One of the most uplifting, beautiful, spirtual & at times religious types of music available today (although it composes today of a fragmented genre with many subgenres now available). Trance at times can be very ambiguous because of this fragmentation along with Trance remixes of contempary pop & rock music added for good measure.
Often symphonic / orchestral sounding in form it uses classical forms in melody & chord structure. Binary & Minimalist forms an example along with use of classical piano & organ. Fused with the four to the floor beats & rhythm structures of House & Techno. As such many classical composers & Classically trained piansts have fallen in love with the genre composing there own trance tracks either produced by well known Trance producers or by themselves.
Because of the similarities both Trance & classical music works can be converted or translated into versions of one another.
Although the Rhythms employ patterns more like Techno, Trance was termed 'Atmospheric House' at it's emergence by some.
The breakdown is often considered the heart of an Trance track, especially one of the euphoric variety & is often very emotional. It can either overcome the whole club with joy or make everyone spantaneously burst into tears, yes even with out the use of narcotics.
it is not essensial for trance to have a beat under it there are trance songs which do not but it is very common to have a beat.
what most people know as trance music e.g: productions by 'Special D' , 'Lasgo' , 'Jan Wayne' etc... is not trance this is called eurodance or pollitacally incorrect: cheese it has some trance influences but it doesn't use the typical trance melodies but instead happy melodies and is nowhere near the complexity of trance with as purpose to reach high places in pop charts.
Second, Melodic elements are added between usually long sets of electronic drum-beats about 64 beats long. Third, these songs have no real lyrics to them and they last for at least 4 minutes on up.