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Ile sphoradie in turn was meant as 'an essay of expression properly speaking' Schaeffer A, p. The aim of the suite was to demonstrate the existence of a new music. However, what emerged were the contradictions of con- crete music. Schaeffer concluded that, despite having discovered powerful techniques, concretemusic lacked a theoretical grounding: a method was necessary,as well as criteria to classify the infinity of sound material available.

In the courante, Schaeffersystematically used the looping-groove technique, an effect sim- ilar to that of a scratchedrecord. Soundsthus isolated appearedto him as words in the state of liberty they enjoyed in a dictionary: separatedfrom their contexts decontextualized , they were heard in themselves.

More than a compositional technique, the looping-groove was a means of aural analysis, and the source of a particular kind of listening, upon which Schaeffer would enlarge later see Schaeffer , pp. II herein. He noted: the precondition to concrete music is that the samples be isolated not only from dramatic or anecdotal context, but from their original musical context too.

Paradoxically, the works that followed were undeniably dramatic. Symphonie pour un hommeseul ,createdin collaborationwith PierreHenry,was a reactionto the Suiten'14, in so far as the raw materialincludednoises. The dramatic element,that is, the referentialcharacterof thesenoises,played an essentialrole in the Symphonie. However,two listeningswereenvisaged:one dramatic,the otherabstract. When Schaeffer began his next major work, Orphee , also with Pierre Henry, the repertoire of recorded sounds had been extended by the latter to the point of becoming almost unmanageable.

It was clear that, in concretemusic, two complementaryscoreswere feasible: an effect score, accounting for aural results, and an operative score, accounting for the electro-acoustic manipulations to which these effects owed their existence.

The starting point of Orphee was a cinematographic idea: 'the tearing of Orpheus' veil, an excessively slow tearing, whence a noise arises which constitutes the main component of one of the sequences' Schaeffer, A, p. Schaeffer expected to follow rigorously a he plan would prepare for this piece the scenario for the Symphonie had undergonevarious writings , but he also hoped for godsends in the studio.

A score was problematic though: 'How to imagine i priori the thousandunpredictabletransformationsof the concretesound, how to choosefrom among a hundred of samples,if neither a classification nor a notation has yet been definedT Schaeffer A, p. Prior to notation, the problem posed by Orphee was: how to structure sampled sounds?

A music conceived in terms of such pseudo-instrumentswould admit of an effect score. From this period are also Schaeffer's first commentson the relation betweenmusic, linguistics and Gestalt psychology cf. Moreover,Orpheerepresented a tentativeanswerto anotherproblemposedby concrete music: the absenceof the visual elementwhich characterized the traditionalconcem 'In fact, concretemusicapart,everythinghappenedas at the Opdra' SchaefferA, p.

Olivier Messiaen,Henri Michaux. His ideas were likewise warmly welcomed by German technicians. Schaeffer neverthelesssensedthat concrete music would end up being assimilated into elektronischeMusik. In A la recherche d'une musique concrite Schaeffer A , the year is characterized by a reflection upon the experiences of concrete music. The label 'concrete music' started being questioned by Schaeffer: concrete pieces seemed to have the value of experiments, rather than that of accomplished msthetic products.

The phrases 'concrete experience in music' and 'experimental method' came to the fore. Schaeffer tried to define points of contact and discrepancies between his d6marche and Sch6nberg's dodecaphony. For Schaeffer, Sch6nberg was an experimental composer in so far as his serialism had none of 'the lesser Mr Leibowitz' Schaeffer A the dogmatism which characterized students of , p. He put Sch6nberg's approach into the following terms: 'If I impose myself such a rule, what will result from it?

An experiment would follow' Schaeffer A, p. Schaeffer saw experimentation and expression as somehow opposed: the former implied the recognition of the fact that the creator could no longer be sure of how his work would be perceived by the listener, of whether or not his message would be understood.

This sectionwill considerthe first stagein the transitionfrom concretemusic to musical research:that stepwhereby the Groupe de Recherches de Musique Concr6terallied con- cretemusic, electronicmusic, tape music and world music, which Schaeffer termedexotic music, under the bannerof experimentalmusic. In the Radiodiffusion-Uldvision Frangaisehad offered the Groupe de Recherchesde Musique Concl-ke, which at the time consisted of Pierre Schaeffer, JacquesPoullin, and Pierre Henry, the first purpose-built electro-acoustic studio ever.

The studio attracted diverse and important composers: between and , Karlheinz Stockhausen,Pierre Boulez and Olivier Messiaencreatedconcrete pieces there. A serial tendency started developing within the Groupe.

In the Groupe de Recherchesde Musique Concrbte de la Radiodiffusion-Tdldvision Franqaise,presided over by Schaeffer,organized the First International Decade of Experi- mental Music, which may have been an attempt to reverse the situation created in Darm- stadt, where concrete music had been assimilated into elektronischeMusik.

Versune musique expirimentale, a special issue of La revue musicale edited by Pierre Schaefferand entirely devoted to the event was announced. The final proof, revised and approved by the authors and Albert Richard, editor of the periodical, was ready on 10 July Albert Richard nevertheless decidedto postponeits publication.

Four years later, this issue was finally printed, with the addition of Albert Richard's explanationsand excuses Richard , and an introduction by Schaeffer,his 'Lettre A Albert Richard' Schaeffer B. In what follows, the focus will be on some of the texts, with particular referenceto Pierre Schaeffer's 'Vers une Schaeffer C.

Rather than trying to answer the latter question, this section will present concrete music as it appearsin the light of extracts from the early texts of Versune musique experimentale. Thus, it is primarily the state of concrete music in that is under consideration here.

In the article 'Tendancesde la musique concr6te' Golda , which supposedlyrepro- duces a talk given at the Decade,Antoine Golda identifies four tendencieswithin concrete music. There is what he terms 'directly expressive' concrete music, whose characteristics formal 3 concernsand the relative primitiveness of material. Most are the absenceof strictly of the examples of this tendency are found among the early works. Golda calls the second tendency the 'abstract' one; it finds its exponents in those composersto whom concrete music provided an unexpected field for the perfecting of researcheswhich were essen- tially serial.

Under the abstract label, Golda puts together Pierre Boulez, Olivier Messiaen and-though he hesitates here-Pieffe Henry as creatorsof serial concrete pieces. Since the abstract tendency groups together all those Gol6a calls 'traditional and very advancedcomposers' who found in concrete music a meansof furthering their wsthetic advance,one might ex- pect to find there as many personal mstheticsas composers.

The third tendency identified by Golda is the 'musical' one. The musical tendency of concrete music reinstates the traditional instrument as its main source. Thus, 'with secret and guilty voluptuousness, concrete music turns round towards music tout court' Golda , p. Finally, Golda illustrates with a list of pieces the fourth tendency; the 'exemplary' one. The common trait of the exemplary pieces of concrete music is: 'to expressa complete world through a means of expression itself complete' Gol6a , p.

Pieffe Boulez: -Otudeti un son. Olivier Messiaen: 7"Imbres-Durees. Nfichel Philippot: ttude I simultaneously the classic of 'abstract' concrete music, and a work of transition to 'musical' concrete music. This analysis establishesprecariousconnectionsbetweenmaterial, tools, techniques,meth- od and results, hencethe untenablenatureof its formulation, as if. Furthermore, Golda's article presents serial- ism and abstraction in far too amicable a relationship with experimentalism, let alone 4 concrete music.

Schaeffer's relation to serialism might be summarized in the following proposition: in principle, but not in practice, I object to the application of serialism to traditional material; in princip1c. He gives two reasonsfor not accepting serialism as applied to or- chestral sounds: firstly, it appearsas a merely destructive gesture aiming at neutralizing tonal relationships, which would be inherent to instrumental construction and technique; secondly, it imposes on the performer an unnatural gymnastic.

Schaeffer makes the first point in 'Vers une musique experimentale': 'In so far as atonalism for instance presented only a destructive face, pretending to organize the twelve tones in ignorance of their degree quality, and considering them solely as terms of an algebraic permutation, one could be shocked by so premature a denial of a tradition I which shall call-no pun intended- dominant' Schaeffer C, p.

The following quotation will make the secondpoint, also demonstrating Schaeffer's preparednessto accept the practical results of serialism as applied to traditional material. An experience I recently had with the work of the young German composer Stockhausenwill prove it. I have had the opportunity of hearing this piece under the masterly baton of Hermann Scherchen in the excellent studio of the Nordwest Deutsche Rundfunk in Cologne. Well, in the course of the Decade inaugural conference I reheard over loud-speakers Stockhausen'swork, which was recorded on tape.

Often in concretemusic I regret the spectacularelement of the concert, and its absencewas the blessing that allowed me to hear, accumulatedby the loud-speaker,which played the centripetal part, the different instrumental notes then welded' together and forming extremely brilliant and delicate sonic objects.

This phenomenon was full of consequences: Stockhausen'sabstract music was meeting the concrete experience;it was more acceptablewhen acoustically blended and heard by an ear accustomed,for some years, to consider sonic objects as such; it became far more justifiable and more intelligible; in other words, the same work presentedtwo faces: one destructive, denying a past I believe everlasting that is, the reality of the scale.

Schaeffer C pp. It has beensaid that, in principle, Schaef- fer would admit serialism into the domain of concretemusic, but not in practice. Whilst the day beforeit seemeda desperategestureleadingonly to an impasse,now it emergesas spadework,a gesturethat wasperhapsindispensable for the introduction of new sonicobjects,precisely,to be accepted. Golda , p. Whether or not concretemusic and serialism are compatible is an altogether different matter.

To answerthis question, one would first have to investigate what concrete music is, and whether it has ever constituted a coherent aesthetic,apart from the adoption of a particular kind of material. Then, it might be useful to establish a distinction between serial techniques,serial method and serial aesthetic,before defining at what levels serialism and concrete music oppose one another.

By serial techniques I understand procedures which can be identified in the music of Bach, Beethoven and Schaeffer for instance. By serial method I mean the systematic application of such procedures, defined from the starting point of Sch6nberg's dodecaphony. Serial aestheticswould be the personal uses diverse composersmake of the serial method to express themselves. From the notion of serial aestheticsone may derive an abstraction, the serial aesthetic,encompassingall those personal aesthetics based on the use of a serial method.

The serial method and aesthetic are unceremoniously dismissed by Schaeffer. The word d6bris, to my mind, does not at all apply to traditional music, but precisely to the destruction wrought there little by little, of which atonalism certainly represents the gravest stage. In so far as the atonal d6marcheexhibits a simultaneously desperate and desperating rigour, an absolute denial of the customary musical universe, it has become indispensableto set sights elsewhere. Or else, in this dungeon, death would be ineluctable.

In reality, the prisonhadno bars. Why twelve noteswhenelectronicmusichasintro- ducedso many more? Why seriesof noteswhena seriesof sonicobjectsis so much more interesting? Why the anachronisticuse of an orchestrawhoseinstrumentsare handledwith suchobviousand-naturalityby Webernandhis imitators?

And aboveall, why limit the horizonof our researchto the means,usagesand conceptsof a music after all linked to a geographyand a history;certainlyan admirablemusicbut still no morethan the Occidentalmusicof the last few centuries? This does not point to the affinity between concrete music and serial method.

Chance and determinism, whose uncertain implications we begrudgingly suffer, en- gender curious encounters. It happensthat concrete music has seen two diametrically opposedcategoriesof spirit musteraroundit. No soonerhad I understoodthe necessityfor musical experimentation,no soonerhad I been astoundedby the profusion of sonic entities that might pass out of our hands, no sooner had I requestedthe assistanceof those who could help me in this discovery, in this sifting, in this curiosity turned above all to the object, and in this method whereof the empiricism I championedand the allegiance to the finding I treasured,than a party of musicians whose favourite instrument was the slide rule, and whose musical ideas were rigorously opposed to mine, came running.

Of this sometimesstem ordeal, only the meaning is understandable. For two years, in a companionship that had nothing distinctly fraternal about it, the abstractsgot down to the concrete, and vice versa, with a sort of ferocious partisanship, and with mistrust in their emulation. Maybe all this is just starting to make us smile now and, as in any companionship, fraternity is at last appearing, but seldom have such opposing proceduresrubbed shoulders.

From among the thousandsoundsin our cupboards,Pierre Boulez and his friends would choose the most unyielding ones, carve out their full mass,and show no consideration for anything other than the series they had calculated in advance. Messiaen,whom we had invited to a feast of soundsin which everything- so we thought - should flatter his gluttony, did not even open our cupboards,but clapped his hands and whispered: 'Something like that, as little sound as possible.

Grunewald's, who apparently had inherited so little of his master's taste for incarnate music as to ask, with a hint of covetous desire in his eyes, whether we deemedit possible to createa music totally devoid of evolution in tessitura. Schaeffer C, pp. I must say that without the presenceof Pieffe Henry. So essential that it could have been stillborn, and no sooner discovered than, so to speak,already lost.

Instead of being the starting point of a more general musical procedure, of which I am now almost sure, concrete music would have been no more than the altogether bald, and doubtless ephemeralcontinuation of either surrealism or atonal music.

Having closed in a few years, after an initial craving for composition, the cycle of his personalimpressionism, of his romanticism, of his constructivism, and of his particular atonihilism, Pierre Henry finally took the wisest course and excluding the background soundsfor radio productions or film tracks, which are absolutely indispensableto earn a living, and hencerespectable has stoppedcomposing for the time being, giving himself up to those two researchesthat any future composition demand: research into sonic objects, and research into instrumental manipulations.

Schaeffer C, P. From the twelve-tone series remains a constructivist disposition, which, applied to the new material perhaps prematurely, destroys its freshness. The blossoming of concrete soundsrisks being reaped too early when there is a parti-pris abstraction. The results are contradictory and disappointing. Schaeffer C,p. However, the fundamental opposition within the Groupe de Recherchesde Musique Concate is less between two mstheticsthan between two approachesto concrete material or, in Schaeffer's words, 'two diametrically opposedcategoriesof spirit'.

Rather than torn between two msthetics,in concrete music was torn between two approachesto the same material. For Schaeffer, in order to composewith concrete material or in order to compose concrete material , not only a new instrumental apprenticeshipis necessary:the apprenticeship of sonority itself imposes.

The choice is therefore between using concrete material to create ceuvres, and doing research into sonority to discover musicality. When the concrete composer-by which is meant the composer who opts for concrete mate- rial-uses his material, the msthetic results are doomed to be either atonal or surreal.

If the result is atonal, the concretematerial will be inserting itself within an mstheticevolution where it does not belong: atonality defines itself in opposition to tonality, which in turn informs and is informed by the instruments of Western musical tradition. Thus, before using the material to produce music, the concrete composer must explore sonority to discover musicality.

Here though, concrete music ceasesto be concrete music: it has already become musical research. Concrete music neverthelessdid not become musical researchin , instead it placed itself under an umbrella of its own creation: experimental music. Schaefferhad needto seehis researchmaterializeinto works. SophieBrunet saysin her PierreSchaeffer Brunet,p. This observation is ratified by Pieffet , p. One agrees to lend me the studio hoping that I shall eventually come up with some broadcastablematerial.

The French radio is obliged to justify its allocations. So are producers. I have to admit that the researchermust hide himself carefully behind the producer. Schaeffer o, p. The need to appeasewith works the public, the administration, Pierre Henry and himself is recalled in 'Vers une musique expdrimentale' apropos Bidule en ut.

John Cage for his part had discovered the prepared piano. Although expressly owing him nothing at all, since the same discovery was made more or less simultaneously by ourselves with our own means, we could only be grateful to him for establishing a link between the traditional musical language and a possible langue? The preparedpiano, a polyvalent instrument that would do anything and sound like anything, had the essential means of expressionof the traditional language: the keyboard.

From the new sonic universe it had the matter, that is, thousandsof new sounds which could be obtained from a suitably arranged sounding board. In fact, the most celebrated of these pieces, the famous Bidule en ut, is hardly concrete music.

Constructed by fugato combination of three monodies from the preparedpiano, which were put together on record, it is, adhering to a rigorous terminology, a mixture of prepared piano and Music for Tape. Although illustrating the work of 37 rue de l'Universitd, it is much closer to the American school than to what seemsto be emerging little by little from our Parisianresearches,and which I do not yet clareto call French school.

