Easy listening  

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"In the early 1990s the lounge revival was in full swing and Stereolab demonstrated its influence with Space Age Bachelor Pad Music. There was the Ultra-Lounge series of lounge music albums. The lounge style was a direct contradiction to the grunge music that dominated the period."--Sholem Stein

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Easy listening (sometimes known as mood music) is a popular music genre and radio format that was most popular during the 1950s to 1970s. It is related to middle-of-the-road (MOR) music and encompasses instrumental recordings of standards, hit songs and popular non-rock vocals. It was differentiated from the mostly instrumental beautiful music format by its variety of styles, including a percentage of vocals, arrangements and tempos to fit various day parts during the broadcast day.

Easy listening music is often confused with elevator music ("Muzak"), or lounge music, but while it was popular in some of the same venues it bore only modest resemblance to the background sound of this kind of music.

A significant portion of easy listening music is purely instrumental and included some big band and orchestral arrangements of standards, themes from movies, bossa nova hits and small instrumental ensembles playing instrumental versions of popular songs, including light jazz and even some soft rock. However, it was distinguished by slower tempo, and the large prominence of strings. When reed instruments such as saxophones were employed, they were used in a gentle, as opposed to brash, tone.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Easy listening" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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