Progressive house is a style (subgenre) of house music. The progressive house style emerged in the early 1990s. It initially developed in the United Kingdom as a natural progression of American and European house music of the late 1980s.
In the context of popular music the word "progressive" was first used widely in the 1970s to differentiate experimental forms of rock music from mainstream styles. Such music attempted to explore alternate approaches to rock music production. Some acts also attempted to elevate the aesthetic values of rock music by incorporating features associated with classical instrumental music. This led to a style of music called progressive rock, which has been described as "the most self-consciously arty branch of rock." 
Progressive house tunes often feature a build-up section which can last up to four minutes. This is followed by a breakdown and then a climax. Elements drawn from the progressive rock genre include the use of extended or linked-movement tracks, more complexity and reflection but almost always within the four on the floorrhythm pattern. The more experimental parts of house music are described as progressive. Detractors of the genre have described it as elitist and over-produced.
Progressive house emerged after the first wave of house music. The roots of progressive house can be traced back to the early 1990s rave and club scenes in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and Northern America. A combination of US house, UK house, Italian house, German house, and techno largely influenced one another during this era. The term was used mainly as a marketing label to differentiate new rave house from traditional American house. Progressive house was a departure from the Chicago acid house sound. The buzz word emerged from the rave scene around 1990 to 1992, describing a new sound of house that broke away from its American roots. The label progressive house was often used interchangeably with trance in the early years. Progressive house has been described as anti-rave as its popularity rose in English clubs as the more hardcore, dance focused styles flourished at raves.