The passageabove demonstratesthat, in , he was prepared to put up with some contradictions within the concrete d6marche,so far as this could lead to the production of ceuvres. Such an attitude is markedly different from that which presided over the creation of the noise 6tudes. Contradictions were an essentialpart of these pieces. During the elaboration of the noise 6tudes,they would come to the fore demandingappropriatesolutions. For Schaefferin , the application of serial method to concrete material was doubtlesscontradictory.

However, the works of 'Boulez and his friends' were proving that this material could lend itself to abstraction,thus transcendingthe anecdotal characterof the surreal pieces. As they went along though, both tendencies,albeit so oppositeat the start, finally twined themselvesinto a garland. In addition to the necessaryemulation, it was perhapsuseful to put the straitjacketon thesenew materials for one year or two.

Boulez has created his first dtude. Messiaen,who unfortunatelystayedsomewhataway from the producer. At the same time, the abstractsthemselvesrecognized the thanklesscharacterof the materials they had chosen, recommending researchinto the sonic matter and. So was born, early in ,an dtudeby Mchel Philippot, which, asan 6tude,pleasedeverybody. The serial constructionthere was applied to valid materials of which one respectedthe substance.

Schaefferic, pp. A kind of symbiosis in which the concreteswould investigate sonority while the abstractswould create ceuvres nfight have appearedas a possible compromise. Nonetheless,the label experimentalmusic intendedto do more than bridge over the different approachesto concretematerial.

Philippe Arthuys' 'Pour commencer The aim of this Decade was to bring together, under the banner of Experimental Music and on the initiative of the Groupe de Recherchesde Musique Concr6te, all researchesthat have been done in this direction. It was not at all a Concrete Music festival with a large public, but a workshop of which something was expected to emerge. Arthuys , p. Schaeffer in turn was al- ready thinking of concretemusic as 'the starting point of a more generalmusical procedure' cf.

The International Decadeof Experimental Music corresponded to the need of a radical reformulation within the concrete group. A few yearspassed. What had appearedto us as an inconsequentialexcursion proved to be a fertile exploration. What we had taken for an island was perhapsa continent where others might have landed on other shores. We needed to go back to our fundamentals, compare our machines and machinations, recognize the team mates of a necessarily collective adventure and, to these ends, to travel, to correspondwith the five parts of the world, with those who know the musical past of this planet, and those who are imagining its future.

Schaeffer c, p. Later, in Tettre A Albert Richard', Schaeffer will avow that his intention was 'to realize a synthesis of the different efforts aiming not only at a comparisonof but methods also at the establishment of complementary research programmes' Schaeffer B,p. Genese des simulacres, this was rephrased as: 'to contribute towards a synthesis of different efforts, by prompting not only a comparison of methods, but alsothe establish- mentof complementary research programmes' Schaeffer B, p.

Schaeffer's view of international developments in electro-acoustic andelectronic music is uncomplimentary though. Schaeffer C. The Americans, dynamic and naive, put their pianos out of gear and apply to composition somewhat rashly the law of probabilities. Schaeffer :LC,p. According to a French historian though, there exists a fundamental difference betweenthe French and the English sensesof humour: while Englishmen make fun of someoneelse by laughing at themselves,Frenchmenlaugh at someoneelse to make fun of themselves.

It is sometimes touching, and often comical, to see the same successes and failures reward attempts made with diverse means in Paris, New York or Cologne by people who, at least thus far, have not met and are unlikely to have copied each other, to have employed the same procedures, followed the same d6marches, or made the same remarks. It is quite interesting anyway that they have undertaken the same tentative efforts, that they have come up against the same deadlocks and4 little by little, are publicizing only their contributions and their perhaps divergent methods.

Schaeffer tried to project this compromiseonto the arenaof international avant-garde. Thus, concretemusic,electronicmusic,tapemusicand world music were rallied under the banner of experimental music by the concretegroup. Such instruments,only just good enough to imitate but to what end? The useof preparedor exotic instruments,which now join the classicalmeansfor obtainingsoundsconsideredmusical,is of no relevance. Apart from the fact that such sounds,of questionable purity, disturbthehabitsof our ear,we arequitedeterminednot to composeandnot to hearanymusicotherthanthat manufactured with theOccidental lutherie,which crystallizedone centuryago, sayat the time of Bach.

The meansof acceleration,deceleration,superimposition,montage and retrogression which recording techniques afford are totally irrelevant, as are artificial filterings or reverberations: they are engineer's tricks, only just good enough for the sound track of animated cartoons. No more relevant is the creation of complex sonic objects obtained from sounds or noises musical or otherwise through the combination of all the aforementioned techniques,which have been systematicallypractised under the name of concretemusic and perfected by means of special machines such as the phonogbne chromatic or continuous , the morphophone,the multi-track tape recorder, etc As to taking into accountthe tridimensionalsonic spacewhere,knowingly or not, one projectsany music Oive or recorded ,this is a minor phenomenonto which one shouldnot attachmuch importance,be sucha phenomenonstatic-Le.

To thesecommentson the meansof producing sounds,combining them and presenting them to auditors, other negative propositions would have to be added in the interest of comprehensiveness. Music, which is all containedin the symbolsof sol2ge, mustnot takeany account of thosesonoritiesthaLbeingtoo complexandtoo new,eludesucha systemof notation and,for this reason,can be neitheradequatelylaid out on a scorethat is accessible to traditionallytrainedmusiciansnor officially registeredin the SACEM.

The composeris ableto imagineall possiblesoundsanddesirablecombinations withoutresortto soundexperimentation. Likewise,he takestheir psycho-physiological effectsfor granted,outsideany sensorialexperience. In particular,it is througha puretheoreticalprocedure,ratherthanthroughthe tenta- tive effortsof experience,that he demandsnew shapesfrom the new instruments.

The modemcomposer,writing lessandless'for the instrument',is supportedby electronics in his absoluterefusalto continueworryingaboutmeansfor performance:theseneither help nor constrainhim any longer. Finally, the musicalwork existsin itself, as unlistened-to,and the auditormustbe considered ashavingno sharein thegenesisof thework or at leastin its raisonXitre.

He is no more than a witnesswhosesole limitation is his capacityfor adherenceor refusal. I shall not insist on the last four points, which would risk to deepenthe misunderstanding of a contingent controversy, although they have been sometimesinvolved in the talks and discussions of the First International Decade of Experimental Music, organized by the Groupe de Recherchesde Musique Concrite de la Radiodiffusion-Tilivision Frangaise.

The primary objective of this decade was to highlight the notion of an experimental music, gathering as much information as possible on the subject, and bringing together in Paris those few personalities who have committed themselvesto the diverse approacheswhich could be grouped under this name. The only important thing now, precisely, is to weigh up the various researches,taking the opposite course to an msthetic debate, which is certainly necessarybut untimely: first of all, to record the existence of a music in process of experimentation, acknowledging its tendencies and comparing results.

In short, let us begin by applying to researchersthemselvesthe experimental procedure. In 'Musique dlectronique', Eimert expoundsthe option for a particular kind of material which is inherent to electronic music. Like Schaeffer,he dismissesthe use of new machines to imitate traditional instruments, also observing that 'the virtuosic use of special electronic instruments by any modem symphonic orchestra remains within the framework of the usual manner of playing' Eimert , p.

What is plainly statedby Eimert, is expressedby Schaeffer with all resourcesof the rhetorical arsenal; Schaeffer's commitment to the msthetic implications of new material displays a radicalnessunknown to Eimert: How to explain then the state of underdevelopmentin which these instruments have remained for almost twenty years? Bode's melochord, which today equips certain German studios, and the new models of the Martenot or of the ondioline, simply present in a more convenient manner possibilities formerly glimpsed at.

In too convenient a manner, doubtless. These instruments for virtuosi of not only melody but also Klangfarbenmelodie,of ultra-high and infra-low pitches, of the quintuple forte and the sextuple pianissimo, at the start only increase the composer's embarrassment. Instead of destroying note, the last stronghold of traditional music, they put in some more: timbre notes, intensity notes,register notes. To which the prix de Rome replied4as if in the face of the flood: 'What a lot of notes!

Electronic and concrete music share the same aspiration towards musical abstraction. In the words of Eimert: 'It is meaningless to speak of electronic music unless the central processes involved are musical processes, that is, unless all essential decisions concerning form and sound are taken from musical points of view' Eimert , p. Schaeffer would have no qualms stating the same about concrete music. Even the credo of Schaeffer's is subscribed to by Eimert.

Tbus, both Schaeffer's 'Vers une musique expAdrimentale' and Eimert's 'Musique dlectronique' display as an epigraph the same quotation from Van Gogh: 'I believe one thinks much more sanely when ideas arise from the direct contact with things, than when one starts to look at things with the aim of finding there one idea or another' Schaeffer C, p. However, the incompatibility between concrete and electronic music is implicit in the following paragraphs of Eimert's.

The fact that this system allows the creation of new musical material that cannot be obtained with classical instruments constitutes a true criterion of electronic music. From an historical point of view, it is not by chance that means of construction today have been pushed to the limits of the possibilities of realization, and that, precisely at this moment, the new electronic means become available. Thus, there are doubtless real points of contact, particular connections between traditional and electronic musics.

Those complicated rhythmic values that can no longer be played by instrumentalists, may be easily representedas length values, that is, in centimetre length. This notwithstanding, it is equally important to learn how to identify and grasp the immanent laws of matter that govern electronic sounds. We are still quite far from having a detailed knowledge of theselaws -let me say, by analogy: the tonality laws of electronic music.

In such a situation, all one can do is open wide the door onto this new sonic world and, while shaping that world, to operate by analogy with the processesof musical production. Eimert , p. Furthermore, he recognizesthe need for this research, stating that 'there is a kind of tonality of electronic music; we do not know its details yet, but it will probably be a tonality of timbres' Eimert , p.

For Eimert though, the introduction of new material does not imply a break with Western musical evolution. In his view, the so called 'tonality laws of electronic music' will emerge, on the one hand, from the analysis of soundsby subtractive and additive syntheses,and, on the other, from the creation of pieces within the framework of Westernmusical tradition. If one examines the kind of concerns Pierre Boulez expressesin the article 'Tendances de la musique r6cente' Boulez , the frailness of his connection with concretemusic becomesevident.

Boulez considersthe 'musical language' to be in a period of assessment and organization, after destructive researchesthat abolishedthe tonal world and the regular metric: on the one hand, complex rhythmic structures combined with very elementary centres of tonal attraction were developed by Stravinsky; the secondViennese school, on the other hand, worked towards the dissolution of tonal attractions thus discovering the series, which was differently explored by Schonberg, Berg and Webern.

Boulez stresses the idea that Webern alone was aware of the series as 'a way of giving a structure to the sonic space,of threading it somehow' Boulez , p. He explains: 'Whilst melody remained the fundamental element even in the bosom of polyphony, in the serial system as conceived by Webern it is the polyphonic element itself that becomesthe basic element; hencethis mode of thinking transcendsthe notions of verticality and horizontality' Boulez , p. All he the same, adds, rhythm remained unconnectedto the serial language,9 even in Webem.

Boulez then focuses on the music of Vartse, emphasizing two points: in Var6se, 'the function of the chords is no longer traditionally harmonic, but rather appearsas a value of a sonic bodyIO calculated in terms of natural harmonics, lower resonancesand the diverse tensions necessaryto the vitality of this sonic body' Boulez , p. These two points are summed up by Boulez in what he considers to be VarUe's main preoccupation: acoustics proper. In Boulez's words: 'Considering the acoustic phenomenon as primordial in sonic relations, Vartse applied himself to verifying how it could govern musical construction' Boulez , p.

Vattse's refusal of temperament is also noted by Boulez, as well as his proposal of 'non-octaving scales, repeating themselves according to a spiral principle, or, to be clearer, a principle whereby the transposition of sound scales is no longer organized in accord with the octave, but rather in accord with different intervallic functions' Boulez , p.

For Boulez, Cage represents the need to extricate oneself from the lin-dtations of the traditional lutherie, rendered obsolete by the eclipse of the tonal system; hence Cage's interest, sharedby Var6se,in percussion. It is when Boulezcommentson Messiaen'sMode de valeurset d'intensitesthat his own musicalconceptionstartstaking shape.

For him, this piecematerializes'needsscattered almost anywherein valid contemporarymusic' Boulez ,p. In Messiaen's piece this 'universe' is organized modally; what Boulez has in mind is the serial organization of all planes by meansof a single unifying principle. The interesting point is that this total unification has roots 'almostanywhere':from Stravinsky,he takesthe rhythmicelaboration;from Webern,not only the seriesas a way of weaving together the horizontal and the vertical dimensions, but also orchestrationas a structuralelement;from Var6se,the structuralrole of intensity and the exploitationof the non-tempered universe, the latter also being found in Cage.

What is more,Boulez's seriesstretchesits long arm over the definition of scalesand the creationof sounds themselves. Schaeffer in turn sees himself as the offspring of Var6se's self-fertilization: 'In the paths we were following, Var6se, the American, was our single the greatman,and soleprecursor anyway' Schaeffer c, p.

However, in the same way as Boulez mentions Cage's lutherie, while ignoring his msthetic, it is the originality of Var6se's lutherie that Schaeffer stresses in 'Vers unemusiqueexpo-Irimentale'. It has been seenthat for Eimert the introduction of new soundsshould lead to the discovery of what he called 'the laws of tonality of electronic music'.

By default, the means for this end would be the insertion of such sounds into the atonal Boulez for his part 'Tsthetic. For Eimert and Boulez, the new instruments do not imply a radical rupture with the traditional musical system, but rather contribute towards its evolution.

New technology here is essentially neutral, a mere means for the advancementof Westernmusical tradition: We are lying in wait for an unheard-ofsonic world, rich in possibilitiesand as yet practicallyunexplored.

The consequences implied by the existenceof sucha universe arejust startingto be perceived. Boulez ,p. Both BoulezandEimert seemto suggestthat it is not becausenew soundsare availablethat new musicalforms becomepossible,but ratherbecausethe composerhas needof new musicalformsthat new soundsappear. A mystiqueof the composer'sactivity is in operationhere;thecompositionalprocessitself is beyondquestion. Therewould be an evolutionof musical forms, independent of ends andmeans; yet, it is the supreme freedom of the composer that is asserted thereby.

For Schaefferin turn new sounds,whether concrete,electronic,magnetophonic or exotic, are essentiallya repositoryof unimagined musicalpotentialities. He proposes a renewal of forms throughtheanalysisof material,and a reassessment of ends. One could say, paraphrasing Martin Heidegger, that it is therole of the experimentalcomposerto considercarefully andgathertogethermaterials,forms and ends;materials, forms and ends in turn owe thanksto the ponderingof the experimental composer for the 'that' and the 'how' of their coming into play for the productionof the experimental'ceuvre' seeHeidegger,p.

Looking at the final paragraphsof 'Vers une musiqueexpdrimentale',whereSchaefferexposeswhat all experimentalteams, 'whether electronic,concrete,magnetophonicor serial' have in common,one finds the confirmationof this hypothesis. All call into question the notion of instrument. Sound can no longer be characterized by its causal element, it has to be characterizedby the effect only. Hence it must be classed according to its particular morphology, rather than according to instrumental provenance.

It must be considered in itself, The best proof of this: once the most interesting sonorities produced by the new techniqueshave been recorded on tape, it is impossible to say how, and by what ensembleof proceduresor instruments, they have been produced. Correlatively, it is necessaryto admit that the notion of musical note, so intimately linked to the causal character of the instrument, no longer suffices to account for the sonic object.

The deWdon we give of complex note a simple sonic object having a beginning, a body and a decay is already infinitely more general. It is important to realize that, given its acoustical constitution and human manipulation, the traditional instrument, whether exotic or classical, cannot produce anything but notes,in the known restrictive sense. Ile classicalrelationshipsbetweencompositionandperformance, betweenauthors andinstrumentalists,also find themselves fundamentallychanged.

