When someone says the word meditation the majority of people are probably envisioning a period of time spent sitting or laying down in a quiet area while some generic (and often quite shockingly bad) music involving the sounds of nature plays in the background. (On a side note, why is there so much water involved in these tracks? I mean I get that water is soothing, believe me I'm a water baby, but really doesn't it mostly just mean that inevitably your meditation is probably cut short by an overwhelming desire to pee). While I do meditate in this manor from time to time I find that it isn't necessarily the best method for my intended outcome.
I have a set pattern of imagery that I follow to make it to a desired location in my mind from which point things take their own separate paths...for me this is more a matter of training my mind that this sequence of images will trigger a relaxation into a deeper state of consciousness. There is a journey I take down a spiral staircase, through a certain hall to a particular door and from their out into a field - once I reach that field my mind goes where it wants/needs to. This is generally how I meditate.
When I'm working the type of meditation about I actually dislike having any music playing, I find it is more distracting than helpful, that is just me. But that is not to say that music isn't an important part of the meditative process for me. I have many forms of meditation I partake in that are based solely on music.
What kind of music do I listen to during meditation - that really depends. I can range from Tool to New Age depending on what I'm doing as part of the meditation and the focus. Tool is generally great for dance meditation. I might listen to chakra balancing music while going for a walk Generally something soothing and mellow goes on while I'm meditating with Mandalas. Meditative art can be accompanied by just about anything depending on the mood I'm in. No matter what though, unless I'm actually doing a meditation such as described above music has to play a part.
Dance and hooping are two others forms of meditation I love. I can loose myself to the music and the movement and allow my body to express what my mind is exploring. Basically, you can trance and let go allowing you to reach that inner child. So for me the three M's of Meditation, Movement and Music go hand in hand with each other. They are all part of the process of tapping in to that inner self. I think it is important that we don't feel stifled by the general pre-conceived notions of what meditation is and allow ourselves to think 'outside the box' (I hate that term but can't think of an alternative right now) and embrace different ways of working with the idea of meditation.