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Paul Horn, New Age Music Pioneer, Dies at 84

From jazz roots he helped carve a new genre

Paul Horn
Paul Horn

Paul Horn, who is often called the “Father of New Age music,” died June 29 in Vancouver, British Columbia, after a brief illness. He was 84.

Primarily a flutist, Horn also played clarinet and saxophone. He recorded more than 50 albums during his career, beginning in the mid-1950s. His early works, which featured Horn on alto saxophone and flute, fell squarely into the bop and cool schools of jazz; Horn worked with such leaders as Cal Tjader and Chico Hamilton at the time. But in 1967, when he began studying Transcendental Meditation, Horn’s style shifted to a more serene, spiritual one that often eschewed jazz qualities in favor of music that set peaceful, meditative moods. He is considered one of the seminal figures in what became the New Age music movement.

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