In the new musics, the composeris oftenhis own performer,andthe scoreis simply a shootingscript. The creationis achievedoncefor all, by meansof a differentpartition of responsibilities, which resemblesthat of the productioncrewsin cinema. Contact with the public is also different. The concert is no longer a spectacle,at least not in the sensewe were used to. The conditions of audition entail new elements, simultaneouslyphysical and physiological, individual and social.

As may be seen,thesefour major transformationsof both the musical phenomenonand its communication are on this side of any problem directly concerning expressionand impression. There is also a lot to be said on these points. A lot will be said and a lot has been said during this Decade. However, in my opinion, it would be much preferable to consider only the aforementioned elements.

This would greatly simplify the terribly tangled skein of our problems, certainly allowing all researchersto share, with more lucidity and effectiveness,and with less bitterness,the fruits of their different findings. His return to France in coincided with the publication of Vers une musique experinwntale. In Tettre A Albert Richard', dated 18 May and published as an overture to Vers une musique experimentale, Schaeffer renounced to the ideal of syncretizing techniques, and proposed what he then called 'method for research after concrete music'.

The following year, he withdrew the term concrete music, so as to detachhimself from its xsthetic connotations. Simultaneously,he starteddefining his work as musical research, and the Groupe de Recherches de Musique Concrbte was restructured and rebaptized as Groupe de Recherches Musicales, an altogether different institution, accounting for altogether different aims. In relationto concretemusic,experimentalmusiccorresponded to theneedto generalizethe concrete approach, opening it up to new soundsand techniques, its reassessing principles and defining its method.

The creationof concretepieces had led to the formulation of a number of hypotheses;experimental music implied a shift of priorities: stress was laid on verifying the postulatesupon which thesepieces were based. However, the method of doing this was still an unknown quantity. This controversyhascustomarilybeenreducedto the choicebetweentwo contrastingkinds of material,eachrepresentinga mutuallyexclusivetemperament:the intuitive andthe ra- tional.

In a critique of L6vi-Strauss'text, UmbertoEco has attemptedto demonstrate that theseso called Weltanschauungen are not in fact mutually exclusive,thus redefiningthe relation betweenstructuralismand serialism. For Eco, 'each serialtechniquehas to be explicated as regardseffectivenessof communicationand as opposedto the techniquesit denies througha structuralmethodologywhich accountsfor the parametersto which consecrated and innovatory forms alike ultimately refer' Eco B, p.

Thirteen years after the DecadeSchaefferwill offer, in Traile des objetsmusicaux,his unfinishedaccount of the musical phenomenon in its universality. It remainsto be seen whetheror not Schaeffer has committed that mistake Eco pointed out in L6vi-Strauss: 'to takehis own privatelanguagefor a metalanguage' Eco , p. Pierret- Wouldit be exactandjudiciousthento incorpo- rate this quarterof a centuryof your sonorousexperimentations into thefabric of a writer's or, if you like, philosopher'sthink- ing?

In other words,are theselong years of radiophonicand thenmusicalexperiences to beput betweenthe quotationmarks of two texts: the premonitory Arts-Relais, unfinishedand un- published, and, twenty years later, the definitivereport, Traitd, meditatedandpublished? Schaeffer-I think it's reasonableto say so. I think that, in both cases,language its logic, the traceitforms of a contin- uous thinking, the scaffoldingit providesto imagination, simi- larly to thephysicist'sequation hasservedas notationand trail blazer: turnedtowardsthe knowledgeacquired,so as to clarify theproblematic;turnedtowardstheunknown,soasto conjecture its pattern.

The notions of acousmaticlistening, four levels of listening, and sonic object underpin the 'immense logical architecture'll of Traiti des objets musicaux Schaeffer The word acousmaticis thus defined in the OED: 'A professedhearer, a class of scholars under Pythagoras, who listened to his teaching, without inquiring into its inner truths or bases.

According to Larousse, when used as an adjective the word acousmatic refers to 'a noise that one hears without seeing the cause from which it originates' Schaeffer , p. Schaeffer unearthed this 'ancient neologism' cf, Schaeffer , p. For Schaeffer, the main consequencesof the acousmatic situation are: 1.

The identification of the sound source,which, for traditional musicians and acousticians is alike, an important aspect of sound recognition, must happen without the help of vision. One realizes that much of what seemsto be heard is in fact simply seen, and sounds as different as those produced by the strings and the winds may be confused.

The repeatedaudition of soundswhose instrumental sourcesare masked leads one to neglect source identification, to and get interested in sounds in themselves. Another kind of listening emerges: the listening to sonic shapes, which aims at hearing them better, and at describing them by means of an analysis of perceptions. Schaeffer recognizesthat 'the Pythagoras' screenis not enough to divert the curiosity from the causal element, to which we are instinctively, and almost irresistibly attracted' Schaeffer , pp.

According to Chion, 'the curiosity about the causessubsistsin acousmaticlistening and can be even stiffed up by this situation ' Chion , p. The emphasisthe acousmatic situation may lay on the absent sound source is illustrated by a comment of Umberto Eco's: 'Smoke is only a sign of fire to the extent that fire is not actually perceived along with the smoke' Eco , p. Schaeffer thinks that the repetition of the physical signal, which sound recording makes possible, eventually wears out the curiosity for the invisible source, bringing about a more attentive and refined listening.

Thus the richness of the perception is progressively revealed. Exact repetition of sound is a new phenomenon,made possible by new machines; it engenders the awarenessof changes our in listening, the so called subjectivity. Schaeffer emphasizes that this 'subjectivity' is not an imperfection or 'woolliness' which would blur the clarity of the physical signal.

It is rather a question of new and precise consciousor unconscious orientations of listening, which reveal new aspectsof sound. The notion of acousmatic listening clearly points to reduced listening, the listening to a sound in itself, without any reference to its source and significance in a code. Schaeffer introduces the notion of reduced listening within the context of four listening functions. The argument begins with a meditation, in the manner of Francis Ponge, upon distinctions of meaning between four French verbs: ecouter, ouTr, entendre and comprendre.

Like Ponge, Schaeffer refers to Littrd see Ponge , pp. Hence, a presentationof this notion in English offers insurmountabledifficulties: Entendre: to direct one's ear towards[that is, to listen to], and hence,to receive sonorousimpressions [that is, to hear. Entendre[To hear] noises. I entends [hear] peoplespealdng in the room beside, I entends[understand]that you havenews for me. Entendrelicouter:entendre[to hear]is to be sensitiveto sounds;Icouter [to listen to them] is to lend theman ear so as to entendre[hear]them.

Sometimes,one does not entend[hear],althoughone icoute [listens],and often oneentend[hears]without icouter [listening]. The translation presented between square brackets obviously clashes with the etymological considerations of the text: entendre and ouilr share their Latin origin, while 'to hear' and 'to listen' are both Germanic; moreover, the defectiveness of the is verb ouTr absent from its English equivalent, 'to hear'.

Entendreloufr: these two words, though of very different origin, have become perfectly synonymoustoday. Oullr [Hear] was the proper word, little by little displaced by the figurative word entendre [listen]. Oufr [To hear] is to perceive with the ear; entendre [to listen] is, properly, to pay attention. Usage alone has given the latter the oblique senseof ouTr [to hear].

The only difference now is that oufr [to hear] has becomea defective verb, and its use is restricted. When the meaning may be equivocal, one must not hesitateto use oufr [to hear]. Hence this line of Pacuvius on astrologers: 'Better oufr [to hear] them than icouter to listen to] them. Schaeffer , p. This points to the third acceptation of entendre,which in English translatesas 'to understand'.

Finally, Schaeffer distinguishes between the verbs entendre,concevoir, and comprendre. Entendrelconcevoir1comprendre:Entendre [to understand]and comprendre[to com- prehend] mean to grasp the sense of. This distinguishes them from concevoir [to conceive], which signifies to grasp mentally. I eniends [understand] or comprends [comprehend] this sentence,rather than I confois [conceive] it.

On the contrary, in Boileau's verse: 'What one congoit [conceives] well, one enunciateswell', entendre [to understand]or comprendre [to comprehend] would be unsuitable. I entends [understand] German, that is, I know it, I am good at it. On the contrary, I say that I comprends[comprehend]a demonstration. Schaeffer , pp. I actively direct myself towards someoneor something which is describedor signalled by a sound. Ouilr is to perceive with the ear.

In opposition to icouter, which correspondsto the more active attitude, what I oufs is that which is given to my perception. From entendre I shall retain the etymological senseonly: 'to have an intention'. What I entends,what is evident to me, is a function of this intention. ConWrendre,to grasp, has a dual relationship with icouter and entendre. I com- prends what I aimed at in my icoute, thanks to what I have chosen to entendre.

But, reciprocally, what I have already compris directs my icoute, informing what I entends. Within the context of these functions, ecouter, ouj'r, entendre,and comprendrewill be respectively translatedas to listen to, to hear, to listen outfor, and to comprehend. Thus, the previous passagewill read as follows: 1. Tolistento is to lendanearto, to interestoneselfin. I activelydirectmyselftowards someoneor somethingwhich is describedor signalledby a sound.

Tohear is to perceivewith the ear. In oppositionto to listen,which corresponds to the moreactiveattitude,what I hearis that which is given to my perception. From to listen outfor I shall retain the [etymological] sense [only]: 'to have an intention'.

What I tend towards, what is evident to me, is a function of this intention. To comprehend, to grasp,hasa dual relationshipwith to listen to and to listen out for. I comprehendwhat I aimedat in my listening,thanksto what I havechosento listenout for. His next step is to make some comments of a phenomenologicalnature on these activities. One never stops hearing: the world is always there, offering itself to us, and that world is sonorous,as much as tactile and visual.

Silence as such doesnot exist: in the most absolute silence, our own heartbeatsand breathsbecomeaudible. An entirely silent world therefore seems unreal: that continuous murmur is part of the feeling of our own duration. As has been seen, Schaeffer conceives of 'to hear' as 'being sensitive to sounds' which reach not only the ear, but also consciousness. He presentsthree examples which demonstrate that the soundsone hears have an existence for consciousness:we instinctively adapt the volume of our voices to the volume of the background noise; we may be so engrossed in the action of a film as to pay no attention at all to the music which accompaniesit, however, when listened to on the radio, this music will evoke, even before we are able to identify it, the sameemotions the film aroused; some people who live close to railway stations wake up if the night train does not pass at the usual time.

Schaeffer shows that it is always indirectly, through reflection or memory, that one becomesaware of the soundscape: I listen to the clock striking the hour. I know this is not the first stroke. Hastily, I mentally reconstitute the first two strokes, which I had heard, placing the one I have listened to as the third, even before the fourth stroke sounds.

Had I not attempted to know the time, I should actually have ignored that the first two strokes reached my consciousness Someone is speaking to me, and I think of something else. The person who speaks gets upset and stops talking.

I listen to this ominous silence. I to manage snatch from the background noise, before it sinks there forever. With some luck, this will allow me to give a reply, persuading him that the distraction was no more than an illusion. Schaefferproposesthe following situation: the person who speakshas an accent. At the first meeting, this accent may appear striking, but some time later, meeting the person again, we shall try to ignore it.

However, when attempting to recall the conversation spontaneously evoking an environment etc. Schaefferconcludesthat this ensembleof features was being heard all the time, even though we may have been incapable of analysing it; and he adds: As may be seen,to listen is not necessarilyto get interestedin a sound. It is even only exceptionally that to listen is to get interested in a sound; to listen is rather to aim at something else through the intermediary of sound.

According to Schaeffer, 'when I listen to what I am being told, I tend, through words and beyond a formulation that may be imperfect , towards ideas that I seek to comprehend' Schaeffer , p. He gives three examples which point to what he calls reduction of listening: I am listening to a car.

I place it, I assesshow far away it is and, eventually, I recognize its make. What do I know about the noise which has provided all this information? On the contrary, it is precisely to the car noise that I lend an ear if this car is mine and the engine seemsto be making 'a funny noise'. AU the same, my listening remains utilitarian, for I am trying to infer data concerning the engine condition: given my uncertainty regarding the causes, I am forced first to go through an analysis of the effects.

Finally, I canlistenwith no aim otherthanhearingbetter,asI hadinitially proposedto do. El-Dabh has described his initial activities as an attempt to unlock "the inner sound" of the recordings. While his early compositional work was not widely known outside of Egypt at the time, El-Dabh would eventually gain recognition for his influential work at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in the late s. The essay evidenced knowledge of sound manipulation techniques he would further exploit compositionally.

In Schaeffer formally initiated "research in to noises" at the Club d'Essai [6] and on 5 October the results of his initial experimentation were premiered at a concert given in Paris. Instead of notating musical ideas on paper with the symbols of solfege and entrusting their realization to well-known instruments, the question was to collect concrete sounds, wherever they came from, and to abstract the musical values they were potentially containing".

The aesthetic also emphasised the importance of play jeu in the practice of sound based composition. Schaeffer's use of the word jeu , from the verb jouer , carries the same double meaning as the English verb play: 'to enjoy oneself by interacting with one's surroundings', as well as 'to operate a musical instrument'.

In the early and mid s Schaeffer's commitments to RTF included official missions which often required extended absences from the studios. A proposal was then made to "renew completely the spirit, the methods and the personnel of the Group, with a view to undertake research and to offer a much needed welcome to young composers".

In terms of the question "who says what to whom? Schaeffer kept up a practice established with the GRMC of delegating the functions though not the title of Group Director to colleagues. He was then replaced by Daniel Teruggi. The group continued to refine Schaeffer's ideas and strengthened the concept of musique acousmatique. In , a typical radio studio consisted of a series of shellac record players , a shellac record recorder, a mixing desk with rotating potentiometers , mechanical reverberation , filters , and microphones.

This technology made a number of limited operations available to a composer: [22]. The first tape recorders started arriving at ORTF in ; however, their functioning was much less reliable than the shellac players, to the point that the Symphonie pour un homme seul , which was composed in —51, was mainly composed with records, even if the tape recorder was available. A range of new sound manipulation practices were explored using improved media manipulation methods and operations such as speed variation.

A completely new possibility of organising sounds appears with tape editing, which permits tape to be spliced and arranged with an extraordinary new precision. The "axe-cut junctions" were replaced with micrometric junctions and a whole new technique of production, less dependency on performance skills, could be developed. Tape editing brought a new technique called "micro-editing", in which very tiny fragments of sound, representing milliseconds of time, were edited together, thus creating completely new sounds or structures.

Speed variation was a powerful tool for sound design applications. It had been identified that transformations brought about by varying playback speed lead to modification in the character of the sound material:. This original tape recorder was one of the first machines permitting the simultaneous listening of several synchronised sources. The three-head tape recorder superposed three magnetic tapes that were dragged by a common motor, each tape having an independent spool.

The objective was to keep the three tapes synchronised from a common starting point. Works could then be conceived polyphonically , and thus each head conveyed a part of the information and was listened to through a dedicated loudspeaker. It was an ancestor of the multi-track player four then eight tracks that appeared in the s. A rapid rhythmic polyphony was distributed over the three channels. This machine was conceived to build complex forms through repetition, and accumulation of events through delays , filtering and feedback.

A series of twelve movable magnetic heads one each recording head and erasing head, and ten playback heads were positioned around the disk, in contact with the tape. A sound up to four seconds long could be recorded on the looped tape and the ten playback heads would then read the information with different delays, according to their adjustable positions around the disk.

A separate amplifier and band-pass filter for each head could modify the spectrum of the sound, and additional feedback loops could transmit the information to the recording head. The resulting repetitions of a sound occurred at different time intervals, and could be filtered or modified through feedback.

This system was also easily capable of producing artificial reverberation or continuous sounds. At the premiere of Pierre Schaeffer's Symphonie pour un homme seul in , a system that was designed for the spatial control of sound was tested.

This created a stereophonic effect by controlling the positioning of a monophonic sound source. This provided a mixture of live and preset sound positions. The sounds could therefore be moved around the audience, rather than just across the front stage. On stage, the control system allowed a performer to position a sound either to the left or right, above or behind the audience, simply by moving a small, hand held transmitter coil towards or away from four somewhat larger receiver coils arranged around the performer in a manner reflecting the loudspeaker positions.

