Ambient music started (as a lot of them do) in the UK. With the emergence of electronic equipment into music from the early 1970’s artists such as Brian Eno and Mike Oldfield began creating “Background Music” solely for the purpose of being “actively listened to with attention or as easily ignored, depending on the choice of the listener.”
With the emergence of Disco music in the mid 1970s Ambient saw a fall in popularity, but with the creation and development of house and techno, by the 1990s it was again at the forefront of musical creativity with artists such as Aphex Twin and Moby achieving commercial success with Ambient singles and albums.
Ambient music is defined as having very few components in its composition, mostly containing no distinguishable rhythm, or if there is one, incredibly slow. Long time-stretched samples give an eerie space-like quality giving the “Ambient” distinctive sound.
Ambient music plays a prominent role in art, whereby physical installations of art are complimented with so-called “Sonic Sculptures” to give a multi sensory experience.