New Age music  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

New Age music was originally a genre of music of a mystical nature, associated with New Age philosophies in the style of European musicians Tangerine Dream or Vangelis . Now usually associated with a genre of relaxing music with elements of world music.

Influences and themes

From 1968 to 1973, German musicians such as Holger Czukay (a former student of Karlheinz Stockhausen), Popol Vuh and Ashra released a number of works featuring experimental sounds and textures build with "electronics", synthesizers, acoustic and electric instruments; their music, referred to as Cosmic music can be regarded as Ambient or New Age, depending on point of view. Later Brian Eno defined the styles and patterns of Ambient in a way that easily merged and co-developed with the styles of many musicians such as Robert Fripp, Jon Hassell, Harold Budd, Jah Wobble from late 1970s to today.

Other influences are early electronic music, classical music, ethnic music and world music. The minimalism of Terry Riley and Steve Reich (Indian influenced in the former case) can also be cited as an influence, along with artists like Tony Conrad, LaMonte Young who utilized drones since the early 1960s. Connected to the creation of New Age music is the resurgence of interest in Gregorian chant during the second half of the 20th century. Now, New Age music has branched out and also includes chanting of "spiritual" or ancient languages, and includes, but is not limited to Sanskrit, Latin, Gaelic and Hebrew. Popular artists in this genre include: Krishna Das, Deva Premal, and Bhagavan Das.

The solo ECM performances by artists like Keith Jarrett (especially his record The Köln Concert), Ralph Towner (especially his records Blue Sun and Solo Concert) and Lyle Mays's first eponymous album, are usually thought to be an influence on Ambient/New Age music.

The acoustic solo and group performances by the early Windham Hill artists such as Andy Summers, William Ackerman, Alex de Grassi, George Winston, and Michael Hedges were called New Age for much of the last 30 years.

Popular themes in New Age music include space and the cosmos, environment and nature, wellness in being, harmony with one's self and the world, dreams or dreaming and journeys of the mind or spirit. Titles of New Age songs are frequently descriptive: examples include Principles of Lust (Enigma), Shepherd Moons (Enya), Straight' a Way To Orion (Kitaro), and One Deep Breath (Bradley Joseph).

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "New Age music" 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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