Music For Guided Meditation

A guided meditation (or guided imagery recording, if you prefer) is basically a simple production, composed of a narration track and background music (or in some cases, nature sounds). Because that's all there is, each part is quite important and needs to be good, to make an effective product. In this article I'll be talking about background music.

In the early 1980's, sythesizers became available to the public, and since that time have become less and less expensive, more commonplace, and easier to use. By easier to use, I mean that it's easier to dial up any sound you'd like to hear, make that sound come out of speakers, and record it. As I write this, I have what amounts to a whole raft of sythesizers inside my computer, waiting to be triggered by a keyboard resting nearby.

In addition to electronic sounds, the sort of real life instrument sounds that sythesizers can make have become very realistic, to the point that in some instances it's hard for even a trained ear to distinguish them from the real thing.

Meanwhile, the process of recording music has gotten far more accessible than it was 30 years ago. At this point, I've got almost as much sophisticated recording gear in my computer as we did in the grand studios of yore. Even great microphones can be had much less expensively now.

So, access to musical sounds and the means to record them has gotten very easy.

But just because someone has a hammer, nails, and wood, doesn't mean they can build a proper house. Making good music still requires talent, training, practice, and effort. And since virtually everyone can make and record music today, there is a lot of not so good music available, especially of the sort of background music that's typically used for guided meditations.

Unfortunately, there's so much poor music on the market it's hard to sift through to find the good stuff. So when you listen to a guided meditation, and it seems to you that the music isn't so good, trust your ears -- you're probably right!

What makes a good guided meditation background track... good? Like many things, music is very subjective. But at the very least it should have a soothing quality, it should hold together well as music on its own, it should draw the listener in without distracting from the narration, and it should have an intangible "substance" that brings depth to the whole program. In an ideal world, it would be an original score composed specifically for the guided meditation, much like a movie has its own score composed for the action on screen. If that's not possible, music should be selected that fits the script, and supports and enhances the storyline.

You can hear programs with great background music at The Healing Waterfall, and even download a free guided meditation.

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