Author Topic: RQ015 - what are the "rules" of ambient music?  (Read 10405 times)


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Re: RQ015 - what are the "rules" of ambient music?
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2010, 01:51:06 PM »
What I want to know is what Brenholts would've had to say about this.  This thread has his name written all over it;)


Ok - I'll admit it... I've been trying to introduce a little lightness with the absence of Jim.    Part of it is just me being me - I've done this sort of thing off and on from the beginning of the forum - but I have been trying a little harder to toss in some curveballs that Jim might have appreciated were he here.   He would have probably made fun of me also - which is just fine with me.


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Re: RQ015 - what are the "rules" of ambient music?
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2010, 02:19:13 PM »

Great question John :)
Ah, the mythical rules of ye olde ambient.

Here's some keywords which initially spring to mind (all just my opinions, mind you):

Ignorable yet Listenable
Tonal (debateable)

As for rules, I don't know if they are any or should there be any...


Scott M2

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Re: RQ015 - what are the "rules" of ambient music?
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2010, 02:46:59 PM »

This is a really interesting thread - or it could be when some serious replies occur.

I'm very interested to hear what people have to say on this one.


Alright, if we must be serious - I go by Brian Eno's original 1978 definition of Ambient Music:

"Whereas conventional background music is produced by stripping away all sense of doubt and uncertainty
(and thus all genuine interest) from the music, Ambient Music retains these qualities. And whereas their intention
is to `brighten' the environment by adding stimulus to it (thus supposedly alleviating the tedium of routine tasks
and levelling out the natural ups and downs of the body rhythms) Ambient Music is intended to induce calm
and a space to think.

Ambient Music must be able to accomodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular;
it must be as ignorable as it is interesting

Full text:

Now Dark Ambient can start to move away from inducing calm and can draw more attention to itself
but I think the roots are still in this definition.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2010, 02:52:00 PM by Scott M2 »


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Re: RQ015 - what are the "rules" of ambient music?
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2010, 10:20:45 AM »
There's actually a mastering engineer who is popular with the New Age crowd that "passes all audio through crystals".  I ain't makin' it up.

If I just had those crystals!!!!

Hey, you could argue that all mastering engineers use crystals during the mastering process when they are in the digital domain. Think crystal clocks.  ;D

And on the Bill Fox rule I would add, "and expect him to play only one track once, ever from your CD(unless you are Steve Roach, Robert Rich, Klaus Schulze or some sequencer band)."  :o :D
Take care.

- Loren Nerell