Encyclopedia > Ambient music

  Article Content

Ambient music

The Cover of Brian Eno's Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks, widely considered one of the best ambient releases.
Ambient music is a loosely defined musical genre that incorporates elements of a number of different styles - including jazz, electronica, new age and modern classical music. It is chiefly identifiable as having an overarching atmospheric context.

The term was first coined by Brian Eno in the late 1970s to refer to music that would envelop the listener without drawing attention to itself. Hence, Brian Eno is considered the father of ambient music. Sometimes associated with elevator music and Muzak, it is more often similar to mood music[?] or an ambient background in movie and radio sound effects. Often listeners will forget they are listening to ambient music, which is one of the biggest attractions of the genre. It can be any musical style, including jazz, electronica and modern classical music.

Retrospectively, some of the works of the 20th century French composer Erik Satie, today best known for his Trois Gymnopédies[?] suite, can be regarded as predecessors of modern ambient music. The invention of the first electronic instrument, the theremin in the early 20th century is also considered an important influence on the later development of ambient music. Similarly some of the works of the French composer Edgar Varèse, who used the theremin extensively in his music can also be viewed as predecessors of ambient music.

Although purely Ambient music is traditionally beatless, most modern Ambient electronica (sometimes referred to as Ambient techno) has reconciled rhythm with the dreamy, meandering reverb of the first wave of Ambient music. With the birth of a new wave of electronic music in the late 1980s, ambient saw a resurgence in the works of artists like the Orb, Aphex Twin and the Irresistible Force.

Ambient electronica is the current most popular form of the genre. Artists include Aphex Twin and William Orbit, and earlier artists such as Ray Lynch[?] and Mannheim Steamroller[?], both of which were considered at the time, the 1980s, to be "New Age". Works by Kraftwerk and Vangelis have greatly influenced the genre. Other prominent artists that make ambient electronic music include Air, Biosphere and Jean-Michel Jarre.

See also:

External links and references

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article

... with absolute governmental power, from the Greek language turannos. In Classical Antiquity[?] it did not always have inherently negative implications, it merely ...

This page was created in 25.3 ms