The genre of music I listen to most these days is classic rock. But it wasn’t that long ago, maybe 15-20 years ago, that my music genre of choice was new age.
New age music is a combination of mostly instrumental pieces creating sounds of a soothing, romantic, mood-elevating, and sometimes sensual nature. It’s broadly defined as relaxing, even “meditative,” music. Unlike relaxing forms of classical music, new age music makes greater use of electronic sounds and non-Western instrumentation. I used to describe new age music as a fusion of classical, jazz, and rock.
The large percentage of musical sounds described as new age is instrumental and electronic, although vocal arrangements, while less common, are part of the genre. Enya, for example, won a Grammy for her new age music. She has an ethereal, almost other-worldly, sound and sings in a variety of languages, including Latin and her native Irish and Celtic.
Some of my favorite new age musicians include Yanni (or as my kids used to call him, “Yawni”), the aforementioned Enya, David Lanz, Susan Ciani, and Kitarō.
And here are a few of my favorite new age songs.