The term Peaceful Music, encompasses many different genres but essentially it is music that is deliberately slow and quiet in nature, it also sometimes features animal or bird noises. This type of music is sometimes referred to as New Age music but there are many influences that murky the waters. Classical elements as well as Folk are usually incorporated with electronic and World music to create a melodic tone that is very popular around the world. With the introduction of disciplines like Yoga and meditation this type of music has reached a high popularity.
The origins of music such as New Age, comes from the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when experimentation with different types of music genre resulted in interesting combinations. In particular an album called Spectrum Suite by Steven Halpern, was responsible for beginning what was called the New Age era of music. There are other albums from artists like Stevie Wonder, were also adopted into the genre. The New Age genre however has had its roots back much further than that.
There are many people who use Peaceful Music in their daily lives. It isn’t just those who enjoy listening to it. Many Yoga classes will use it as well as meditation groups. It has long been known that this type of music helps with stress and depression. It has also had benefits for those suffering with anxiety. Many self-help anxiety and depression videos and CD’s use music which is peaceful as a background theme.
There are many influences to genres such as New Age and generally peaceful music, many shops do not differentiate between subgenres of the music but will place it all under one heading. They can include Gaelic, Flamenco and even Gregorian Chanting to name a few. Those influences have led to some breakthrough albums such as Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells and Shepherd Moon’s by Enya.
Artists and Composers
There are many artists who have written or performed this type of music, although not all of them would be known to this genre specifically. It is estimated that there are some 130 bands and artists that have released music under this banner.
- Blue Stone: These are an Electronic-Pop band from America who produce music with strong New Age influence. They often use synthesisers combined with live piano to produce their unique sound.
- Clannad: Traditionally a Celtic band, they have had influences from other areas. Well known for their soundtrack ‘Theme from Harry’s Game’ they have recently reformed and are writing a new album.
- Enya: Probably the best known artist to be associated with the music, although she has gone on record as saying that she doesn’t consider her music to be New Age. Originally a member of her family band Clannad, she has had a number of hit albums and has won many awards for her music. She has recently announced a new album and tour.
- Jean Michel Jarre: Categorised as an Electronic Ambient and New Age musician, Jarre is noted for his
mammoth outdoor concerts featuring fireworks and lasers. His music while not always slow and methodical, it is relaxing and has many influences.
- Tangerine Dream: Another popular band who wrote primarily instrumental music. Although having written over sixty soundtracks for various movies, this is where most of their recognition lies.
It is clear from these and other artists that having their music described as New Age is not very flattering. The problem may be because the genre for peaceful music or New Age is so vast, that any band or artist who aren’t considered for any other category, are automatically considered New Age.
The music enjoyed by those doing Yoga and relaxation, may not be the same as the music from the more popular artists, but it is more a case of what might be relaxing to an individual rather than picking well known artists.
So whether you are listening to Peaceful Music for pleasure, relaxation or Yoga classes, there is definitely a category that will suit most tastes. In fact the important thing is in those situations that the music regardless of type, should be peaceful to you. That will provide the best result and help focus the mind.
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