|Stylistic origins||House, Trance, Balearic beat|
|Cultural origins||Early 1990s, Europe|
|Typical instruments||Synthesizer, drum machine, sequencer, sampler, electronic keyboard, personal computer, keyboard|
|Big Room House|
|Electro house - Hard house - Uplifting trance - Liquid funk|
Progressive house is a style (subgenre) of house music. House music is a type of electronic dance music (EDM). 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." 
In disco music, and later house, a similar desire to separate more exploratory styles from standard approaches saw DJs and producers adopting the word "progressive" to make a distinction. According to the DJ and producer Carl Craig, the term "progressive" was used in Detroit in the early '80s in reference to Italo disco. The music was dubbed "progressive" because it drew upon the influence of Giorgio Moroder's Eurodisco rather than the disco inspired by the symphonic sound of Philadelphia soul. In Detroit, prior to the emergence of techno, artists like Alexander Robotnick, Klein + M.B.O. and Capricorn filled a vacancy left after disco's demise in America. In the late 1980s, UK music journalist Simon Reynolds introduced the term "progressive dance" to describe album oriented acts such as 808 State, The Orb, Bomb the Bass and The Shamen. Between 1990 to 1992, the term "progressive" referred to the short-form buzz word for the house music sub-genre "progressive house".
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The genre was distinctly English with harmonic and trancey sounds such as extended synthesizer washes. It features elements of dub, deep house, big riffs and extended track lengths. The style distinguished itself from Euro-trance and vocal trance by the lack of anthemic choruses, crescendos and drum rolling. Intensity is added by the regular addition and subtraction of layers of sound. Phrases are typically a power of two number of bars and often begin with a new or different melody or rhythm.
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 floor rhythm 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.
Notable early productions
Late 2000s and 2010s saw multiple new sounds in house music developed by numerous DJs. Sweden knew a prominence of snare-less "Swedish progressive house" with the emergence of Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell, Steve Angello (These three formed a trio called Swedish House Mafia), Avicii, Alesso, etc.
Big room house
Big room house is an house music subgenre, which takes the melodic and progressive nature of progressive house and combines it with the energy of electro house. It is often characterized by piano synths, minimal sounding synths and plenty of reverb. It found a growing mainstream attention since 2010, also thanks to the spread through international music festivals such as Tomorrowland and Ultra Music Festival and Electric Daisy Carnival. Big room tracks such as Levels by Avicii have gained a great success outside the club scene.
- According to Butler (2006:33) use of the term EDM "has become increasingly common among fans in recent years. During the 1980s, the most common catchall term for EDM was house music, while techno became more prevalent during the first half of the 1990s. As EDM has become more diverse, however, these terms have come to refer to specific genres. Another word, electronica, has been widely used in mainstream journalism since 1997, but most fans view this term with suspicion as a marketing label devised by the music industry".
- Kevin Holm-Hudson (2008).Genesis and the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway,Ashgate, p.75, (ISBN 0754661474).
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- Reynolds, S., Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture (New York: Routledge, 1999), p. 22.
- Phillips, Dom, Trance-Mission, Mixmag, June 1992.
- Reynolds, Simon (2012). Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture. Soft Skull Press. ISBN 1593764774. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
- Price, Emmett George (2010). "House music". Encyclopedia of African American Music 3. ABC-CLIO. p. 406. ISBN 0313341990. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- "Electronica Genre Guide: Progressive". Music Faze. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- Borthwick, Stuart; Ron Moy (2004). Popular Music Genres: An Introduction. Edinburgh University Press. p. 75. ISBN 0748617450. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- Mattingly, Rick (2002). The Techno Primer: The Essential Reference for Loop-based Music Styles. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 36. ISBN 0634017888. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
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