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Morton Feldman is a major composer in this sort of music. His style was very quite, slow enough to be essentially ametric, and in his later works he become interested in extremes of time - his String Quartet No. 2 is over six hours long. Rothko Chapel is his best-known work. Feldman's does often included some quite strong dissonance, unlike much other ...


Try listening to works by Vaughan Williams. Some parts of his works are very atmospheric. An example would be "Fantasy on a Theme by Thomas Tallis". It was used in the film "Master and Commander" to give an atmospheric feel to a little boat in a big ocean.


Try the 20th Century minimalist works of Steve Reich, Phillip Glass, and also sometimes the piano of George Winston. Steve Reich, particularly, uses some looping (called "phases" sometimes) that quite often acheive an ambient affect.


A classical education ultimately prepares you for sight-reading and reproduction. But in the process, there is of course a lot of execution skills as well as getting exposed to a lot of different thoughts and media. There is no way to get exposed to music better than playing it. Should someone wanting to be a poet recite other people's poetry? How else ...

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