In this paper an analysis of the cyclotron and Cherenkov mechanisms is given. These are two fundamental mechanisms for noncollisional absorption of electromagnetic radiation by plasma in a magnetic field. The expressions for the dielectric permeability tensor, for plasma with a nonisotropic temperature distribution in a magnetic field, are obtained by integrating the kinetic equation with Lagrangian particle co-ordinates in a form suitable to allow a comprehensive physical interpretation of the absorption mechanisms. The oscillations of a plasma column stabilized by a longitudinal field have been analyzed. For uniform plasma, the frequency spectrum has been obtained together with the direction of electromagnetic wave propagation when both the cyclotron and Cherenkov absorption mechanisms take place. The influence of nonlinear effects on the electromagnetic wave absorption and the part which cyclotron and Cherenkov absorption play in plasma heating have also been investigated.