New Age music is fantastic (seriously!)


These days it’s simple: if you want to make good music that happens to be extremely chill you just call it “Ambient”. If you want to sell crap to people with no taste, call it “New Age”.


the one in the youtube movie there almost sounds like it could be Boards of Canada ;

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Hey, nice. That inspired me to go buy the album!

To the general topic, I couldn’t agree more. It is wonderful music for setting a mood. I often use what I call space music as a way to induce a feeling that is productive for programming and coding. But it can’t be just any ambient stuff. For me there has to be a dark feeling to it, if that makes any sense. Kammarheit is a recent fave and I listen quite a bit to SOMA FM’s Drone Zone via iTunes.

Meh. <a href=””>Here’s better music to chillax, IMHO.
I’ll admit to being inssufieicntly in the know to be able to say what is and isn’t New Age music. Maybe that means I have, as @Ratel put it, no taste*. I just listen to the stuff and compose my own digital music when I have time. I don’t pay much attention to the culture and analysis surrounding it. To each their own.

*with the disclaimer that I can’t tell whether or not Ratel is being sarcastic.

I remember when record stores would file Eno and/or Cluster in the New Age section.

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Seriously, ye bolloxer, why bespeak when ye can be meek, eek?

Meep meep.


The one you embedded would go great with my 5 minute flyover of a green wire-frame terrain.

Once found Winston Tong filed under New Age.

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Back in the olden days (1970’s), we referred to such as “electronic”, or sometimes “space” music.

If you like the posted sample, you may want to check out the long running public radio show, “Hearts of Space”.


I was literally about the say the same thing almost word for word, hah!

Looks like the album is available on Rdio:

Or perhaps it’s a playlist that attempts to re-create the album. It’s not clear to me. Anyway, listening now, nice so far.

Seconded on the Drone Zone - listen to that a LOT.

Thank you! I used to love listening to that show. I had no idea it was still available.

New age music to me is a lot like sci-fi or fantasy novels: Lots of crap but some really good stuff. Seems like this compilation has a lot of non-new-age on it, music that would be considered “ambient.”

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The terms “new age” and “ambient” weren’t so clearly defined back in the 70’s and early 80’s, it was all just electronic composers feeling out what could be done with synths and the studio, so there was a lot of blurring of the lines. This is where the best “new age” music comes from, before it became more codified and kind of neo-classical a la Vangelis, Kitaro, George Winston, Yanni, etc. Also the new age spiritual movement provided a ready audience, and I always thought they steered the development of the music simply through their purchasing power. I have a few privately pressed 70’s electronic albums that express ideas of spirituality in the liner notes, and yet they have a lot more in common with ambient music than the new age stuff that came later.

Ambient music retained a lot more of the original experimental roots, with closer ties to minimalism and 20th century composers like Xenakis and Feldman; the people I know who are into ambient music are decidedly NOT “new age” and listen to a lot of challenging “noisy” music.


Triple J’s Soundlab is their show for ambient, electronic and experimental music and is a pretty well-curated weekly offering of this kind of stuff. I agree on the terminology though… having had to lay out catalogues with a “new age” category I have a strong dislike for things that market themselves as such.

Great thread and links to follow. Thanks all!!!

“New Age rhymes with sewage.”