One found one's self sitting in a small studio which was equipped with four loudspeakers—two in front of one—right and left; one behind one and a fourth suspended above. In the front center were four large loops and an "executant" moving a small magnetic unit through the air. The four loops controlled the four speakers, and while all four were giving off sounds all the time, the distance of the unit from the loops determined the volume of sound sent out from each.

The music thus came to one at varying intensity from various parts of the room, and this "spatial projection" gave new sense to the rather abstract sequence of sound originally recorded. The central concept underlying this method was the notion that music should be controlled during public presentation in order to create a performance situation; an attitude that has stayed with acousmatic music to the present day.

After the longstanding rivalry with the " electronic music " of the Cologne studio had subsided, in the GRM finally created an electronic studio using tools developed by the physicist Enrico Chiarucci, called the Studio 54, which featured the "Coupigny modular synthesiser" and a Moog synthesiser.

The design of the desk was influenced by trade union rules at French National Radio that required technicians and production staff to have clearly defined duties. Because of this the synthesiser and desk were combined and organised in a manner that allowed it to be used easily by a composer. Independently of the mixing tracks twenty-four in total , it had a coupled connection patch that permitted the organisation of the machines within the studio.

It also had a number of remote controls for operating tape recorders.

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HEDGING FOREX PAIRS CALCULATOR

Electroacoustic music and its musicology are isomorphs. Reviewing the musicology of electroacoustic music, [ 2 ] Leigh Landy follows the traditional division of the discipline: historical musicology, systematic musicology and ethnomusicology, plus critical musicology. In his view, the historical musicology of electroacoustic music has focused on machines and techniques. Concerned with the impact of electroacoustic music upon the listening, with aural culture, with our relation to the soundscape and with the huge acceptance of techno as opposed to the marginal acceptance of other electroacoustic genres including experimental pop , it could nevertheless connect a somewhat ring-fenced electroacoustic community [ 5 ] to other communities in general.

Considering that tonal relations were inherent in the construction and technique of Western instruments, Schaeffer objected in principle to serial methods as applied to traditional instruments but he observed that, in practice, the listening to such pieces could be validated by a certain technique of hearing; considering that when applied to sound qualities other than pitch the series would lose its negative character [ 11 ] and open to new sounds the domains of tradition, Schaeffer accepted in principle the application of serial methods to complex sounds but he observed that, in practice, such sounds had little to gain from systematic recourse to serial techniques.

Historical musicology deals with music history, systematic musicology with music theory. Still, it is possible to apply synchronic, diachronic, and comparative methods to music history, [ 14 ] as it is possible to apply synchronic, diachronic and comparative methods to music theory. The Musical Object is the Subject of this Text. The Musical Object is Text. Now, if the signified is the signifier, as Barthes : 13 wishes, and if music and musicology are Texts, then such Texts should be isomorphs.

One saves up by not making it to measure at the cost of a double operation: analysis , i. Schaeffer :L95o,p. The Etude aux cheminsdefer Imposee posedthe problem of musically organizing sounds produced by six locomotives at the Batignolles station.

Schaeffer recorded the stokers' improvisation. Rhythmic Ieitmotivs were then isolated, and montage attempts led to both dramatic and musical sequences. Dramatic sequences,referring the listener back to events departure, stopping, etc. Dramatic sequenceswere not eliminated, but the discerning listener was expected to prefer the musical ones. Thus, a musical architecture emerged. The railway themeis treatedfreely in a first part which givesrise to variousrhythmic developments.

This part is not unlike a themeandits variations;thencomesa second part which intentionallymovesawayfrom the anecdotalcharacterof the noises,even thoughit hasbeenmanufacturedwith the sameelements. Finally, a codarecallsthe initial theme. Baylei 99o,p. To repeat it. Repeat the same sonic fragment: there is not an event any more, there is music. Schaeffer A, p. Schaeffer A p. These manipulations tended to make the original source of the sounds unidentifiable, but they could affect the idea of the referent: the engine, recorded at 78 RPM and played at 33 could became 'casting in furnace' Schaeffer A, 23 ; a smelting p.

The raw material was provided by an orchestra tuning up. Difficulties with montage led Schaeffer to call on a soloist 'enjoying all the instrumental ease of ordinary music' Schaeffer A, p. He observed that, although the sonic matter of pianistic and orchestral parts was essentially similar, manipulations created shapeswhich were radically different from those of tradi- tional sounds. This dtude, which later became the Diapason concertino, comprised four movements.

In the bude aux tourniquets Deconcertante' Schaefferreverted to a recording produced at the early stagesof researchinto noises, when Gaston Litaize was asked to prepare a score for African xylophone, four bells, three zanzasand two whirligigs. The recording of Litaize's piece was treated in the samemanner as the orchestral recording in the previous dtude: fragments were extracted, transformed, and put together again. Schaeffer tried to distancehimself from the original performance, which was consideredtoo elementary.

The musical ideas of the original score almost entirely disappeared,for the cuts engen- dered new structureswhich had no relation with the former compositional intention. If initial elements could be recognized in these new structures,it was rather like fossils, whosechemical composition alone interests us.

Thus, the proliferation of shapesannuls the shape,which becomesmatter again. This is the biggest difficulty. Or else, it is necessaryto imagine an enormous machine, of the cybernetic type, capable to perform millions of combinations, but we have not yet got there. So long as I have only two or three record players to realize approximative chains, I shall remain trapped in a discontinuous style where everything seems to have been hacked out.

Is there a compromise? I instinctivelyturn to the piano. The previousmanipulationshaveactuallytaughtme that a piano advantageously tools. Thus, to each keyboard note correspondsa more or less musical noise, whose mixture can be precisely regulated.

In this case,the keyboard is no longer a modulating tool. However, it is not by playing the 'prepared piano' that one gets concrete music; the characteristicsof instrumental performanceremain and safeguardtraditional forms: the performance is always relatively measuredand melodic. When amplified by acoustic means,the piano can neverthelessbecomea super-drum.

Thus, using the piano as both a percussioninstrument and a source of concrete sound, one attains a technique which certainly does not solve the aforementioneddifficulties, but gets round them to a certain extent. If I ask Pierre Boulez to record a series of chords in different styles classic, roman- tic, impressionist, atonal on a given theme, by manipulating this 'sound paste' I can construct ensembleswhich will keep a certain similarity with the initial sound4without being as clearly recognizableas the whirligigs.

At least, theseserieswill have the merit of providing a continuous element, and even a melodic unfolding, while the concrete concertantefragments maintain their discontinuous character. The merit of these first piano drudesis to have avoided resorting to the 'prepared piano'. Schaeffer A, pp. Over five hundred -0tude records had been gathered together, providing Schaeffer with abundant raw material. A trip to Washingtonwas going to interrupt work. On the eve of his departure,he produceda 4virtuosity exerciseon four faders and eight ignition keys' Schaeffer A, p.

The interest arisen from the Concert de bruits led to the publication of the article 'Intro- duction A Ia musique concrOe' Schaeffer o , where Schaefferfelt reassuredenough to replace the phrase 'research into noises' by the more ambitious 'concrete music'. He had nevertheless been using this term in his journals since 15 April cf, Schaeffer o, p. More than the simple use of sampled sounds as musical material, concrete music repre- sentedan inversion in relation to the traditional musical ddmarche.

In concrete music, the effects createdby different mannersof exciting sound- producing bodies, and by electro-acoustic manipulations of recordings of these sounds, could not be conceived eipriori; besides,traditional notation, accounting essentially for pitch, was inadequate;the performer was unnecessary. The new or 'concrete composer could do no better than manufacture his material, experiment with it, and finally put it together.

For Schaeffer, the two d6marcheswere not incompatible: 'Were Ia composer, then I should have liked, based on the dtude Noire or Pathetique, to create an original work, of which the concrete dtude would have been the sonic blueprint and the inspir- ing atmosphere' Schaeffer A, p. How the concrete composer could profit from the abstract d6marche was not so clear to him. In his next work, the Suite n'14 Suite pour quatorze instruments , startedin August , the following working hypothesiswas assumed: if even fragments of noises could lend themselvesto musical construction by meansof electro-acousticmanipulations, a less and material should produce better results.

Jean-Mchel Damasse helped Schaeffer in the orchestration of a score for fourteen in- struments. To some extent, the score was shapedby the manipulations envisaged. Once recorded, the suite was 'decomposed,shortened,magnified, dissected,inverted, exploded, pulverized' Schaeffer A, p. Its montage proved problematic though. The suite had the following movements: prologue, courante,rigaudon, gavotte and sphoradie.

Each of thesepieces was an experiment with a particular technical procedure; these procedures were used in such a manner that the relation between original score and final result was made increasingly in remote each successivemovement. In the prologue, no more than reverberations,echo, doublings, and rhythmic counterpoint were added.

Ile sphoradie in turn was meant as 'an essay of expression properly speaking' Schaeffer A, p. The aim of the suite was to demonstrate the existence of a new music. However, what emerged were the contradictions of con- crete music. Schaeffer concluded that, despite having discovered powerful techniques, concretemusic lacked a theoretical grounding: a method was necessary,as well as criteria to classify the infinity of sound material available.

In the courante, Schaeffersystematically used the looping-groove technique, an effect sim- ilar to that of a scratchedrecord. Soundsthus isolated appearedto him as words in the state of liberty they enjoyed in a dictionary: separatedfrom their contexts decontextualized , they were heard in themselves. More than a compositional technique, the looping-groove was a means of aural analysis, and the source of a particular kind of listening, upon which Schaeffer would enlarge later see Schaeffer , pp.

II herein. He noted: the precondition to concrete music is that the samples be isolated not only from dramatic or anecdotal context, but from their original musical context too. Paradoxically, the works that followed were undeniably dramatic. Symphonie pour un hommeseul ,createdin collaborationwith PierreHenry,was a reactionto the Suiten'14, in so far as the raw materialincludednoises.

The dramatic element,that is, the referentialcharacterof thesenoises,played an essentialrole in the Symphonie. However,two listeningswereenvisaged:one dramatic,the otherabstract. When Schaeffer began his next major work, Orphee , also with Pierre Henry, the repertoire of recorded sounds had been extended by the latter to the point of becoming almost unmanageable. It was clear that, in concretemusic, two complementaryscoreswere feasible: an effect score, accounting for aural results, and an operative score, accounting for the electro-acoustic manipulations to which these effects owed their existence.

The starting point of Orphee was a cinematographic idea: 'the tearing of Orpheus' veil, an excessively slow tearing, whence a noise arises which constitutes the main component of one of the sequences' Schaeffer, A, p. Schaeffer expected to follow rigorously a he plan would prepare for this piece the scenario for the Symphonie had undergonevarious writings , but he also hoped for godsends in the studio. A score was problematic though: 'How to imagine i priori the thousandunpredictabletransformationsof the concretesound, how to choosefrom among a hundred of samples,if neither a classification nor a notation has yet been definedT Schaeffer A, p.

Prior to notation, the problem posed by Orphee was: how to structure sampled sounds? A music conceived in terms of such pseudo-instrumentswould admit of an effect score. From this period are also Schaeffer's first commentson the relation betweenmusic, linguistics and Gestalt psychology cf. Moreover,Orpheerepresented a tentativeanswerto anotherproblemposedby concrete music: the absenceof the visual elementwhich characterized the traditionalconcem 'In fact, concretemusicapart,everythinghappenedas at the Opdra' SchaefferA, p.

Olivier Messiaen,Henri Michaux. His ideas were likewise warmly welcomed by German technicians. Schaeffer neverthelesssensedthat concrete music would end up being assimilated into elektronischeMusik. In A la recherche d'une musique concrite Schaeffer A , the year is characterized by a reflection upon the experiences of concrete music. The label 'concrete music' started being questioned by Schaeffer: concrete pieces seemed to have the value of experiments, rather than that of accomplished msthetic products.

The phrases 'concrete experience in music' and 'experimental method' came to the fore. Schaeffer tried to define points of contact and discrepancies between his d6marche and Sch6nberg's dodecaphony. For Schaeffer, Sch6nberg was an experimental composer in so far as his serialism had none of 'the lesser Mr Leibowitz' Schaeffer A the dogmatism which characterized students of , p.

He put Sch6nberg's approach into the following terms: 'If I impose myself such a rule, what will result from it? An experiment would follow' Schaeffer A, p. Schaeffer saw experimentation and expression as somehow opposed: the former implied the recognition of the fact that the creator could no longer be sure of how his work would be perceived by the listener, of whether or not his message would be understood.

This sectionwill considerthe first stagein the transitionfrom concretemusic to musical research:that stepwhereby the Groupe de Recherches de Musique Concr6terallied con- cretemusic, electronicmusic, tape music and world music, which Schaeffer termedexotic music, under the bannerof experimentalmusic. In the Radiodiffusion-Uldvision Frangaisehad offered the Groupe de Recherchesde Musique Concl-ke, which at the time consisted of Pierre Schaeffer, JacquesPoullin, and Pierre Henry, the first purpose-built electro-acoustic studio ever.

The studio attracted diverse and important composers: between and , Karlheinz Stockhausen,Pierre Boulez and Olivier Messiaencreatedconcrete pieces there. A serial tendency started developing within the Groupe. In the Groupe de Recherchesde Musique Concrbte de la Radiodiffusion-Tdldvision Franqaise,presided over by Schaeffer,organized the First International Decade of Experi- mental Music, which may have been an attempt to reverse the situation created in Darm- stadt, where concrete music had been assimilated into elektronischeMusik.

Versune musique expirimentale, a special issue of La revue musicale edited by Pierre Schaefferand entirely devoted to the event was announced. The final proof, revised and approved by the authors and Albert Richard, editor of the periodical, was ready on 10 July Albert Richard nevertheless decidedto postponeits publication. Four years later, this issue was finally printed, with the addition of Albert Richard's explanationsand excuses Richard , and an introduction by Schaeffer,his 'Lettre A Albert Richard' Schaeffer B.

In what follows, the focus will be on some of the texts, with particular referenceto Pierre Schaeffer's 'Vers une Schaeffer C. Rather than trying to answer the latter question, this section will present concrete music as it appearsin the light of extracts from the early texts of Versune musique experimentale.

Thus, it is primarily the state of concrete music in that is under consideration here. In the article 'Tendancesde la musique concr6te' Golda , which supposedlyrepro- duces a talk given at the Decade,Antoine Golda identifies four tendencieswithin concrete music. There is what he terms 'directly expressive' concrete music, whose characteristics formal 3 concernsand the relative primitiveness of material. Most are the absenceof strictly of the examples of this tendency are found among the early works.

Golda calls the second tendency the 'abstract' one; it finds its exponents in those composersto whom concrete music provided an unexpected field for the perfecting of researcheswhich were essen- tially serial. Under the abstract label, Golda puts together Pierre Boulez, Olivier Messiaen and-though he hesitates here-Pieffe Henry as creatorsof serial concrete pieces.

Since the abstract tendency groups together all those Gol6a calls 'traditional and very advancedcomposers' who found in concrete music a meansof furthering their wsthetic advance,one might ex- pect to find there as many personal mstheticsas composers. The third tendency identified by Golda is the 'musical' one. The musical tendency of concrete music reinstates the traditional instrument as its main source.

Thus, 'with secret and guilty voluptuousness, concrete music turns round towards music tout court' Golda , p. Finally, Golda illustrates with a list of pieces the fourth tendency; the 'exemplary' one. The common trait of the exemplary pieces of concrete music is: 'to expressa complete world through a means of expression itself complete' Gol6a , p. Pieffe Boulez: -Otudeti un son.

Olivier Messiaen: 7"Imbres-Durees. Nfichel Philippot: ttude I simultaneously the classic of 'abstract' concrete music, and a work of transition to 'musical' concrete music. This analysis establishesprecariousconnectionsbetweenmaterial, tools, techniques,meth- od and results, hencethe untenablenatureof its formulation, as if.

Furthermore, Golda's article presents serial- ism and abstraction in far too amicable a relationship with experimentalism, let alone 4 concrete music. Schaeffer's relation to serialism might be summarized in the following proposition: in principle, but not in practice, I object to the application of serialism to traditional material; in princip1c. He gives two reasonsfor not accepting serialism as applied to or- chestral sounds: firstly, it appearsas a merely destructive gesture aiming at neutralizing tonal relationships, which would be inherent to instrumental construction and technique; secondly, it imposes on the performer an unnatural gymnastic.

