Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Log in or Sign up. New Age music emerged as a distinctive genre in the s and grew to its height of popularity in the s and early s. New Age music is typically abstract and soothing, often incorporating natural sounds like wind, birds, or the sound of crashing ocean waves. Frequently, New Age music is intended to accompany meditation, massage therapy, or yoga.
The New Age Movement in Context
W hen did new age music become cool? The mellow tones of new age were once the province of spas, wellness centers, yoga studios and hippie bookstores. These days, new age records — particularly the more rare LPs and cassettes released in the s and s — are a touchstone of cool. A wave of recent well-received reissues, coupled with a wave of younger musicians releasing brand new records in the genre, are keeping the flames of new age music alive. Some record stores are finding it hard to keep new age albums in stock. At Amoeba Records in Berkeley, California , a new generation of listeners are cleaning out the dusty new age bins. Musician Greg Davis, who founded the popular new age cassette blog Crystal Vibrations, says that the surge of interest in rare new age albums — many released on cassette tapes — was inevitable. It was easy to find that stuff and sample it and listen to it and see if you liked it, and people were checking it out. A recent Laraaji show in Brooklyn was packed with people in their 20s and 30s. Interest in mindfulness practices such as yoga and meditation have become more popular with younger audiences.
Defining New Age Music
New-age music is a genre of music intended to create artistic inspiration , relaxation , and optimism. It is used by listeners for yoga , massage , meditation ,  reading as a method of stress management  to bring about a state of ecstasy rather than trance ,   or to create a peaceful atmosphere in their home or other environments, and is associated with environmentalism and New Age spirituality. New-age music includes both acoustic forms, featuring instruments such as flutes , piano , acoustic guitar and a wide variety of non-Western acoustic instruments , and electronic forms, frequently relying on sustained synth pads or long sequencer -based runs. Vocal arrangements were initially rare in the genre, but as it has evolved vocals have become more common, especially those featuring Native American -, Sanskrit -, or Tibetan -influenced chants, or lyrics based on mythology such as Celtic legends.
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