Artists such as Robert Fripp from King Crimson, all members of the band Pink Floyd, Keith Jarrett, John Fahey, Terry Riley, Steve Reich and numerous others always took a progressive approach in their music which led to the birth of new sounds, new techniques and new developments in the recording and processing music. When the lighter elements of such bands are combined, they provide the ingredients for the genre of New Age and a down tempo, relaxing, inspirational and an optimistic form of music takes form.
This genre is extremely diverse and almost all kinds of instruments are adopted into it including the eastern classical ones. Numerous musicians prefer to take an electronic form while many others prefer to stay old school with their natural instruments such as acoustic guitars, sitar, piano and flutes. However, most of it is driven by mellow and dreamy synthesizers accompanied by a drone bass to create a peaceful and spiritual environment.
Technology has also played a vital role in the evolution of this genre as such low frequency drones and synthesizers were not previously possible with the use of vinyl and magnetic cassettes. Digital recording equipment and surround sound systems have greatly enhanced the live sound experience and offer a truly transcending experience. Many of the New Age artists purposefully create music to aid meditation, yoga, and spiritual healing processes. Paul Horn and Dean Evenson are examples of such musicians. While in popular music, artists such as Enya, Kitaro, Yanni and Jon Hassell have gained significant popularity across the globe.
The live performances of these artists could include instrumental pieces of up to 30 minutes that puts the crowd in a state of collective consciousness.