A new stage in the evolution of a contemporary musical form has been reached with the decision by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences to accord a separate category--effective in the voting for next year's Grammy awards--for "New Age Music."
The decision originated with recommendations by members and officers at several NARAS chapters around the country. Since there was general agreement that there's sufficient material and interest, the National Trustees recently approved addition of the category.
"There had been a certain amount of confusion at screening meetings," said Margaret Leverence, NARAS awards supervisor, "because some of this music wound up in the fusion field or in a pop category. This music is hard to define, but when you hear it you know what it is."
New Age, with its impressionistic and classical overtones, began to crystallize in the middle and late 1970s and was responsible for the success of Windham Hill Records. Among the best-known New Age artists are George Winston, Will Ackerman and Andreas Vollenweider.