Schaeffer makes the first point in 'Vers une musique experimentale': 'In so far as atonalism for instance presented only a destructive face, pretending to organize the twelve tones in ignorance of their degree quality, and considering them solely as terms of an algebraic permutation, one could be shocked by so premature a denial of a tradition I which shall call-no pun intended- dominant' Schaeffer C, p.

The following quotation will make the secondpoint, also demonstrating Schaeffer's preparednessto accept the practical results of serialism as applied to traditional material. An experience I recently had with the work of the young German composer Stockhausenwill prove it.

I have had the opportunity of hearing this piece under the masterly baton of Hermann Scherchen in the excellent studio of the Nordwest Deutsche Rundfunk in Cologne. Well, in the course of the Decade inaugural conference I reheard over loud-speakers Stockhausen'swork, which was recorded on tape. Often in concretemusic I regret the spectacularelement of the concert, and its absencewas the blessing that allowed me to hear, accumulatedby the loud-speaker,which played the centripetal part, the different instrumental notes then welded' together and forming extremely brilliant and delicate sonic objects.

This phenomenon was full of consequences: Stockhausen'sabstract music was meeting the concrete experience;it was more acceptablewhen acoustically blended and heard by an ear accustomed,for some years, to consider sonic objects as such; it became far more justifiable and more intelligible; in other words, the same work presentedtwo faces: one destructive, denying a past I believe everlasting that is, the reality of the scale.

Schaeffer C pp. It has beensaid that, in principle, Schaef- fer would admit serialism into the domain of concretemusic, but not in practice. Whilst the day beforeit seemeda desperategestureleadingonly to an impasse,now it emergesas spadework,a gesturethat wasperhapsindispensable for the introduction of new sonicobjects,precisely,to be accepted. Golda , p. Whether or not concretemusic and serialism are compatible is an altogether different matter.

To answerthis question, one would first have to investigate what concrete music is, and whether it has ever constituted a coherent aesthetic,apart from the adoption of a particular kind of material. Then, it might be useful to establish a distinction between serial techniques,serial method and serial aesthetic,before defining at what levels serialism and concrete music oppose one another.

By serial techniques I understand procedures which can be identified in the music of Bach, Beethoven and Schaeffer for instance. By serial method I mean the systematic application of such procedures, defined from the starting point of Sch6nberg's dodecaphony. Serial aestheticswould be the personal uses diverse composersmake of the serial method to express themselves.

From the notion of serial aestheticsone may derive an abstraction, the serial aesthetic,encompassingall those personal aesthetics based on the use of a serial method. The serial method and aesthetic are unceremoniously dismissed by Schaeffer. The word d6bris, to my mind, does not at all apply to traditional music, but precisely to the destruction wrought there little by little, of which atonalism certainly represents the gravest stage.

In so far as the atonal d6marcheexhibits a simultaneously desperate and desperating rigour, an absolute denial of the customary musical universe, it has become indispensableto set sights elsewhere. Or else, in this dungeon, death would be ineluctable. In reality, the prisonhadno bars. Why twelve noteswhenelectronicmusichasintro- ducedso many more? Why seriesof noteswhena seriesof sonicobjectsis so much more interesting?

Why the anachronisticuse of an orchestrawhoseinstrumentsare handledwith suchobviousand-naturalityby Webernandhis imitators? And aboveall, why limit the horizonof our researchto the means,usagesand conceptsof a music after all linked to a geographyand a history;certainlyan admirablemusicbut still no morethan the Occidentalmusicof the last few centuries?

This does not point to the affinity between concrete music and serial method. Chance and determinism, whose uncertain implications we begrudgingly suffer, en- gender curious encounters. It happensthat concrete music has seen two diametrically opposedcategoriesof spirit musteraroundit.

No soonerhad I understoodthe necessityfor musical experimentation,no soonerhad I been astoundedby the profusion of sonic entities that might pass out of our hands, no sooner had I requestedthe assistanceof those who could help me in this discovery, in this sifting, in this curiosity turned above all to the object, and in this method whereof the empiricism I championedand the allegiance to the finding I treasured,than a party of musicians whose favourite instrument was the slide rule, and whose musical ideas were rigorously opposed to mine, came running.

Of this sometimesstem ordeal, only the meaning is understandable. For two years, in a companionship that had nothing distinctly fraternal about it, the abstractsgot down to the concrete, and vice versa, with a sort of ferocious partisanship, and with mistrust in their emulation.

Maybe all this is just starting to make us smile now and, as in any companionship, fraternity is at last appearing, but seldom have such opposing proceduresrubbed shoulders. From among the thousandsoundsin our cupboards,Pierre Boulez and his friends would choose the most unyielding ones, carve out their full mass,and show no consideration for anything other than the series they had calculated in advance.

Messiaen,whom we had invited to a feast of soundsin which everything- so we thought - should flatter his gluttony, did not even open our cupboards,but clapped his hands and whispered: 'Something like that, as little sound as possible. Grunewald's, who apparently had inherited so little of his master's taste for incarnate music as to ask, with a hint of covetous desire in his eyes, whether we deemedit possible to createa music totally devoid of evolution in tessitura. Schaeffer C, pp.

I must say that without the presenceof Pieffe Henry. So essential that it could have been stillborn, and no sooner discovered than, so to speak,already lost. Instead of being the starting point of a more general musical procedure, of which I am now almost sure, concrete music would have been no more than the altogether bald, and doubtless ephemeralcontinuation of either surrealism or atonal music.

Having closed in a few years, after an initial craving for composition, the cycle of his personalimpressionism, of his romanticism, of his constructivism, and of his particular atonihilism, Pierre Henry finally took the wisest course and excluding the background soundsfor radio productions or film tracks, which are absolutely indispensableto earn a living, and hencerespectable has stoppedcomposing for the time being, giving himself up to those two researchesthat any future composition demand: research into sonic objects, and research into instrumental manipulations.

Schaeffer C, P. From the twelve-tone series remains a constructivist disposition, which, applied to the new material perhaps prematurely, destroys its freshness. The blossoming of concrete soundsrisks being reaped too early when there is a parti-pris abstraction. The results are contradictory and disappointing. Schaeffer C,p. However, the fundamental opposition within the Groupe de Recherchesde Musique Concate is less between two mstheticsthan between two approachesto concrete material or, in Schaeffer's words, 'two diametrically opposedcategoriesof spirit'.

Rather than torn between two msthetics,in concrete music was torn between two approachesto the same material. For Schaeffer, in order to composewith concrete material or in order to compose concrete material , not only a new instrumental apprenticeshipis necessary:the apprenticeship of sonority itself imposes. The choice is therefore between using concrete material to create ceuvres, and doing research into sonority to discover musicality. When the concrete composer-by which is meant the composer who opts for concrete mate- rial-uses his material, the msthetic results are doomed to be either atonal or surreal.

If the result is atonal, the concretematerial will be inserting itself within an mstheticevolution where it does not belong: atonality defines itself in opposition to tonality, which in turn informs and is informed by the instruments of Western musical tradition. Thus, before using the material to produce music, the concrete composer must explore sonority to discover musicality. Here though, concrete music ceasesto be concrete music: it has already become musical research.

Concrete music neverthelessdid not become musical researchin , instead it placed itself under an umbrella of its own creation: experimental music. Schaefferhad needto seehis researchmaterializeinto works. SophieBrunet saysin her PierreSchaeffer Brunet,p. This observation is ratified by Pieffet , p. One agrees to lend me the studio hoping that I shall eventually come up with some broadcastablematerial.

The French radio is obliged to justify its allocations. So are producers. I have to admit that the researchermust hide himself carefully behind the producer. Schaeffer o, p. The need to appeasewith works the public, the administration, Pierre Henry and himself is recalled in 'Vers une musique expdrimentale' apropos Bidule en ut. John Cage for his part had discovered the prepared piano. Although expressly owing him nothing at all, since the same discovery was made more or less simultaneously by ourselves with our own means, we could only be grateful to him for establishing a link between the traditional musical language and a possible langue?

The preparedpiano, a polyvalent instrument that would do anything and sound like anything, had the essential means of expressionof the traditional language: the keyboard. From the new sonic universe it had the matter, that is, thousandsof new sounds which could be obtained from a suitably arranged sounding board. In fact, the most celebrated of these pieces, the famous Bidule en ut, is hardly concrete music. Constructed by fugato combination of three monodies from the preparedpiano, which were put together on record, it is, adhering to a rigorous terminology, a mixture of prepared piano and Music for Tape.

Although illustrating the work of 37 rue de l'Universitd, it is much closer to the American school than to what seemsto be emerging little by little from our Parisianresearches,and which I do not yet clareto call French school. The passageabove demonstratesthat, in , he was prepared to put up with some contradictions within the concrete d6marche,so far as this could lead to the production of ceuvres.

Such an attitude is markedly different from that which presided over the creation of the noise 6tudes. Contradictions were an essentialpart of these pieces. During the elaboration of the noise 6tudes,they would come to the fore demandingappropriatesolutions. For Schaefferin , the application of serial method to concrete material was doubtlesscontradictory. However, the works of 'Boulez and his friends' were proving that this material could lend itself to abstraction,thus transcendingthe anecdotal characterof the surreal pieces.

As they went along though, both tendencies,albeit so oppositeat the start, finally twined themselvesinto a garland. In addition to the necessaryemulation, it was perhapsuseful to put the straitjacketon thesenew materials for one year or two. Boulez has created his first dtude. Messiaen,who unfortunatelystayedsomewhataway from the producer.

At the same time, the abstractsthemselvesrecognized the thanklesscharacterof the materials they had chosen, recommending researchinto the sonic matter and. So was born, early in ,an dtudeby Mchel Philippot, which, asan 6tude,pleasedeverybody. The serial constructionthere was applied to valid materials of which one respectedthe substance. Schaefferic, pp. A kind of symbiosis in which the concreteswould investigate sonority while the abstractswould create ceuvres nfight have appearedas a possible compromise.

Nonetheless,the label experimentalmusic intendedto do more than bridge over the different approachesto concretematerial. Philippe Arthuys' 'Pour commencer The aim of this Decade was to bring together, under the banner of Experimental Music and on the initiative of the Groupe de Recherchesde Musique Concr6te, all researchesthat have been done in this direction.

It was not at all a Concrete Music festival with a large public, but a workshop of which something was expected to emerge. Arthuys , p. Schaeffer in turn was al- ready thinking of concretemusic as 'the starting point of a more generalmusical procedure' cf. The International Decadeof Experimental Music corresponded to the need of a radical reformulation within the concrete group. A few yearspassed.

What had appearedto us as an inconsequentialexcursion proved to be a fertile exploration. What we had taken for an island was perhapsa continent where others might have landed on other shores. We needed to go back to our fundamentals, compare our machines and machinations, recognize the team mates of a necessarily collective adventure and, to these ends, to travel, to correspondwith the five parts of the world, with those who know the musical past of this planet, and those who are imagining its future.

Schaeffer c, p. Later, in Tettre A Albert Richard', Schaeffer will avow that his intention was 'to realize a synthesis of the different efforts aiming not only at a comparisonof but methods also at the establishment of complementary research programmes' Schaeffer B,p. Genese des simulacres, this was rephrased as: 'to contribute towards a synthesis of different efforts, by prompting not only a comparison of methods, but alsothe establish- mentof complementary research programmes' Schaeffer B, p.

Schaeffer's view of international developments in electro-acoustic andelectronic music is uncomplimentary though. Schaeffer C. The Americans, dynamic and naive, put their pianos out of gear and apply to composition somewhat rashly the law of probabilities. Schaeffer :LC,p. According to a French historian though, there exists a fundamental difference betweenthe French and the English sensesof humour: while Englishmen make fun of someoneelse by laughing at themselves,Frenchmenlaugh at someoneelse to make fun of themselves.

It is sometimes touching, and often comical, to see the same successes and failures reward attempts made with diverse means in Paris, New York or Cologne by people who, at least thus far, have not met and are unlikely to have copied each other, to have employed the same procedures, followed the same d6marches, or made the same remarks.

It is quite interesting anyway that they have undertaken the same tentative efforts, that they have come up against the same deadlocks and4 little by little, are publicizing only their contributions and their perhaps divergent methods. Schaeffer tried to project this compromiseonto the arenaof international avant-garde. Thus, concretemusic,electronicmusic,tapemusicand world music were rallied under the banner of experimental music by the concretegroup.

Such instruments,only just good enough to imitate but to what end? The useof preparedor exotic instruments,which now join the classicalmeansfor obtainingsoundsconsideredmusical,is of no relevance. Apart from the fact that such sounds,of questionable purity, disturbthehabitsof our ear,we arequitedeterminednot to composeandnot to hearanymusicotherthanthat manufactured with theOccidental lutherie,which crystallizedone centuryago, sayat the time of Bach.

The meansof acceleration,deceleration,superimposition,montage and retrogression which recording techniques afford are totally irrelevant, as are artificial filterings or reverberations: they are engineer's tricks, only just good enough for the sound track of animated cartoons. No more relevant is the creation of complex sonic objects obtained from sounds or noises musical or otherwise through the combination of all the aforementioned techniques,which have been systematicallypractised under the name of concretemusic and perfected by means of special machines such as the phonogbne chromatic or continuous , the morphophone,the multi-track tape recorder, etc As to taking into accountthe tridimensionalsonic spacewhere,knowingly or not, one projectsany music Oive or recorded ,this is a minor phenomenonto which one shouldnot attachmuch importance,be sucha phenomenonstatic-Le.

To thesecommentson the meansof producing sounds,combining them and presenting them to auditors, other negative propositions would have to be added in the interest of comprehensiveness. Music, which is all containedin the symbolsof sol2ge, mustnot takeany account of thosesonoritiesthaLbeingtoo complexandtoo new,eludesucha systemof notation and,for this reason,can be neitheradequatelylaid out on a scorethat is accessible to traditionallytrainedmusiciansnor officially registeredin the SACEM.

The composeris ableto imagineall possiblesoundsanddesirablecombinations withoutresortto soundexperimentation. Likewise,he takestheir psycho-physiological effectsfor granted,outsideany sensorialexperience. In particular,it is througha puretheoreticalprocedure,ratherthanthroughthe tenta- tive effortsof experience,that he demandsnew shapesfrom the new instruments. The modemcomposer,writing lessandless'for the instrument',is supportedby electronics in his absoluterefusalto continueworryingaboutmeansfor performance:theseneither help nor constrainhim any longer.

Finally, the musicalwork existsin itself, as unlistened-to,and the auditormustbe considered ashavingno sharein thegenesisof thework or at leastin its raisonXitre. He is no more than a witnesswhosesole limitation is his capacityfor adherenceor refusal. I shall not insist on the last four points, which would risk to deepenthe misunderstanding of a contingent controversy, although they have been sometimesinvolved in the talks and discussions of the First International Decade of Experimental Music, organized by the Groupe de Recherchesde Musique Concrite de la Radiodiffusion-Tilivision Frangaise.

The primary objective of this decade was to highlight the notion of an experimental music, gathering as much information as possible on the subject, and bringing together in Paris those few personalities who have committed themselvesto the diverse approacheswhich could be grouped under this name. The only important thing now, precisely, is to weigh up the various researches,taking the opposite course to an msthetic debate, which is certainly necessarybut untimely: first of all, to record the existence of a music in process of experimentation, acknowledging its tendencies and comparing results.

In short, let us begin by applying to researchersthemselvesthe experimental procedure. In 'Musique dlectronique', Eimert expoundsthe option for a particular kind of material which is inherent to electronic music. Like Schaeffer,he dismissesthe use of new machines to imitate traditional instruments, also observing that 'the virtuosic use of special electronic instruments by any modem symphonic orchestra remains within the framework of the usual manner of playing' Eimert , p.

What is plainly statedby Eimert, is expressedby Schaeffer with all resourcesof the rhetorical arsenal; Schaeffer's commitment to the msthetic implications of new material displays a radicalnessunknown to Eimert: How to explain then the state of underdevelopmentin which these instruments have remained for almost twenty years?

