"What is New Age Music?"


Hmmm, the hard one first...

The term "New Age" was around in the 60's and used by sociologists to describe the younger generations's fascination with alternative lifestyle. The term "New Age Music" seemed to become more common in the late 70's/early 80's for music that was very melodic and primarily instrumental, often used during meditation and visualisation sessions. Also the main outlets were new age/alternative shops with most new age albums being released by small independant companies.

However, it seems that as this type of music has grown in popularity and, by the diverse conversations in r.m.n, the new age music umbrella has spread wider and wider to cover a variety of styles including electronic/space music, jazz, contemporary classical, celtic and world music. The main criteria is for it to be mainly instrumental though Timothy Kelly at Midivox (midivox@ix.netcom.com) raises some good points...

As Timothy mentioned one problem with defining new age music is the high street record shop. In the U.K. it is very uncommon to find a large selection of new age albums. The selection's you do find are quite often small and a little confusing - the idea seeming to be "If there's no words and the tracks are longer than 5 minutes each then it must go under New Age". So you could easily find in the one area Tangerine Dream, Mike Oldfield and the Orb along side Enya, Tim Wheater and a sampler album from Windham Hill! Out of all that Tim Wheater, the flautist, would probably be the only one to agree that they made new age music. (For more interpretations, written by readers of r.m.n., of just what new age music is click here.)

So you see it is very difficult to say just what is and what isn't new age music. If this FAQ can't help then feel free to ask about any artist you think may belong in R.M.N. If he or she doesn't belong then someone will be pleased to point you in the right direction.

Other interesting articles worth reading are:

	"New Age Music Made Simple" by Stephen Hill


	"Inside the Music" articles by John Diliberto


	and The "Echoes Glossary"



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