Easy listening

In the vast universe of music genres, there exists a genre that’s like a gentle breeze on a warm summer day, soothing and relaxing – it’s called “Easy Listening.” This genre has captivated the hearts of listeners for decades with its mellowness and simplicity.

List of Easy Listening Subgenres:

  1. Classical Pop
  2. Instrumental Collections
  3. Mood Music
  4. Exotica / Lounge
  5. Orchestral Pop
  6. Adult Contemporary
  7. Beautiful Music
  8. Middle-of-the-Road (MOR)
  9. Pop Standard
  10. Elevator Music
  11. Muzak
  12. Lounge Music
  13. Light Music
  14. Chamber Pop
  15. Swing

Iconic Easy Listening Artists:

  1. Dean Martin
  2. Jackie Gleason
  3. Burt Bacharach
  4. Herb Alpert
  5. Percy Faith
  6. John Barry
  7. Sergio Mendes
  8. Norah Jones
  9. Michael Bublé
  10. Diana Krall
  11. Glen Campbell
  12. Henry Mancini
  13. Jorge Ben
  14. Hugo Winterhalter

Classic Easy Listening Songs:

  1. “Moon River” by Henry Mancini
  2. “Rise” by Herb Alpert
  3. Theme from “A Summer Place” by Percy Faith
  4. “Midnight Cowboy” Theme by John Barry
  5. “Mas Que Nada” by Sergio Mendes
  6. “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra
  7. “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
  8. “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley
  9. “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers
  10. “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel
  11. “Sunny” by Bobby Hebb
  12. “The Girl from Ipanema” by Stan Getz & Astrud Gilberto
  13. “Yesterday” by The Beatles
  14. “Strangers in the Night” by Frank Sinatra
  15. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Judy Garland

Notable Easy Listening Albums:

  1. “Whipped Cream & Other Delights” by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
  2. “The Look of Love” by Burt Bacharach
  3. “Days of Wine and Roses” by Andy Williams
  4. “Blue Train” by John Coltrane
  5. “The Girl from Ipanema” by Stan Getz & João Gilberto
  6. “Easy Does It” by Julie London
  7. “The Very Thought of You” by Nat King Cole
  8. “Carpenters” by Carpenters
  9. “Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66” by Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66
  10. “Come Fly with Me” by Frank Sinatra

Famous Easy Listening Movie Soundtracks:

  1. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” – Featuring “Moon River” by Henry Mancini
  2. “A Summer Place” – Featuring the theme by Percy Faith
  3. “Midnight Cowboy” – Featuring the theme by John Barry
  4. “Out of Africa” – Featuring the Main Title by John Barry
  5. “Love Story” – Featuring the theme by Francis Lai
  6. “The Sound of Music” – Featuring various easy listening tracks
  7. “Casablanca” – Featuring “As Time Goes By” by Herman Hupfeld
  8. “Gone with the Wind” – Featuring the “Tara’s Theme” by Max Steiner
  9. “Titanic” – Featuring “My Heart Will Go On” by James Horner
  10. “Forrest Gump” – Featuring a mix of classic tracks

The Many Faces of Easy Listening

Easy listening isn’t confined to a single formula; it’s a genre that adapts to various musical styles and expressions. Whether it’s the smooth crooning of Dean Martin, the swinging tunes of Jackie Gleason, or the enchanting instrumentals by Burt Bacharach, easy listening offers an array of musical experiences. It effortlessly transitions from vocal performances that resonate with emotions to instrumental tracks that let the melodies do the talking.

Exploring Notable Examples of Easy Listening

“Moon River” by Henry Mancini:

This iconic song epitomizes the essence of easy listening. Its calming melody and romantic lyrics create an atmosphere of relaxation. The orchestration is marked by gentle instrumentation, contributing to its carefree aura. Winning both a Grammy and an Academy Award solidifies its status as a classic in the genre.

“Rise” by Herb Alpert:

Herb Alpert’s instrumental masterpiece “Rise” is a testament to the genre’s soothing quality. The use of trumpets and a slow tempo generates a peaceful ambiance, making it ideal for various settings. Its chart-topping success on the Billboard charts underscores its broad appeal.

Theme from “A Summer Place” by Percy Faith:

This instrumental piece has become synonymous with easy listening. Its nostalgic and evocative melody captures the essence of a serene summer getaway. Spending weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, it remains a timeless gem.

“Midnight Cowboy” Theme by John Barry:

Composed by the legendary John Barry, this theme exudes comfort and intimacy. The harmonica adds an understated charm, and its simplicity makes it perpetually appealing. It’s a classic that transcends time.

“Mas Que Nada” by Sergio Mendes:

This song, originally composed by Jorge Ben, found a new life through Sergio Mendes’ rendition. With its catchy rhythm and delightful melody, it seamlessly blends into the easy listening landscape.

Easy Listening to A Genre with Many Names

The term “easy listening” might have variations, but its essence remains the same across genres like orchestral pop, adult contemporary, and lounge music. It’s the genre that provides solace during moments of reflection, an accompaniment to daily routines, and a companion during leisurely activities.


Q: Is easy listening the same as elevator music?
A: While elevator music is often associated with easy listening due to its unobtrusive nature, easy listening encompasses a broader range of musical styles, including vocal and instrumental tracks that evoke various emotions.

Q: Who are some modern artists contributing to the easy listening genre?
A: Artists like Norah Jones, Michael Bublé, and Diana Krall continue to bring the charm of easy listening to contemporary audiences, infusing it with their unique musical personalities.

Q: Can easy listening music be both calming and uplifting?
A: Absolutely. Easy listening music has the remarkable ability to evoke a range of emotions. While some tracks provide a tranquil backdrop, others uplift spirits with their positive melodies.


In a world filled with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, easy-listening music stands as a sanctuary of calmness and tranquility. From its diverse subgenres to its timeless classics, this genre has woven itself into the fabric of musical history. It’s a reminder that sometimes, amidst the complexities of music, the power of simplicity and melody shines the brightest. So, whether you’re unwinding after a long day or simply seeking a moment of musical respite, easy listening is there to gently cradle you in its soothing embrace.

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