to say, a classical concert) But very view actively employ Scent as a mechanism to entertain or dazzle or at least not on purpose/designed.

I for one nowadays still get nostalgic whenever I smell a vape or a sigarette, as it brings me back to my rave'n days.

something to think about if any of you lot ever think about setting up something lumonisity esq. ;)
 

jetflag

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20.000 sweaty men.
i'll veto that over tobacco smoke lol, say what you will but it masked out all the other unpleasantries, ranging from artifical smoke machines, to alcohol breath to spilled beer to cheap perfume to puke you name it.
Didn't they try to add smell in movie theatres? Did this fail hard?
Yeah i heard something about that but i'm not sure. I think the problem was mainly with the pallet/delivery system. Also i never fleshed out beyond the point of experimentation.
 

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Music makes people feel alive, it is the most powerful of all the senses I think. Even movies (sight) cannot move you the same way music can, and movies can really make you feel strongly. It is strange now that you mention it because movies have real human and real stories happening that we can relate, but music has none of this to utilize but it is still more powerful.

Can it really just be patterns? How does that explain the deep meaning we draw from music, if its simply satisfying the urge to solve patterns.
 
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Magnevi

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^
I think more people cry with movies than with music.

And also experience other things like laughter or being scared, shocked…

Usually though, it is a combination of image plus sound… :)
 

Gagi

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And how about visual art, such as paintings? Some can draw much more meaning from it. Maybe it's just a preference or something you're drawn to? Maybe we're all prone to finding much more meaning in something than we really should?
 
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dmgtz96

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And how about visual art, such as paintings? Some can draw much more meaning from it. Maybe it's just a preference or something you're drawn to? Maybe we're all prone to finding much more meaning in something than we really should?
And sometimes you don't even know why you have that preference
 
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erickUO

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The mind interprets patterns > patterns create expectations > expectations lead to emotions

IIRC that's what I learn from a free music psychology course I enrolled last year. I wish I could elaborate more, but didn't finish the course and no longer have access to its material.

I don't want to sound like an advertisement, but if you want to find out here's the course.
 
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dmgtz96

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The mind interprets patterns > patterns create expectations > expectations lead to emotions

IIRC that's what I learn from a free music psychology course I enrolled last year. I wish I could elaborate more, but didn't finish the course and no longer have access to its material.

I don't want to sound like an advertisement, but if you want to find out here's the course.
The pop music formula. I remember reading an article many years ago that predictability is precisely what makes pop music a hit among the general population.
I guess for trance specifically we have all gotten used to certain formulas/sounds/arrangements, which is why we're here and not in r/popheads or other pop-centered forums/groups.
 

jetflag

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Can it really just be patterns? How does that explain the deep meaning we draw from music, if its simply satisfying the urge to solve patterns.

What you're touching upon is known as the Qualia problem. or the Knowledge argument.

Basically, Science can tell you that its patterns that is causing it. but still lacks the knowledge about how it feels to have the experience of that.

 
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Hensmon

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Even if pattern solving is an understood mechanism with how we interface with music it still feels a bit insufficient to describe why it can make us cry or help us through depression, change our lives etc, doesn't it? Why wont other pattern solving instances in life cause the same effect?

Also how different is the pattern solving for House vs Trance, I cant imagine it's too drastic, but the emotional response the individual has can be extremely different
 
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dmgtz96

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Even if pattern solving is an understood mechanism with how we interface with music it still feels a bit insufficient to describe why it can make us cry or help us through depression, change our lives etc, doesn't it? Why wont other pattern solving instances in life cause the same effect?

Also how different is the pattern solving for House vs Trance, I cant imagine it's too drastic, but the emotional response the individual has can be extremely different
Combination of:
  • Escapism
  • Belonging to a community, whether that is here on trancefix, r/trance, or your favorite subreddit/forum of your genre of choice
  • Having something to look forward to: new releases, new music to explore. You have a reason to "keep going," instead of giving up on life entirely
 
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