Bode's melochord, which today equips certain German studios, and the new models of the Martenot or of the ondioline, simply present in a more convenient manner possibilities formerly glimpsed at. In too convenient a manner, doubtless. These instruments for virtuosi of not only melody but also Klangfarbenmelodie,of ultra-high and infra-low pitches, of the quintuple forte and the sextuple pianissimo, at the start only increase the composer's embarrassment.

Instead of destroying note, the last stronghold of traditional music, they put in some more: timbre notes, intensity notes,register notes. To which the prix de Rome replied4as if in the face of the flood: 'What a lot of notes! Electronic and concrete music share the same aspiration towards musical abstraction. In the words of Eimert: 'It is meaningless to speak of electronic music unless the central processes involved are musical processes, that is, unless all essential decisions concerning form and sound are taken from musical points of view' Eimert , p.

Schaeffer would have no qualms stating the same about concrete music. Even the credo of Schaeffer's is subscribed to by Eimert. Tbus, both Schaeffer's 'Vers une musique expAdrimentale' and Eimert's 'Musique dlectronique' display as an epigraph the same quotation from Van Gogh: 'I believe one thinks much more sanely when ideas arise from the direct contact with things, than when one starts to look at things with the aim of finding there one idea or another' Schaeffer C, p.

However, the incompatibility between concrete and electronic music is implicit in the following paragraphs of Eimert's. The fact that this system allows the creation of new musical material that cannot be obtained with classical instruments constitutes a true criterion of electronic music.

From an historical point of view, it is not by chance that means of construction today have been pushed to the limits of the possibilities of realization, and that, precisely at this moment, the new electronic means become available. Thus, there are doubtless real points of contact, particular connections between traditional and electronic musics. Those complicated rhythmic values that can no longer be played by instrumentalists, may be easily representedas length values, that is, in centimetre length.

This notwithstanding, it is equally important to learn how to identify and grasp the immanent laws of matter that govern electronic sounds. We are still quite far from having a detailed knowledge of theselaws -let me say, by analogy: the tonality laws of electronic music.

In such a situation, all one can do is open wide the door onto this new sonic world and, while shaping that world, to operate by analogy with the processesof musical production. Eimert , p. Furthermore, he recognizesthe need for this research, stating that 'there is a kind of tonality of electronic music; we do not know its details yet, but it will probably be a tonality of timbres' Eimert , p.

For Eimert though, the introduction of new material does not imply a break with Western musical evolution. In his view, the so called 'tonality laws of electronic music' will emerge, on the one hand, from the analysis of soundsby subtractive and additive syntheses,and, on the other, from the creation of pieces within the framework of Westernmusical tradition.

If one examines the kind of concerns Pierre Boulez expressesin the article 'Tendances de la musique r6cente' Boulez , the frailness of his connection with concretemusic becomesevident. Boulez considersthe 'musical language' to be in a period of assessment and organization, after destructive researchesthat abolishedthe tonal world and the regular metric: on the one hand, complex rhythmic structures combined with very elementary centres of tonal attraction were developed by Stravinsky; the secondViennese school, on the other hand, worked towards the dissolution of tonal attractions thus discovering the series, which was differently explored by Schonberg, Berg and Webern.

Boulez stresses the idea that Webern alone was aware of the series as 'a way of giving a structure to the sonic space,of threading it somehow' Boulez , p. He explains: 'Whilst melody remained the fundamental element even in the bosom of polyphony, in the serial system as conceived by Webern it is the polyphonic element itself that becomesthe basic element; hencethis mode of thinking transcendsthe notions of verticality and horizontality' Boulez , p. All he the same, adds, rhythm remained unconnectedto the serial language,9 even in Webem.

Boulez then focuses on the music of Vartse, emphasizing two points: in Var6se, 'the function of the chords is no longer traditionally harmonic, but rather appearsas a value of a sonic bodyIO calculated in terms of natural harmonics, lower resonancesand the diverse tensions necessaryto the vitality of this sonic body' Boulez , p. These two points are summed up by Boulez in what he considers to be VarUe's main preoccupation: acoustics proper.

In Boulez's words: 'Considering the acoustic phenomenon as primordial in sonic relations, Vartse applied himself to verifying how it could govern musical construction' Boulez , p. Vattse's refusal of temperament is also noted by Boulez, as well as his proposal of 'non-octaving scales, repeating themselves according to a spiral principle, or, to be clearer, a principle whereby the transposition of sound scales is no longer organized in accord with the octave, but rather in accord with different intervallic functions' Boulez , p.

For Boulez, Cage represents the need to extricate oneself from the lin-dtations of the traditional lutherie, rendered obsolete by the eclipse of the tonal system; hence Cage's interest, sharedby Var6se,in percussion. It is when Boulezcommentson Messiaen'sMode de valeurset d'intensitesthat his own musicalconceptionstartstaking shape.

For him, this piecematerializes'needsscattered almost anywherein valid contemporarymusic' Boulez ,p. In Messiaen's piece this 'universe' is organized modally; what Boulez has in mind is the serial organization of all planes by meansof a single unifying principle. The interesting point is that this total unification has roots 'almostanywhere':from Stravinsky,he takesthe rhythmicelaboration;from Webern,not only the seriesas a way of weaving together the horizontal and the vertical dimensions, but also orchestrationas a structuralelement;from Var6se,the structuralrole of intensity and the exploitationof the non-tempered universe, the latter also being found in Cage.

What is more,Boulez's seriesstretchesits long arm over the definition of scalesand the creationof sounds themselves. Schaeffer in turn sees himself as the offspring of Var6se's self-fertilization: 'In the paths we were following, Var6se, the American, was our single the greatman,and soleprecursor anyway' Schaeffer c, p. However, in the same way as Boulez mentions Cage's lutherie, while ignoring his msthetic, it is the originality of Var6se's lutherie that Schaeffer stresses in 'Vers unemusiqueexpo-Irimentale'.

It has been seenthat for Eimert the introduction of new soundsshould lead to the discovery of what he called 'the laws of tonality of electronic music'. By default, the means for this end would be the insertion of such sounds into the atonal Boulez for his part 'Tsthetic.

For Eimert and Boulez, the new instruments do not imply a radical rupture with the traditional musical system, but rather contribute towards its evolution. New technology here is essentially neutral, a mere means for the advancementof Westernmusical tradition: We are lying in wait for an unheard-ofsonic world, rich in possibilitiesand as yet practicallyunexplored.

The consequences implied by the existenceof sucha universe arejust startingto be perceived. Boulez ,p. Both BoulezandEimert seemto suggestthat it is not becausenew soundsare availablethat new musicalforms becomepossible,but ratherbecausethe composerhas needof new musicalformsthat new soundsappear.

A mystiqueof the composer'sactivity is in operationhere;thecompositionalprocessitself is beyondquestion. Therewould be an evolutionof musical forms, independent of ends andmeans; yet, it is the supreme freedom of the composer that is asserted thereby. For Schaefferin turn new sounds,whether concrete,electronic,magnetophonic or exotic, are essentiallya repositoryof unimagined musicalpotentialities.

He proposes a renewal of forms throughtheanalysisof material,and a reassessment of ends. One could say, paraphrasing Martin Heidegger, that it is therole of the experimentalcomposerto considercarefully andgathertogethermaterials,forms and ends;materials, forms and ends in turn owe thanksto the ponderingof the experimental composer for the 'that' and the 'how' of their coming into play for the productionof the experimental'ceuvre' seeHeidegger,p.

Looking at the final paragraphsof 'Vers une musiqueexpdrimentale',whereSchaefferexposeswhat all experimentalteams, 'whether electronic,concrete,magnetophonicor serial' have in common,one finds the confirmationof this hypothesis. All call into question the notion of instrument. Sound can no longer be characterized by its causal element, it has to be characterizedby the effect only. Hence it must be classed according to its particular morphology, rather than according to instrumental provenance.

It must be considered in itself, The best proof of this: once the most interesting sonorities produced by the new techniqueshave been recorded on tape, it is impossible to say how, and by what ensembleof proceduresor instruments, they have been produced. Correlatively, it is necessaryto admit that the notion of musical note, so intimately linked to the causal character of the instrument, no longer suffices to account for the sonic object.

The deWdon we give of complex note a simple sonic object having a beginning, a body and a decay is already infinitely more general. It is important to realize that, given its acoustical constitution and human manipulation, the traditional instrument, whether exotic or classical, cannot produce anything but notes,in the known restrictive sense.

Ile classicalrelationshipsbetweencompositionandperformance, betweenauthors andinstrumentalists,also find themselves fundamentallychanged. In the new musics, the composeris oftenhis own performer,andthe scoreis simply a shootingscript. The creationis achievedoncefor all, by meansof a differentpartition of responsibilities, which resemblesthat of the productioncrewsin cinema. Contact with the public is also different.

The concert is no longer a spectacle,at least not in the sensewe were used to. The conditions of audition entail new elements, simultaneouslyphysical and physiological, individual and social. As may be seen,thesefour major transformationsof both the musical phenomenonand its communication are on this side of any problem directly concerning expressionand impression. There is also a lot to be said on these points.

A lot will be said and a lot has been said during this Decade. However, in my opinion, it would be much preferable to consider only the aforementioned elements. This would greatly simplify the terribly tangled skein of our problems, certainly allowing all researchersto share, with more lucidity and effectiveness,and with less bitterness,the fruits of their different findings.

His return to France in coincided with the publication of Vers une musique experinwntale. In Tettre A Albert Richard', dated 18 May and published as an overture to Vers une musique experimentale, Schaeffer renounced to the ideal of syncretizing techniques, and proposed what he then called 'method for research after concrete music'.

The following year, he withdrew the term concrete music, so as to detachhimself from its xsthetic connotations. Simultaneously,he starteddefining his work as musical research, and the Groupe de Recherches de Musique Concrbte was restructured and rebaptized as Groupe de Recherches Musicales, an altogether different institution, accounting for altogether different aims. In relationto concretemusic,experimentalmusiccorresponded to theneedto generalizethe concrete approach, opening it up to new soundsand techniques, its reassessing principles and defining its method.

The creationof concretepieces had led to the formulation of a number of hypotheses;experimental music implied a shift of priorities: stress was laid on verifying the postulatesupon which thesepieces were based. However, the method of doing this was still an unknown quantity.

This controversyhascustomarilybeenreducedto the choicebetweentwo contrastingkinds of material,eachrepresentinga mutuallyexclusivetemperament:the intuitive andthe ra- tional. In a critique of L6vi-Strauss'text, UmbertoEco has attemptedto demonstrate that theseso called Weltanschauungen are not in fact mutually exclusive,thus redefiningthe relation betweenstructuralismand serialism.

For Eco, 'each serialtechniquehas to be explicated as regardseffectivenessof communicationand as opposedto the techniquesit denies througha structuralmethodologywhich accountsfor the parametersto which consecrated and innovatory forms alike ultimately refer' Eco B, p.

Thirteen years after the DecadeSchaefferwill offer, in Traile des objetsmusicaux,his unfinishedaccount of the musical phenomenon in its universality. It remainsto be seen whetheror not Schaeffer has committed that mistake Eco pointed out in L6vi-Strauss: 'to takehis own privatelanguagefor a metalanguage' Eco , p.

Pierret- Wouldit be exactandjudiciousthento incorpo- rate this quarterof a centuryof your sonorousexperimentations into thefabric of a writer's or, if you like, philosopher'sthink- ing? In other words,are theselong years of radiophonicand thenmusicalexperiences to beput betweenthe quotationmarks of two texts: the premonitory Arts-Relais, unfinishedand un- published, and, twenty years later, the definitivereport, Traitd, meditatedandpublished?

Schaeffer-I think it's reasonableto say so. I think that, in both cases,language its logic, the traceitforms of a contin- uous thinking, the scaffoldingit providesto imagination, simi- larly to thephysicist'sequation hasservedas notationand trail blazer: turnedtowardsthe knowledgeacquired,so as to clarify theproblematic;turnedtowardstheunknown,soasto conjecture its pattern.

The notions of acousmaticlistening, four levels of listening, and sonic object underpin the 'immense logical architecture'll of Traiti des objets musicaux Schaeffer The word acousmaticis thus defined in the OED: 'A professedhearer, a class of scholars under Pythagoras, who listened to his teaching, without inquiring into its inner truths or bases. According to Larousse, when used as an adjective the word acousmatic refers to 'a noise that one hears without seeing the cause from which it originates' Schaeffer , p.

Schaeffer unearthed this 'ancient neologism' cf, Schaeffer , p. For Schaeffer, the main consequencesof the acousmatic situation are: 1. The identification of the sound source,which, for traditional musicians and acousticians is alike, an important aspect of sound recognition, must happen without the help of vision. One realizes that much of what seemsto be heard is in fact simply seen, and sounds as different as those produced by the strings and the winds may be confused. The repeatedaudition of soundswhose instrumental sourcesare masked leads one to neglect source identification, to and get interested in sounds in themselves.

Another kind of listening emerges: the listening to sonic shapes, which aims at hearing them better, and at describing them by means of an analysis of perceptions. Schaeffer recognizesthat 'the Pythagoras' screenis not enough to divert the curiosity from the causal element, to which we are instinctively, and almost irresistibly attracted' Schaeffer , pp. According to Chion, 'the curiosity about the causessubsistsin acousmaticlistening and can be even stiffed up by this situation ' Chion , p.

The emphasisthe acousmatic situation may lay on the absent sound source is illustrated by a comment of Umberto Eco's: 'Smoke is only a sign of fire to the extent that fire is not actually perceived along with the smoke' Eco , p. Schaeffer thinks that the repetition of the physical signal, which sound recording makes possible, eventually wears out the curiosity for the invisible source, bringing about a more attentive and refined listening. Thus the richness of the perception is progressively revealed.

Exact repetition of sound is a new phenomenon,made possible by new machines; it engenders the awarenessof changes our in listening, the so called subjectivity. Schaeffer emphasizes that this 'subjectivity' is not an imperfection or 'woolliness' which would blur the clarity of the physical signal. It is rather a question of new and precise consciousor unconscious orientations of listening, which reveal new aspectsof sound.

The notion of acousmatic listening clearly points to reduced listening, the listening to a sound in itself, without any reference to its source and significance in a code. Schaeffer introduces the notion of reduced listening within the context of four listening functions. The argument begins with a meditation, in the manner of Francis Ponge, upon distinctions of meaning between four French verbs: ecouter, ouTr, entendre and comprendre. Like Ponge, Schaeffer refers to Littrd see Ponge , pp.

Hence, a presentationof this notion in English offers insurmountabledifficulties: Entendre: to direct one's ear towards[that is, to listen to], and hence,to receive sonorousimpressions [that is, to hear. Entendre[To hear] noises. I entends [hear] peoplespealdng in the room beside, I entends[understand]that you havenews for me. Entendrelicouter:entendre[to hear]is to be sensitiveto sounds;Icouter [to listen to them] is to lend theman ear so as to entendre[hear]them.

Sometimes,one does not entend[hear],althoughone icoute [listens],and often oneentend[hears]without icouter [listening]. The translation presented between square brackets obviously clashes with the etymological considerations of the text: entendre and ouilr share their Latin origin, while 'to hear' and 'to listen' are both Germanic; moreover, the defectiveness of the is verb ouTr absent from its English equivalent, 'to hear'.

Entendreloufr: these two words, though of very different origin, have become perfectly synonymoustoday. Oullr [Hear] was the proper word, little by little displaced by the figurative word entendre [listen]. Oufr [To hear] is to perceive with the ear; entendre [to listen] is, properly, to pay attention.

