I'll never forget the first time I read the joke … "What do you get when you play New Age music backwards." The answer really cracked me up … "You get New Age music."
It's a point that's well taken. But the people who put down and criticize this style of music are really missing the point. You see, New Age music is not about trying to create sophisticated sonatas or perfect preludes.
It's really about a feeling – a feeling that goes through you, allows you to relax, and possibly take a breath from the hectic pace of life. It's about spirit … allowing the music to flow through you and transport you to a more peaceful place.
Still, there are those who insist this music is nothing but aural wallpaper – not to be taken seriously and to be put down at every chance.
Well, they have one part right. It's definitely not to be taken seriously. It's to be enjoyed – a concept that many "serious" musicians have a problem understanding. And this is really not their fault.
Academic snobbism in the music world does exist. It equates "good" music with "sophisticated" music. But not only is this a useless comparison, it's harmful as well.
The simple truth of the matter is we like what we like. As soon as you try and instruct someone on why they should like something – whether it's because it's supposedly to be good, or because it's considered to be a master work of art, danger sets in. Why?
Because once you lose trust in yourself, once you start to doubt what you really like, you'll start to lose an important part of yourself. That innocent trusting part that simply knows what you like and love and does not need someone to point it out