What is Ambient in Music?

What is Ambient in Music?

Ambient in Music

Ambient is a direction of electronic music. Characteristic features are the duration of the compositions, the violation of the classical structure of the melody, and the absence of vocals. Most compositions made in this direction have a calming effect.


The style acquired a second birth in the 1990s when the work of such artists as The Orb and Aphex Twin appeared. Today ambient has several sub-genres:

  1. chaos;
  2. techno;
  3. industrial;
  4. dark;
  5. drone.

Ambient House

This is music that combines string synthesizers and high vocals. The direction belongs to electronic music, which can often be heard at discos. The founder was the British group Orbital. She created a rhythm that was considered club but was too idiosyncratic for youth discos. The compositions stood out from the rest with their emphasis on atmospherics.


This is a genre of electronic music that combines elements of psychedelic trance, ethnic sounds, and some others. The concept itself has become an abbreviation of the two words psychedelic and ambient, which translates as “psychedelic ambient”.

Space Ambient

This direction is characterized by a measured, slow pace of sound. Synthetic, dull sounds are used, which are often looped and serve as a background. Depending on the composition, rhythmic electronic parts are superimposed on it. It can be complemented by choral singing or overflows of synthetic melodies. This is a great option for lovers of soothing and relaxing music.

Dark Ambient

Appeared in the late 1980s, becoming the result of experiments by ambient composers. According to some musicians, this direction is opposed to the classical or basic direction.

Many projects in this style are designed to evoke certain emotions in the listener, not only at the level of conscious perception. To do this, low-frequency sounds and resonances are added to the compositions. The direction is characterized by a minimalist devoid of emotional outbursts with an occasional sharp increase in volume. Can be supplemented with sounds:

  1. knocking doors;
  2. falling objects;
  3. clapping.

This is done to escalate tension. Monotony gives the sound a hypnotic effect.

Drone Ambient

In the late 90s, a new direction appeared, combining drone and ambient. Such melodies are characterized by vibrations, frequent changes in tempo, buzzing at low frequencies, resonances, and other recording techniques

Their distinguishing feature is the lack of correspondence to the classical structure of the songs. Because of this, they become something abstract and overly long. The musical sequence is often built using electric guitars, the parts of which are passed through a huge number of synthesizers and equalizers.

Dungeon Synth

This genre was the result of an experiment by black metal musicians from Norway. They abandoned the heavy guitar sound, focusing on synth harmonies. Initially, the music was of poor recording quality. This was due to the use of cheap cassette recorders and the desire to protest against the mass music industry.

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