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The First New Age Music Grammy

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A look back: The first New Age music Grammy was handed out in 1987 to Andreas Vollenweider for his album Down To The Moon. Here’s a great article from Cicago Ttribune about New Age music and the upcoming Grammy awards.

New Age music finally has come of age.

When Grammy Award nominations are announced in January, New Age music for the first time will have its own category.

Yet if there no longer is any dispute over acceptance of the music, there`s still wide-open debate over just what New Age music is. Is it acoustic folk? Acoustic jazz? Electronic music? Ambient meditation music? Or a combination of all the above?

“I`ve been following the different names it has been called,“ says composer Jim Scott. “When I toured with the Paul Winter Consort six years ago, no one called it New Age music. It was called whole earth music after the Whole Earth catalog. And it`s certainly been called granola music. Once I even saw it called yoga music. That was in a store in Colorado, where there were just three albums in that category–one by Winter, one by an electronic composer, and the other was `Jane Fonda`s Workout.` So I guess we`ve come a long way from that.“

A long way, indeed.

It may have emerged from the holistic health movement and hippie concerns with peace, love and planetary balance, but New Age music today is a new bandwagon–and major record labels are clamoring to hop aboard.

These labels have watched New Age pianists George Winston and Michael Jones, harpist Andreas Vollenweider and synthesists Kitaro and Vangelis catch on with a stressed-out public in need of easy-listening instrumental music

–which is perhaps as good a definition of the New Age genre as any.

Read it here.