Music for the Soul

Are you the type of person who can hear a song and it simply makes your day? That means you are one of the lucky ones who is highly sensitive to music – and that can be a very good thing for your soul. Since there is an infinite universe filled with music intended to heal, embrace and soothe, the possibilities are endless for your use of spiritual music.

We hear it in spas, hip restaurants, retail stores, green grocers, yoga studios and other environments that promote relaxation, healing and well-being. Hearing spiritual music is not hard to do, yet finding it to buy is a whole other quest. To help you find an ideal blend of vibrations to match what your soul is in need of, we’re sharing our “taste-makers” list with you to navigate through an array of global artists and sounds.

Now uncover the perfect blend of sacred tones to create a positive, healing and loving feeling wherever (and whenever!) you need to connect with your true self – be it at home, in the car or at work.

Chill out music
We are so lucky to have so many labels and series dedicated to this particular sound. Chill out music is lo-fi, yet upbeat and relaxing all at once. It generally incorporates sounds from around the globe – from Indian tablas to Brazilian dance music. Eclectic chill out music can set the tone for an intimate dinner party, your mood on the way into work or it can take you to exotic destinations with its global sounds. Series like Buddha Bar and Tabla Beat Science and labels like Six Degrees are all good bets. Tantra Lounge, is a exotic Indian landscape based on the Los Angeles hot spot that we particularly like. Bands (mostly out of the United Kingdom) like Zero 7, Transglobal Underground, Nitin Sawhney and Banco De Gaia are also very cool.

Otherworldly music
World music is a form of spiritual composition that is indigenous to a specific geographic culture. It is a large genre that encompasses everything from Native American Indian flute solos, to Sufi music from the Middle East, to tribal African drumming. The music is spiritual because it touches our soul and is often sung softly in verses borrowed from Sufi poets such as Rumi or Hafiz. World Music isn’t necessarily part of any particular spiritual path, but it can be used for many different purposes. Yuval Ron is one the finest examples of a World Music artist since he combines musical traditions from Israel to Spain and the Middle East to generate sentiments of peace and love. Egyptian singer Natacha Atlas adds an exotic take on World Music as does Algerian Cheb Khaled. In fact, a large majority of World Music also comes from the many regions of Africa and feature tribal rhythms, hand percussion and plucking string instruments. But the finest singers, like Samite, come from Kenya who can reduce you to tears with the amount of unconditional love that pours forth from his heart. For an array of artists from around the world, pick up any of the Trance Planet compilations.

Yoga and meditation
This music is a more specific form of spiritual music. It is often associated with “mantras” sung in Sanskrit and usually based on Far Eastern Hindu and Zen Buddhist vibrations and can be used to assist in meditation or just to provide a positive, life-affirming alchemy to your life. Hey, you can even use it to clean the house and get meditation in at the same time. Yogic music is usually performed on instruments originating in the East, such as a harmonium and a tabla drum or a sitar, and sung in Sanskrit using a call-and-response repetitious format. The compositions are intended to quiet the mind from being attached to the ego. This form of music has become increasingly popular with artists like Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, Dave Stringer and many others. These specific artists have brought Kirtan (call-and-response chanting) to the mainstream and have been selling out yoga studios and, in some cases, concert halls around the world. For yoga or meditating, we highly recommend Riley Lee’s Music For Zen Meditation.

Hip devotional music
Anoushka Shankar (daughter of Ravi), Talvin Singh and Cheb i Sabbah are just three modern musicians devoted to Indian (North African) music that is sometimes referred to as “devotional.” Their modern take on ancient instruments, voices and sounds is a lush landscape of mesmerizing sounds and hypnotic grooves. Their songs are perfect for all occasions you want to give an exotic feel – from hanging out with friends to raging garden parties. On the truly authentic tip of devotional music are the Gregorian Chants (think monks at Christmas) and the late sufi (qawwal) singer Nusrat Fatah Ali Khan from Pakistan – one of the most recognized voices worldwide. These are often used for a variety of healing reasons. Essentially all devotional music has healing attributes since the primary goal of all sacred music is to help you connect to your inner soul.

To choose spiritual music that will best serve your soul, you need to ask yourself one important question: “What is my intention?” Are you seeking environmental ambience to generate a healing energy in a space? Or are you preparing to meditate or pray?


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