Uplifting Trance (also known as Anthem Trance and Epic Trance) is a term to describe several styles of music; all of which are subgenres of Trance. The name, which emerged in the wake of Progressive Trance in 1997, is derived from the feeling which listeners claim to get (often described as a "rush"). The genre, which originated in Germany, is massively popular in the Trance scene, and is one of the dominant forms of dance music worldwide.
In general, "Uplifting Trance" is a style much lighter in tone than other trance genres (such as Progressive, or Goa). Instead of the darker tone of these latter two genres, Uplifting trance uses similar chord progressions as progressive trance, but tracks' chord progressions usually rest on a major chord, and the balance between major and minor chords in a progression will determine how "happy" or "sad" the progression sounds. The genre features longer major chord progressions in all elements (lead synth, bass, and treble). It also contains extended breakdowns, and relegation of arpeggiation (the melodic part of the song, usually consisting of "Saw Synths/Square Lead" type sounds) to the background while bringing wash effects to the fore (the harmonic element of the music, or "background fill", usually consisting of synth choir/voice/string chord progressions). There is a close relation between Uplifting Trance and uplifting House. As a general rule of thumb, faster BPM rates such as 130- BPM indicates trance; less indicates house.
History of the term
The term has been used to describe what most other people call "Epic Trance" in the UK's trance scene, to describe some non UK-based commercial trance acts, like Brooklyn Bounce or Darude, which has created some confusion in terminology and classification. Many UK fans call those acts "Uplifting House" (when really these artists are closer to Progressive House/Trance than Uplifting Trance). The term is also used on the psy trance/goa trance scene, although these styles are not really meant to sound uplifting (It's possible that some people may be thinking of the term "uplifting" in this case to mean "euphoric").
Since the uplifting trance scene was mostly popular in the late 1990s-early 2000s, today's uplifting DJs have little club exposure, especially in the Western Hemisphere, and thus uplifting trance has become more and more underground in recent years. It remains strong in Poland and other eastern European countries, albeit in a very commercial form, which has led to a strong decrease in the number of famous uplifting DJs. Viva Polska and 4fun TV in Poland still broadcast older and later Uplifting trance hits. However, most of the 1999-2003 uplifting trance hits continued to garner significant airplay well into 2007 on UK music channels, such as MTV Dance and Rapture TV. The scene has since blended with other Trance styles, spawning new genres. The crossover of uplifting trance with Goa trance, for example, is named Nitzhonot. In the UK, during the 2000s, a crossover of Uplifting Trance and Happy Hardcore appeared, called "Scouse house." In early 2006 Uplifting Trance saw a sudden eruption in interest amongst new and old fans and throughout 2007 and 2008 it firmly re-established itself within the Trance scene. Although by some, Uplifting trance at current, is not considered to be like 'it used to be' many consider it to have evolved into a more creative, thus more 'Uplifting' music in general, fusing with styles such as Progressive Trance/House, and Electro House, the genre is wildly followed by an extensive and loyal fan base. .