“New Age Music” covers a variety of subgenres, but is generally about promoting optimism, peace, and inspiration in its listeners. If you’re feeling stressed or are just interested in music with a spiritual side, keep reading to learn more about this relaxing genre!
If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, participated in guided meditation, or even just sat in the waiting room of a therapist’s’ office, you’ve probably heard music that would be classified as “New Age”. It’s a very broad term: new age music is essentially any type of music that has the explicit purpose of promoting peace and relaxation in its listeners, and can sound like anything from an electronic chill house inspired track to an Eastern-influenced sitar song. New Age music is typically lyricless, although some artists include vocals that are inspired by Tibetan chants, or use Native American and Sanskrit prayers and meditations.
New Age music is a natural progression out of the minimalist, psychedelic, folk, classical, and progressive rock that gained popularity in the 1960s and 70s. It takes the minimalist form, which focuses on assigning explicit meaning to each individual sound, adds the emotional and spiritual aspects of psychedelic pop, the locality of folk, the instrumentation of classical, and the mentality of progressive rock and combines them into a soothing, inspiring genre that transcends any of its predecessors.
Some of the most popular New Age musicians include Enya, the Irish singer/songwriter who is probably the most well-known New Age musician and has even graced the pop charts in the US, Yanni, an Italian ambient classical musician, and Vangelis, a Greek composer noted for his film scores. All of these artists come from distinctly different backgrounds, which is one of the reasons New Age is so unique: people from all ethnicities, with all different types of instrumentation, vocalization, and sound, can produce New Age music as long as it retains that specific purpose of promoting peace and relaxation.
If you’re looking to try New Age music, consider using it as a tool to help you in various activities instead of just something to listen to. Think of the times you’re most easily stressed, unfocused, or unhappy: do you have a rush hour commute? Do you have trouble focusing while writing? Do you have a hard time falling asleep? The ambiance of New Age music allows some people to increase their focus and lower their stress level, and can even help promote sleep. New Age music is wonderful to use in yoga and meditation as well: if you have trouble clearing your mind completely, try focusing on an ambient sound like that of New Age music to help begin the meditation process of emptying your mind of worries and stresses. Ambient New Age music can also be a wonderful addition to Tantric sex, and can help you and your partner focus in on each other during intercourse.
As with any type of new genre, the best part of understanding and learning about it is through exploration. Luckily, there are plenty of avenues through which to explore the genre: try Spotify, Pandora, or even just a quick YouTube search to get an idea of which New Age musicians help fulfill that need for peaceful, ambient, relaxing music that you may have.
Have a favorite New Age artist you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!