New Age

Originally associated with a counter-cultural movement that emphasised non-Western spirituality and non-competitive growth, New Age music is closely associated with practices of relaxation (massage, for example) and mediation. It is a gentle, optimistic music that aims to be uplifting and positive, reflecting an aware lifestyle.

The musicians often associated with New Age are not always comfortable with that designation. Indeed, much discussion and disagreement (even conflict!) has accompanied the genre. Is music on the Windham Hill label New Age? What about some ECM releases? Can it only be sold in shops that have a large selection of incense on the shelves as well?

Debates and classifications notwithstanding, there is much beautiful and interesting music to be discovered, whether you gravitate towards the ethno-ambient explorations of Jon Hassell, the sparkling electronica of Suzanne Chiani, some vintage Wendy Carlos, or even Enya.