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Multifamily housing investment project Repeat the same sonic fragment: there is not an event any more, there is music. There is what he terms 'directly expressive' carlos palombini schaeffers investment music, whose characteristics formal 3 concernsand the relative primitiveness of material. The musical ideas of the original score almost entirely disappeared,for the cuts engen- dered new structureswhich had no relation with the former compositional intention. To some extent, the score was shapedby the manipulations envisaged. Furthermore, it is beyond me to look at this houseas if it were a rock or a cloud.
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Classic auto investments The merit of these first piano carlos palombini schaeffers investment to have avoided resorting to the 'prepared piano'. Furthermore, he recognizesthe need for this research, stating that 'there is a kind of tonality of electronic music; we do not know its carlos palombini schaeffers investment yet, but it will probably be a tonality of timbres' Eimertp. For two noble investments nzb, in a companionship that had carlos palombini schaeffers investment distinctly fraternal about it, the abstractsgot down to the concrete, and vice versa, with a sort of ferocious partisanship, and with mistrust in their emulation. By serial method I mean the systematic application of such procedures, defined from the starting point of Sch6nberg's dodecaphony. In it the idea of a creative role for the recording medium was introduced and Arnheim stated that: "The rediscovery of the musicality of sound in noise and in language, and the reunification of music, noise and language in order to obtain a unity of material: that is one of the chief artistic tasks of radio". However, within the domain of electro-acoustic music there is no text-object. He gives two reasonsfor not accepting serialism as applied to or- chestral sounds: firstly, it appearsas a merely destructive gesture aiming at neutralizing tonal relationships, which would be inherent to instrumental construction and technique; secondly, it imposes on the performer an unnatural gymnastic.

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Sophie Brunet's choice of texts has been felicitous, and Schaefferemergesnot only as an iconoclastic writer, but also as a musicologist the term 'musicographer' has been suggested with a messageto the Brazilian musical avant-garde of the late seventies. In fact, I read in Schaeffer's invectives against elektronischeMusik the materialization of Baudelaire's diatribes on the conformism of avant-gardes,and a necessaryantidote to the 'rigourousness' of the Brazilian musical establishment.

LXI Of the delight in and preference for military metaphors shown by the French. Here every metaphor wears moustaches. Militant literature. To hold the breach. To keep the flag flying. To emerge with flying colours. To plunge into the fray. One of the old brigade. All these glorious phrasesare commonly applied to drunkards and bar-flies. LXII Frenchmetaphors. A soldierof thejudicial press Bertin.

The literary vanguard. This use of military metaphorreveals minds not militant but formed for discipline, that is, for compliance; minds born servile, Belgian minds, which can think only collectively. Baudelaire , pp. In the meantime, a six-month correspondencewith Denis Smalley, under whom I in- tended to work towards a Ph. Smalley , p. In other words, if one can speak today of a musical language in the senseof a musical code Saussure'slangue , it is precisely in connection with what Denis Smalley terms 'the vernacular fork'.

This paragraph of Umberto Eco's indicates what has been perhaps the most radical aspectof serial thinking: Every messagecalls into question the code. Each parole act constitutesa discussion on the langue which engendersit. Ultimately, it is possible to say that every messageposes its own code, every ceuvreappearsas its own linguistic foundation, as the discussion about its own poetics, as the liberation from the bonds which, prior to the ceuvre, claimed to determine it, and as the key to its own reading.

Eco iB, p. Perhapswe are tackling a brief and provisional period devoid of composers in the usual sense, becausea musical language in the usual sense,that is, material vehiculating a commonly perceptible meaning, is also absent. Does the contemporary composer always know where he goes? Olivier Alain, NouveauLaroussemusical v. The term 'spectro-morphology' is preferableto the Schaefferianterm 'typo-morphology' for the reasonsgiven in the text.

Pierre Schaeffer's Traiti des objets Musicaux Paris: Seuil, is the first significant work to elaboratespectro-morphologicalcriteria, and it provides the foundations for this chapter. Smalley 1. Hence the idea of expounding Pierre Schaeffer's typo-morphology as opposedto Denis Smalley's spectro-morphology. This exposition would take the form of a semiotic reading of Traiti des objets musicaux in which the critique of Denis Smalley's spectro- morphology would be a rhetoric device to expound Schaeffer's typo-morphology.

A preliminary survey of the literature on semiotics of music EcO , Eco ed. And for Benveniste A, p. What is more, these semiotics of music were, by and large, serniotics of the musical text. Tbe terms 'object' and 'text' here have the more usual and neutral sense;they imply neither a conscioustheory of the text - which does not exist in musicology yet - nor theories of the sonic object such a Moles' and Schaeffer's.

Stefani , P. However, within the domain of electro-acoustic music there is no text-object. One of the principal characteristics of this music sc. Traditionally two types of what may loosely be called a 'score' have existed: a list of operational data, or a general sketch of the musical effects obtained.

Ile function of operationaldata is to give a detaileddescriptionof the useand con- trol of the instrumentsemployed. This is thereforelinked to a specificmachineand program. It is completelyincomprehensible to most musicians,and directedsimply towardsspecialists. The machinesthemselves,moreover,are continuallysuperceded andreplaced,and their programsare frequentlymodifiedand improved.

This type of representation is thereforesoonredundant,and even while it remainseffective,it is only capableof producingone result. The truth is that nobodyis really interestedin doing exactlywhat the composerhasdonefor a secondtime. On the other hand, there are the various schematicrepresentationsof the aural result, ranging from a number of Stockhausen'sworks to Ligeti's Articulation.

But although the composersattempt to be as precise as possible, their notation is always rather crude and approximate, particularly in comparison with the complexity and perfection of traditional notation. Analysts in search of compositional method, or something more profound than a simple observation of contrast and similarity will find themselvesup against a brick wall. Stroppa , pp. On the other hand, it seemed that the identification of musical with serniotics musical analysis was a debasement of the sernioticchallenge.

Barthes , pp. Given the dimensions or complexity of Peirce's, Saussure's,Barthes', and Schaeffer's ceuvres,this project was evidently unfeasible. For anyoneundertakingresearchinto Schaeffer'swork, the almosttotal lack of a criti- cal literature has two consequences: on the one hand, the researcher is free to move in whateverdirectionhe chooses;on the other, he has to take into accountthat nothing or very little is known to the reader.

In English, thereis only PeterManning'stwenty pages on Schaeffer's early experiments Manning , pp. Other than that,there are dictionary and encyclopwdia entries Mache o, Xenakis etc. The foremost objective of this work is to let Schaeffer's text speak to the English-listening reader. Its most ambitious hope is that the pragmatic maze of Schaeffer's writing may resound in today's music-making in Britain, America, and beyond. Quotationspresentedin this work follow the typographicconventionsof the original text, ratherthan thoseadoptedby the author.

Pierret - Can we go as far as saying that, if you wrote today La coquille A planbtes or Orphde, then you'd show more care for the a, -uvre,you'd no longer be the victim of your own experiments Schaeffer- Certainly not! Wealwayscommitthe same 'je mistakesagain,and ne regretterien'! I tell You: I prefer an experiment,evenaborted,to a successfidreuvre. Pierret, p. Concretemusic sought to explore the possibilities which sounds sampled on 78 records and, from onwards, on tape afforded as musical material.

Outside France, and even there, not much has been said about Schaeffer's thinking. There are various reasonsfor this: a large part of his literary is ceuvre out of print; apart from a few articles c, A , o, Schaeffer's texts remain untranslatedinto English; finally, his writing is anything but simple. In reality, Pierre Schaeffer has addressedhimself, with the refinement of a fiction writer, to one of the great questions of our time: the relationship between human beings and technology.

He has done this from a privileged position: that of someonewho is both an artist and a technician, and, being furthermore an intellectual, is capable of articulating the artist's and the technician's experiences. In , sevenyears before his systematicexperimentswith noises,Schaefferdrafted some observationson what he termed 'relay arts': radio and cinema.

Wethereforeseethatthis competitionbetweendirect art, in its full bloom,andrelay Third phase: the instrument informs Art. In the first phase, one forgives the instrument for anything, becauseone admires its novelty without taking this instrument seriously. There is no fear of competition. Furthermore, the instrument is so obviously unfit for the fight that it is appreciated above all for its goodwill.

Direct art expects to be scrupulously served by this relay, which is likely to offer undreamt-of diffusion and unheard-of conveniences. Now not only does one demand from the instrument more than it can give, but one also expects it to give that which, by its own nature, it cannot give. A classical phase finally comes, which cinema is reaching but the radio is still far from approaching. This phase is rendered possible by the knowledge of the instrument, the discrimination between its, limits and possibilities, and also between its two roles: to retransmit in a certain manner that which one was used to seeand hear directly; to expressin a certain manner that which to one was not used see and hear.

Schaeffer B In Pierre Schaefferjoined the stage director JacquesCopeau and his pupils in the foundation of the Studio d'Essai de la Radiodiffusion Nationale, which becamea centre of the Resistancemovement in French radio, being responsible,in August , for the first broadcastsin liberated Paris.

In October the sameyear, Schaefferwas disn-dssedfrom the direction of the Radio; the Studio d'Essai was renamedas Club d'Essai and placed under JeanTardieu's direction. Schaeffer started researchinto noises in the Club d'Essai in Researchinto noises becamepublicly known as concrete music in and, two years later, the work of Schaeffer, the composer Pierre Henry and the sound engineer Jacques Poullin won official recognition: the Groupe de Recherchesde Musique Concr6te, Club d'Essai de la Radiodiffusion-Tdldvision Franqaisewas born.

This chapter proposes to outline Pierre Schaeffer's work, that is, the period comprised between the beginning of his researchinto noises and the writing of 'Vers une C. Schaeffer'sresearchinto noisescommencedas an experiment with the sound-effectsware- house: I cannot overemphasizethis deal you make with your conscience,which leads you to grab three dozens of objects in order to make noise, with no dramatic justification at all, with no preconceivedidea at all, with no hope at all.

Schaeffer :L95o,p. The Etude aux cheminsdefer Imposee posedthe problem of musically organizing sounds produced by six locomotives at the Batignolles station. Schaeffer recorded the stokers' improvisation. Rhythmic Ieitmotivs were then isolated, and montage attempts led to both dramatic and musical sequences. Dramatic sequences,referring the listener back to events departure, stopping, etc. Dramatic sequenceswere not eliminated, but the discerning listener was expected to prefer the musical ones.

Thus, a musical architecture emerged. The railway themeis treatedfreely in a first part which givesrise to variousrhythmic developments. This part is not unlike a themeandits variations;thencomesa second part which intentionallymovesawayfrom the anecdotalcharacterof the noises,even thoughit hasbeenmanufacturedwith the sameelements.

Finally, a codarecallsthe initial theme. Baylei 99o,p. To repeat it. Repeat the same sonic fragment: there is not an event any more, there is music. Schaeffer A, p. Schaeffer A p. These manipulations tended to make the original source of the sounds unidentifiable, but they could affect the idea of the referent: the engine, recorded at 78 RPM and played at 33 could became 'casting in furnace' Schaeffer A, 23 ; a smelting p.

The raw material was provided by an orchestra tuning up. Difficulties with montage led Schaeffer to call on a soloist 'enjoying all the instrumental ease of ordinary music' Schaeffer A, p. He observed that, although the sonic matter of pianistic and orchestral parts was essentially similar, manipulations created shapeswhich were radically different from those of tradi- tional sounds.

This dtude, which later became the Diapason concertino, comprised four movements. In the bude aux tourniquets Deconcertante' Schaefferreverted to a recording produced at the early stagesof researchinto noises, when Gaston Litaize was asked to prepare a score for African xylophone, four bells, three zanzasand two whirligigs. The recording of Litaize's piece was treated in the samemanner as the orchestral recording in the previous dtude: fragments were extracted, transformed, and put together again.

Schaeffer tried to distancehimself from the original performance, which was consideredtoo elementary. The musical ideas of the original score almost entirely disappeared,for the cuts engen- dered new structureswhich had no relation with the former compositional intention. If initial elements could be recognized in these new structures,it was rather like fossils, whosechemical composition alone interests us.

Thus, the proliferation of shapesannuls the shape,which becomesmatter again. This is the biggest difficulty. Or else, it is necessaryto imagine an enormous machine, of the cybernetic type, capable to perform millions of combinations, but we have not yet got there. So long as I have only two or three record players to realize approximative chains, I shall remain trapped in a discontinuous style where everything seems to have been hacked out.

Is there a compromise? I instinctivelyturn to the piano. The previousmanipulationshaveactuallytaughtme that a piano advantageously tools. Thus, to each keyboard note correspondsa more or less musical noise, whose mixture can be precisely regulated. In this case,the keyboard is no longer a modulating tool. However, it is not by playing the 'prepared piano' that one gets concrete music; the characteristicsof instrumental performanceremain and safeguardtraditional forms: the performance is always relatively measuredand melodic.

When amplified by acoustic means,the piano can neverthelessbecomea super-drum. Thus, using the piano as both a percussioninstrument and a source of concrete sound, one attains a technique which certainly does not solve the aforementioneddifficulties, but gets round them to a certain extent. If I ask Pierre Boulez to record a series of chords in different styles classic, roman- tic, impressionist, atonal on a given theme, by manipulating this 'sound paste' I can construct ensembleswhich will keep a certain similarity with the initial sound4without being as clearly recognizableas the whirligigs.

At least, theseserieswill have the merit of providing a continuous element, and even a melodic unfolding, while the concrete concertantefragments maintain their discontinuous character. The merit of these first piano drudesis to have avoided resorting to the 'prepared piano'. Schaeffer A, pp. Over five hundred -0tude records had been gathered together, providing Schaeffer with abundant raw material.

A trip to Washingtonwas going to interrupt work. On the eve of his departure,he produceda 4virtuosity exerciseon four faders and eight ignition keys' Schaeffer A, p. The interest arisen from the Concert de bruits led to the publication of the article 'Intro- duction A Ia musique concrOe' Schaeffer o , where Schaefferfelt reassuredenough to replace the phrase 'research into noises' by the more ambitious 'concrete music'.

He had nevertheless been using this term in his journals since 15 April cf, Schaeffer o, p. More than the simple use of sampled sounds as musical material, concrete music repre- sentedan inversion in relation to the traditional musical ddmarche. In concrete music, the effects createdby different mannersof exciting sound- producing bodies, and by electro-acoustic manipulations of recordings of these sounds, could not be conceived eipriori; besides,traditional notation, accounting essentially for pitch, was inadequate;the performer was unnecessary.

The new or 'concrete composer could do no better than manufacture his material, experiment with it, and finally put it together. For Schaeffer, the two d6marcheswere not incompatible: 'Were Ia composer, then I should have liked, based on the dtude Noire or Pathetique, to create an original work, of which the concrete dtude would have been the sonic blueprint and the inspir- ing atmosphere' Schaeffer A, p.

How the concrete composer could profit from the abstract d6marche was not so clear to him. In his next work, the Suite n'14 Suite pour quatorze instruments , startedin August , the following working hypothesiswas assumed: if even fragments of noises could lend themselvesto musical construction by meansof electro-acousticmanipulations, a less and material should produce better results. Jean-Mchel Damasse helped Schaeffer in the orchestration of a score for fourteen in- struments.

To some extent, the score was shapedby the manipulations envisaged. Once recorded, the suite was 'decomposed,shortened,magnified, dissected,inverted, exploded, pulverized' Schaeffer A, p. Its montage proved problematic though.

The suite had the following movements: prologue, courante,rigaudon, gavotte and sphoradie. Each of thesepieces was an experiment with a particular technical procedure; these procedures were used in such a manner that the relation between original score and final result was made increasingly in remote each successivemovement. In the prologue, no more than reverberations,echo, doublings, and rhythmic counterpoint were added. Ile sphoradie in turn was meant as 'an essay of expression properly speaking' Schaeffer A, p.

The aim of the suite was to demonstrate the existence of a new music. However, what emerged were the contradictions of con- crete music. Schaeffer concluded that, despite having discovered powerful techniques, concretemusic lacked a theoretical grounding: a method was necessary,as well as criteria to classify the infinity of sound material available. In the courante, Schaeffersystematically used the looping-groove technique, an effect sim- ilar to that of a scratchedrecord.

Soundsthus isolated appearedto him as words in the state of liberty they enjoyed in a dictionary: separatedfrom their contexts decontextualized , they were heard in themselves. More than a compositional technique, the looping-groove was a means of aural analysis, and the source of a particular kind of listening, upon which Schaeffer would enlarge later see Schaeffer , pp. II herein. He noted: the precondition to concrete music is that the samples be isolated not only from dramatic or anecdotal context, but from their original musical context too.

