These bands are in my opinion some of the best that I've heard and I recommend anyone to give them a try. Of course my opinions are pretty subjective, so satisfaction isn't guaranteed. Most of the pages below aren't offical ones, just pages that I find informative.
The unofficial homepage of this excellent celtic band
Her music is an impressive mixture of Celtic, Middle Eastern and several other influences. Combined with her impressive and beautiful voice the result is haunting and very drawing music that can easily make you to forget the world around you.
Offical homepage. Their music can best described as progressive rock/pop, although the more recent records seem to have more experimental elements.
A relatively new band from England. Their style resembles a mixture of celtic folk, pop and light progressive rock, although they seem to be moving slightly closer to the mainstream rock.
Mike Oldfield is very difficult to categorize. He has produced a wide range of music from eastern/movie soundtrack (Killing Fields) to progressive rock (Tubular Bells) to experimental (Amarok) to trance-like (Songs of Distant Earth). Recently, he seems to have been mostly producing rather harmless light electronica or something. Hopefully he gets his imagination running again.
A Finnish basist and composer who has successfully integrated several different styles of music into very nice hybrids. His music can vary from classical - like to jazz and progressive rock. It doesn't work well as a background music, because it pretty much demands attention with the fascinating textures and melodies. I was truly saddened in late November 2008 to hear that he had passed away.
This band is one of the pioneers of progressive rock. Their work changed quite a bit from psychedelic early works to dark and brooding later stuff and very few people seem to agree about their peak period.
Vangelis is a well-known synthesizer artist from Greece. He has composed several movie soundtracks and other material as well. Personally I like The City, El Greco and Direct most of all his works.
There are plenty of other remarkable artists, but to keep the list short I mentioned just my favourites with more detail. For more information about my tastes of music, look at my list of cds and my last.fm profile.
Computer software for musical uses
A very powerful software synthesis package for a wide variety of operating systems. Not very easy to use, though.
This package began its life on Amiga, and has evolved very far from its humble beginnings of 4-channel tracker, now offering realtime sound effects and MIDI support. This might be a nice alternative if you don't like traditional sequencing software like Cubase.
Equipment manufacturers for music
Synths, accessories. Makers of legendary DX-7 and other FM-based synthesizers. I bought V50
workstation from them and wasn't disappointed.