Meditation music

Dear all, I would love to start to compose meditation music. Is there any guideline you can suggest to follow? Is there any analitycal study done about it? Where can I found some resources where I can learn some compositional techniques for this kind of music? Thanks in advance All the best Luca

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  • Can you be more specific as to what type of meditation music? Or, perhaps, the type of meditation itself? There are so many ways to meditate from different cultures.

    Probably the best resources would be going to different kinds of mediation "services", and talk to the musicians.

    I've been to services that rely heavily on simple music provided over drones coming from a shruti box. Sometimes the only "instrument" played over the drone was a fellow singing throat music! These are heavily improvised.

    Much Indian (from India) is used for meditation. This, too, makes use of the drone.

    Other kinds of "world" music may provide good examples of mediation music, although much of that is actually participatory, such as African Drumming, or Native American Drumming. This may be outside the realm of what some people consider "meditative", but I find African Drumming most satisfying!

    Taize services are fairly structured, and one can actually purchase the music books and sores used all around the world for those. The people meditating at a Taize service sing the "mantra" over and over again. These are Christian meditations.

    There seems to be a growing amount of "ambient" music that could be used for meditations. This is quiet and repetitive, relying on softly flowing textures, often avoiding any kind of melodic material. Motifs might consist of a drumbeat or timbre created by repeating different combinations of instruments. I've heard this music live in venues that value low lights, soft, moods, and quite conversation. Personally, I only know one band well enough to know how they arrive at their music. They meet regularly for improvised sessions, and have developed their repertoire over a period of time by getting to know what to expect from each other, and combining the motifs they've developed. There have named "pieces", which come out similarly each time they play them, but they are never preformed exactly the same way twice.

    In Western Classical music, the closest genre that comes to mind might be "minimalism".

    The genre may be wide open for you to create your stamp!
    Twice Digitale
  • Thanks a lot.

    Any other suggestion/comment?

    All the best

    Luca
  • Nice! I wish I knew how to throat sing...
  • As Janet says,  the genre is really wide open.

    My wife offers music for hypno-therapists.  You can hear some examples on her website (http://www.cswmusic.com/) . The songs there show how different meditation music can be.  From melodic pictures to sound scapes to minimal piano music.  Some customers just want classical music or music that goes along with a slow heart beat and so forth. Others just describe an emotion/picture (e.g. "a walk on the beach while the sun sets with mild wind") and they want you to come up with a musical atmosphere.  Meditation music is really an interesting field to be part of.

     

     


    Luca Turchet said:

    Thanks a lot.

    Any other suggestion/comment?

    All the best

    Luca
  • Yes I would recommend binaural beats and solfeggio frequencies as well (Mountainmystic9 on youtube is a great source as Jamie pointed out, I am subscribed to him). Its all really under the umbrella of minimalism. I would check out Steve Reich and Philip Glass. Basically think wide open predominantly major sounding harmonies with VERY long pedals if not just drones. Basically think drones and overtones over LONG periods of time. Mixolydian would be a really good place to start. Think about building tension/ adding direction through layering consonance rather than adding dissonance. Delay, reverb, phase shifting, and other electronic effects will help a lot too. You have to make use of a lot of different timbres and not be overt with melody or rhythm, like ray said. This type of music has to seem very rich and full while in reality be very sparse.

  • Free tonal harmony, like Debussy. Avoiding the tonal progression like G7-C. I would start composing chord sequences that would be as free as possible of the tonal chains, but not creating disharmonic tension. If you stick to tonal music, there's one kind of sequence that could be called tonal regression, which is very common. If the progression is like Em-A7-Dm-G7-Cmaj-Fmaj-Bm7-5-E7, a regression sequence  would be more like C-G-Dm-Am-Em-Bm. But this sequence, even though it's regressive, is still based on the fifth relationship. Try the 3rds instead. I believe Debussy used that a lot. And Evanescense:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGKRXhmFQlw

     

    Overall focusing on regression instead of progression would be one approach. I guess melody and other things might fall in naturally, if the harmonic structure is ready. You won't create any interesting tensed progressive melody, if the harmonic structure lacks all tension.

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