Easy listening


Easy listening

Easy listening music is a style of popular music and radio format that emerged in the mid-20th century, evolving out of swing and big band music, and related to Beautiful music and Light music. Easy listening music features simple, catchy melodies, soft, laid-back songs and occasionally rhythms suitable for couples dancing. The genre includes both instrumental forms (often played on light of tone instruments such as the Hammond Organ, "lush strings", or Ukulele); and vocal forms featuring pop singers, such as Raphael, Barbra Streisand, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Jack Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck, Eydie Gorme, Barry Manilow, Harry Connick Jr., Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Bing Crosby, Tom Jones and Mel Tormé. Exotica music stylists such as Les Baxter and Martin Denny are often included within the purview of easy listening music as well.__TOC__

Use of term and related forms of music

The easy listening radio format has been generally but not completely superseded by the "Lite AC" form of Adult contemporary music radio. [http://www.nyradioguide.com/formats.htm#liteac Radio Station Format Guide] ] Beautiful music is a subset of easy listening music, since, as a radio format, it had rigid standards for instrumentation (e.g., few or no saxophones) and restrictions on how many vocal pieces could be played in an hour. It is sometimes called "Nostalgia" music. Often, songs were re-arranged instrumental "cover" versions of popular songs of the 1960s and 1970s custom-produced for the radio format during its peak in popularity.

The term "easy listening" has sometimes been applied negatively in the years since it went out of fashion. It is similar to what is called "lounge" or "lounge core", but lounge music is much more jazz-oriented and dependent on musical improvisation than easy listening. Easy listening music is usually orchestrated by an arranger rather than improvised by a small ensemble.

Billboard magazine and the now-defunct trade Record World celebrated "easy listening" singles through independently-audited record charts. Generally 40 positions in length, they charted airplay on stations such as WNEW, New York City and KMPC, Los Angeles. Record World ended these charts approx. 1972. Billboard's chart morphed to the more appropriate designation "Adult Contemporary" in 1979, and continues to this day. Since easy listening music as such is rather unknown to the younger generation, the term "easy listening" is often incorrectly applied to other genres such as soft rock, soft pop, smooth jazz, or new age music. However this problem arises due to the fact that the actual definition is relatively broad. Easy listening music is also sometimes referred to as "mood music", "elevator music" (and in the UK as "lift music"). The term "Muzak" is occasionally used as a (usually derogatory) synonym for easy listening music as well, but that is erroneous as Muzak specifically refers to the music produced and programmed for public places by the Muzak Corporation, and is not a music genre in itself.

Notable artists

* Easy listening orchestras and conductors
**Leroy Anderson
**Burt Bacharach
**Boston Pops
**Caravelli
**Frank Chacksfield
**Ray Conniff
**Syd Dale
**Lex de Azevedo
**Frank De Vol
**Johnny Douglas
**Juan García Esquivel
**Percy Faith
**Robert Farnon
**Arthur Fiedler
**Jackie Gleason
**Arthur Greenslade
**Nick Ingman
**Bert Kaempfert
**Andre Kostelanetz
**James Last
**Raymond Lefevre
**Enoch Light
**Geoff Love
**Living Strings
**Longines Symphonette
**Henry Mancini
**Mantovani
**Ray Martin
**Paul Mauriat
**George Melachrino
**Midnight string quartet
**The Mom and Dads
**101 Strings
**Franck Pourcel
**Nelson Riddle
**David Rose
**San Remo Golden Strings
**Sounds Orchestral
**Nestor Torres
**Billy Vaughn
**Lawrence Welk
**Paul Weston
**Charles Williams
**Hugo Winterhalter
**André Rieu
**Fausto Papetti
**Hollyridge Strings
* Easy listening pianists
**Ronnie Aldrich
**Jim Brickman
**Floyd Cramer
**Richard Clayderman
**Carl Doy
**Ferrante & Teicher
**Earl Grant
**Joe Harnell
**Horst Jankowski
**Antonio Carlos Jobim
**Bradley Joseph
**Liberace
**Frank Mills
**Peter Nero
**Emile Pandolfi
**Johnny Pearson
**Roger Williams

* Guitarists with high deployment in easy listening
**Laurindo Almeida
**Chet Atkins
**Al Caiola
**Francis Goya
**Earl Klugh
**Tony Mottola

