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Trance begins as a genre
The sound of modern (progressive) trance
Musicology and styles
Pre-trance music

The disco composer, producer, and performer Giorgio Moroder is widely credited as being a seminal influence on modern trance music, as well as techno and house . In 1977 he recorded the classic single "I Feel Love" (performed by Donna Summer ) and album From Here to Eternity, both of which heavily feature his signature sequenced basslines and drumbeats (see: 1977 in music ).

The German synthesist Klaus Schulze has also proven to be a significant influence on trance music. Throughout the 70s he recorded numerous albums of atmospheric, sequencer-driven electronic music. Several of his albums from the 1980s include the word "trance" in their titles, such as 1981's Trancefer and 1987's En=Trance .

Elements of what became modern trance music were also explored by industrial artists in the late 1980s . Most notably, Psychic TV 's 1989 album Towards Thee Infinite Beat , featuring drawn out and monotonous patterns with short but repeating voice samples, is considered by some to be the first trance album. The intent was to make sound that was hypnotic to its listeners.

These industrial artists were largely dissociated from rave culture, and their trance albums were generally experiments, not an attempt to start a new genre with an associated culture -- they remained firmly rooted culturally in industrial and avant-garde music. As trance began to take off in the rave culture, most of these artists abandoned the genre.

In these years first complete references to trance as a genre appeared. In 1988 The KLF produced a version of their later popular song - "What Time is Love" titles "The Original Pure Trance" . While this version cannot be considered as Trance by current standards, it is presumably one of the first references to trance in dance music.