* Other instrumentalists with high deployment in easy listening
**Herb Alpert
**James Galway
**Zamfir

* Easy listening vocal groups
**The Bachelors
**The Ray Charles Singers
**The Cliff Adams Singers
**The Ray Conniff Singers
**The Mike Curb Congregation
**The Doodletown Pipers
**The Free Design
**The Anita Kerr Singers
**The Lettermen
**The Lighthouse Family
**The Norman Luboff Choir
**The Johnny Mann Singers
**Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66
**The Sandpipers
**The Singers Unlimited
**The Swingle Singers
* Vocalists with high deployment in easy listening
**Ed Ames
**Perry Como (later material)
**Eydie Gorme
**Robert Goulet
**Engelbert Humperdinck
**Jack Jones
**Steve Lawrence
**Al Martino
**Johnny Mathis
**Matt Monro
**Anne Murray
**Kenny Rogers
**James Taylor
**Roger Whittaker
**Andy Williams

* Vocalists with some deployment in easy listening
**Tony Bennett
**Glen Campbell
**The Carpenters
**Perry Como (earlier material)
**Nat King Cole
**Vic Damone
**Sammy Davis Jr.
**Doris Day
**John Denver
**Neil Diamond
**Don Ho
**Barry Manilow
**Dean Martin
**Nana Mouskouri
**Olivia Newton-John (earlier material)
**Daniel O'Donnell
**Frank Sinatra
**Barbra Streisand
**Jerry Vale
**Bobby Vinton
**Stephen Bishop
**Gordon Lightfoot
**Dan Fogelberg

References

Further reading

*Lanza, Joseph. (1994). "Elevator Music: a Surreal History of Muzak, Easy-Listening, and Other Moodsong". New York: St. Martin's. ISBN 0-312-10540-1.

ee also

*Soul music
*Light music
*Beautiful music
*Exotica


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Easy-Listening — Le terme easy listening est un terme général qui désigne un style de musique populaire américaine et anglaise, du milieu des années 1950. L easy listening regroupe des mélodies simples et accrocheuses, des chansons douces et élégantes, des… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Easy Listening — Le terme easy listening est un terme général qui désigne un style de musique populaire américaine et anglaise, du milieu des années 1950. L easy listening regroupe des mélodies simples et accrocheuses, des chansons douces et élégantes, des… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Easy Listening — ist Ambient oder Hintergrundmusik, die nebenbei zur Entspannung gehört wird. Entstanden in den 1940er Jahren in den USA, gibt es spezielle Radiosender, die nur Easy Sounds ausstrahlen. Ihre Bandbreite reicht von populärer Klassik über Country… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Easy Listening —   [englisch/amerikanisch, i:zɪ lɪsnɪȖ], 1961 in den USA eingeführtes Rundfunkformat, das auf leicht eingängigen, unterhaltenden Musiktiteln basierte. Der Begriff ist durch das amerikanische Branchenblatt Billboard als Kategorie auch in die Charts …   Universal-Lexikon

  • easy listening — /ˈisi ˈlistenin(g), ingl. ˈiːzi ˈlɪs(J)nI)/ [loc. ingl. propr. «ascolto (listening) facile (easy)»] agg.; anche loc. f. inv. (mus.) CFR. lounge (ingl.), chill out (ingl.) …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • easy listening — ● easy listening nom masculin (mots anglais signifiant « facile à écouter ») Style musical apparu en 1995 en Angleterre …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • easy listening — n [U] music that is relaxing to listen to and has nice tunes, but is not very interesting …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • easy listening — ► NOUN ▪ popular music that is tuneful and undemanding …   English terms dictionary

  • Easy listening — Le terme easy listening est un terme général qui désigne un style de musique populaire proche de la variété, du milieu des années 1950. L easy listening regroupe des mélodies simples et accrocheuses, des chansons douces et élégantes, des rythmes… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Easy Listening... — Infobox Album | Name = Easy Listening... Type = Album Artist = Pigface Genre = Industrial Label = Underground Inc Last album = The Best of Pigface Preaching to the Perverted (2001) This album = Easy Listening... (2003) Next album = Headfuck… …   Wikipedia


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