Paradoxically, the works that followed were undeniably dramatic. Symphonie pour un hommeseul ,createdin collaborationwith PierreHenry,was a reactionto the Suiten'14, in so far as the raw materialincludednoises. The dramatic element,that is, the referentialcharacterof thesenoises,played an essentialrole in the Symphonie. However,two listeningswereenvisaged:one dramatic,the otherabstract.

When Schaeffer began his next major work, Orphee , also with Pierre Henry, the repertoire of recorded sounds had been extended by the latter to the point of becoming almost unmanageable. It was clear that, in concretemusic, two complementaryscoreswere feasible: an effect score, accounting for aural results, and an operative score, accounting for the electro-acoustic manipulations to which these effects owed their existence. The starting point of Orphee was a cinematographic idea: 'the tearing of Orpheus' veil, an excessively slow tearing, whence a noise arises which constitutes the main component of one of the sequences' Schaeffer, A, p.

Schaeffer expected to follow rigorously a he plan would prepare for this piece the scenario for the Symphonie had undergonevarious writings , but he also hoped for godsends in the studio. A score was problematic though: 'How to imagine i priori the thousandunpredictabletransformationsof the concretesound, how to choosefrom among a hundred of samples,if neither a classification nor a notation has yet been definedT Schaeffer A, p.

Prior to notation, the problem posed by Orphee was: how to structure sampled sounds? A music conceived in terms of such pseudo-instrumentswould admit of an effect score. From this period are also Schaeffer's first commentson the relation betweenmusic, linguistics and Gestalt psychology cf. Moreover,Orpheerepresented a tentativeanswerto anotherproblemposedby concrete music: the absenceof the visual elementwhich characterized the traditionalconcem 'In fact, concretemusicapart,everythinghappenedas at the Opdra' SchaefferA, p.

Olivier Messiaen,Henri Michaux. His ideas were likewise warmly welcomed by German technicians. Schaeffer neverthelesssensedthat concrete music would end up being assimilated into elektronischeMusik. In A la recherche d'une musique concrite Schaeffer A , the year is characterized by a reflection upon the experiences of concrete music. The label 'concrete music' started being questioned by Schaeffer: concrete pieces seemed to have the value of experiments, rather than that of accomplished msthetic products.

The phrases 'concrete experience in music' and 'experimental method' came to the fore. Schaeffer tried to define points of contact and discrepancies between his d6marche and Sch6nberg's dodecaphony. For Schaeffer, Sch6nberg was an experimental composer in so far as his serialism had none of 'the lesser Mr Leibowitz' Schaeffer A the dogmatism which characterized students of , p.

He put Sch6nberg's approach into the following terms: 'If I impose myself such a rule, what will result from it? An experiment would follow' Schaeffer A, p. Schaeffer saw experimentation and expression as somehow opposed: the former implied the recognition of the fact that the creator could no longer be sure of how his work would be perceived by the listener, of whether or not his message would be understood.

This sectionwill considerthe first stagein the transitionfrom concretemusic to musical research:that stepwhereby the Groupe de Recherches de Musique Concr6terallied con- cretemusic, electronicmusic, tape music and world music, which Schaeffer termedexotic music, under the bannerof experimentalmusic. In the Radiodiffusion-Uldvision Frangaisehad offered the Groupe de Recherchesde Musique Concl-ke, which at the time consisted of Pierre Schaeffer, JacquesPoullin, and Pierre Henry, the first purpose-built electro-acoustic studio ever.

The studio attracted diverse and important composers: between and , Karlheinz Stockhausen,Pierre Boulez and Olivier Messiaencreatedconcrete pieces there. A serial tendency started developing within the Groupe. In the Groupe de Recherchesde Musique Concrbte de la Radiodiffusion-Tdldvision Franqaise,presided over by Schaeffer,organized the First International Decade of Experi- mental Music, which may have been an attempt to reverse the situation created in Darm- stadt, where concrete music had been assimilated into elektronischeMusik.

Versune musique expirimentale, a special issue of La revue musicale edited by Pierre Schaefferand entirely devoted to the event was announced. The final proof, revised and approved by the authors and Albert Richard, editor of the periodical, was ready on 10 July Albert Richard nevertheless decidedto postponeits publication. Four years later, this issue was finally printed, with the addition of Albert Richard's explanationsand excuses Richard , and an introduction by Schaeffer,his 'Lettre A Albert Richard' Schaeffer B.

In what follows, the focus will be on some of the texts, with particular referenceto Pierre Schaeffer's 'Vers une Schaeffer C. Rather than trying to answer the latter question, this section will present concrete music as it appearsin the light of extracts from the early texts of Versune musique experimentale. Thus, it is primarily the state of concrete music in that is under consideration here.

In the article 'Tendancesde la musique concr6te' Golda , which supposedlyrepro- duces a talk given at the Decade,Antoine Golda identifies four tendencieswithin concrete music. There is what he terms 'directly expressive' concrete music, whose characteristics formal 3 concernsand the relative primitiveness of material.

Most are the absenceof strictly of the examples of this tendency are found among the early works. Golda calls the second tendency the 'abstract' one; it finds its exponents in those composersto whom concrete music provided an unexpected field for the perfecting of researcheswhich were essen- tially serial. Under the abstract label, Golda puts together Pierre Boulez, Olivier Messiaen and-though he hesitates here-Pieffe Henry as creatorsof serial concrete pieces. Since the abstract tendency groups together all those Gol6a calls 'traditional and very advancedcomposers' who found in concrete music a meansof furthering their wsthetic advance,one might ex- pect to find there as many personal mstheticsas composers.

The third tendency identified by Golda is the 'musical' one. The musical tendency of concrete music reinstates the traditional instrument as its main source. Thus, 'with secret and guilty voluptuousness, concrete music turns round towards music tout court' Golda , p. Finally, Golda illustrates with a list of pieces the fourth tendency; the 'exemplary' one. The common trait of the exemplary pieces of concrete music is: 'to expressa complete world through a means of expression itself complete' Gol6a , p.

Pieffe Boulez: -Otudeti un son. Olivier Messiaen: 7"Imbres-Durees. Nfichel Philippot: ttude I simultaneously the classic of 'abstract' concrete music, and a work of transition to 'musical' concrete music. This analysis establishesprecariousconnectionsbetweenmaterial, tools, techniques,meth- od and results, hencethe untenablenatureof its formulation, as if.

Furthermore, Golda's article presents serial- ism and abstraction in far too amicable a relationship with experimentalism, let alone 4 concrete music. Schaeffer's relation to serialism might be summarized in the following proposition: in principle, but not in practice, I object to the application of serialism to traditional material; in princip1c. He gives two reasonsfor not accepting serialism as applied to or- chestral sounds: firstly, it appearsas a merely destructive gesture aiming at neutralizing tonal relationships, which would be inherent to instrumental construction and technique; secondly, it imposes on the performer an unnatural gymnastic.

Schaeffer makes the first point in 'Vers une musique experimentale': 'In so far as atonalism for instance presented only a destructive face, pretending to organize the twelve tones in ignorance of their degree quality, and considering them solely as terms of an algebraic permutation, one could be shocked by so premature a denial of a tradition I which shall call-no pun intended- dominant' Schaeffer C, p.

The following quotation will make the secondpoint, also demonstrating Schaeffer's preparednessto accept the practical results of serialism as applied to traditional material. An experience I recently had with the work of the young German composer Stockhausenwill prove it.

I have had the opportunity of hearing this piece under the masterly baton of Hermann Scherchen in the excellent studio of the Nordwest Deutsche Rundfunk in Cologne. Well, in the course of the Decade inaugural conference I reheard over loud-speakers Stockhausen'swork, which was recorded on tape. Often in concretemusic I regret the spectacularelement of the concert, and its absencewas the blessing that allowed me to hear, accumulatedby the loud-speaker,which played the centripetal part, the different instrumental notes then welded' together and forming extremely brilliant and delicate sonic objects.

This phenomenon was full of consequences: Stockhausen'sabstract music was meeting the concrete experience;it was more acceptablewhen acoustically blended and heard by an ear accustomed,for some years, to consider sonic objects as such; it became far more justifiable and more intelligible; in other words, the same work presentedtwo faces: one destructive, denying a past I believe everlasting that is, the reality of the scale.

Schaeffer C pp. It has beensaid that, in principle, Schaef- fer would admit serialism into the domain of concretemusic, but not in practice. Whilst the day beforeit seemeda desperategestureleadingonly to an impasse,now it emergesas spadework,a gesturethat wasperhapsindispensable for the introduction of new sonicobjects,precisely,to be accepted. Golda , p.

Whether or not concretemusic and serialism are compatible is an altogether different matter. To answerthis question, one would first have to investigate what concrete music is, and whether it has ever constituted a coherent aesthetic,apart from the adoption of a particular kind of material. Then, it might be useful to establish a distinction between serial techniques,serial method and serial aesthetic,before defining at what levels serialism and concrete music oppose one another. By serial techniques I understand procedures which can be identified in the music of Bach, Beethoven and Schaeffer for instance.

By serial method I mean the systematic application of such procedures, defined from the starting point of Sch6nberg's dodecaphony. Serial aestheticswould be the personal uses diverse composersmake of the serial method to express themselves. From the notion of serial aestheticsone may derive an abstraction, the serial aesthetic,encompassingall those personal aesthetics based on the use of a serial method.

The serial method and aesthetic are unceremoniously dismissed by Schaeffer. The word d6bris, to my mind, does not at all apply to traditional music, but precisely to the destruction wrought there little by little, of which atonalism certainly represents the gravest stage. In so far as the atonal d6marcheexhibits a simultaneously desperate and desperating rigour, an absolute denial of the customary musical universe, it has become indispensableto set sights elsewhere.

Or else, in this dungeon, death would be ineluctable. In reality, the prisonhadno bars. Why twelve noteswhenelectronicmusichasintro- ducedso many more? Why seriesof noteswhena seriesof sonicobjectsis so much more interesting? Why the anachronisticuse of an orchestrawhoseinstrumentsare handledwith suchobviousand-naturalityby Webernandhis imitators? And aboveall, why limit the horizonof our researchto the means,usagesand conceptsof a music after all linked to a geographyand a history;certainlyan admirablemusicbut still no morethan the Occidentalmusicof the last few centuries?

This does not point to the affinity between concrete music and serial method. Chance and determinism, whose uncertain implications we begrudgingly suffer, en- gender curious encounters. It happensthat concrete music has seen two diametrically opposedcategoriesof spirit musteraroundit.

No soonerhad I understoodthe necessityfor musical experimentation,no soonerhad I been astoundedby the profusion of sonic entities that might pass out of our hands, no sooner had I requestedthe assistanceof those who could help me in this discovery, in this sifting, in this curiosity turned above all to the object, and in this method whereof the empiricism I championedand the allegiance to the finding I treasured,than a party of musicians whose favourite instrument was the slide rule, and whose musical ideas were rigorously opposed to mine, came running.

Of this sometimesstem ordeal, only the meaning is understandable. For two years, in a companionship that had nothing distinctly fraternal about it, the abstractsgot down to the concrete, and vice versa, with a sort of ferocious partisanship, and with mistrust in their emulation.

Maybe all this is just starting to make us smile now and, as in any companionship, fraternity is at last appearing, but seldom have such opposing proceduresrubbed shoulders. From among the thousandsoundsin our cupboards,Pierre Boulez and his friends would choose the most unyielding ones, carve out their full mass,and show no consideration for anything other than the series they had calculated in advance. Messiaen,whom we had invited to a feast of soundsin which everything- so we thought - should flatter his gluttony, did not even open our cupboards,but clapped his hands and whispered: 'Something like that, as little sound as possible.

Grunewald's, who apparently had inherited so little of his master's taste for incarnate music as to ask, with a hint of covetous desire in his eyes, whether we deemedit possible to createa music totally devoid of evolution in tessitura. Schaeffer C, pp. I must say that without the presenceof Pieffe Henry. So essential that it could have been stillborn, and no sooner discovered than, so to speak,already lost.

Instead of being the starting point of a more general musical procedure, of which I am now almost sure, concrete music would have been no more than the altogether bald, and doubtless ephemeralcontinuation of either surrealism or atonal music. Having closed in a few years, after an initial craving for composition, the cycle of his personalimpressionism, of his romanticism, of his constructivism, and of his particular atonihilism, Pierre Henry finally took the wisest course and excluding the background soundsfor radio productions or film tracks, which are absolutely indispensableto earn a living, and hencerespectable has stoppedcomposing for the time being, giving himself up to those two researchesthat any future composition demand: research into sonic objects, and research into instrumental manipulations.

Schaeffer C, P. From the twelve-tone series remains a constructivist disposition, which, applied to the new material perhaps prematurely, destroys its freshness. The blossoming of concrete soundsrisks being reaped too early when there is a parti-pris abstraction. The results are contradictory and disappointing. Schaeffer C,p. However, the fundamental opposition within the Groupe de Recherchesde Musique Concate is less between two mstheticsthan between two approachesto concrete material or, in Schaeffer's words, 'two diametrically opposedcategoriesof spirit'.

Rather than torn between two msthetics,in concrete music was torn between two approachesto the same material. For Schaeffer, in order to composewith concrete material or in order to compose concrete material , not only a new instrumental apprenticeshipis necessary:the apprenticeship of sonority itself imposes. The choice is therefore between using concrete material to create ceuvres, and doing research into sonority to discover musicality.

When the concrete composer-by which is meant the composer who opts for concrete mate- rial-uses his material, the msthetic results are doomed to be either atonal or surreal. If the result is atonal, the concretematerial will be inserting itself within an mstheticevolution where it does not belong: atonality defines itself in opposition to tonality, which in turn informs and is informed by the instruments of Western musical tradition. Thus, before using the material to produce music, the concrete composer must explore sonority to discover musicality.

Here though, concrete music ceasesto be concrete music: it has already become musical research. Concrete music neverthelessdid not become musical researchin , instead it placed itself under an umbrella of its own creation: experimental music. Schaefferhad needto seehis researchmaterializeinto works. SophieBrunet saysin her PierreSchaeffer Brunet,p. This observation is ratified by Pieffet , p.

One agrees to lend me the studio hoping that I shall eventually come up with some broadcastablematerial. The French radio is obliged to justify its allocations. So are producers. I have to admit that the researchermust hide himself carefully behind the producer. Schaeffer o, p.

The need to appeasewith works the public, the administration, Pierre Henry and himself is recalled in 'Vers une musique expdrimentale' apropos Bidule en ut. John Cage for his part had discovered the prepared piano. Although expressly owing him nothing at all, since the same discovery was made more or less simultaneously by ourselves with our own means, we could only be grateful to him for establishing a link between the traditional musical language and a possible langue?

The preparedpiano, a polyvalent instrument that would do anything and sound like anything, had the essential means of expressionof the traditional language: the keyboard. From the new sonic universe it had the matter, that is, thousandsof new sounds which could be obtained from a suitably arranged sounding board.

In fact, the most celebrated of these pieces, the famous Bidule en ut, is hardly concrete music. Constructed by fugato combination of three monodies from the preparedpiano, which were put together on record, it is, adhering to a rigorous terminology, a mixture of prepared piano and Music for Tape. Although illustrating the work of 37 rue de l'Universitd, it is much closer to the American school than to what seemsto be emerging little by little from our Parisianresearches,and which I do not yet clareto call French school.

The passageabove demonstratesthat, in , he was prepared to put up with some contradictions within the concrete d6marche,so far as this could lead to the production of ceuvres. Such an attitude is markedly different from that which presided over the creation of the noise 6tudes. Contradictions were an essentialpart of these pieces. During the elaboration of the noise 6tudes,they would come to the fore demandingappropriatesolutions.

For Schaefferin , the application of serial method to concrete material was doubtlesscontradictory. However, the works of 'Boulez and his friends' were proving that this material could lend itself to abstraction,thus transcendingthe anecdotal characterof the surreal pieces. As they went along though, both tendencies,albeit so oppositeat the start, finally twined themselvesinto a garland.

In addition to the necessaryemulation, it was perhapsuseful to put the straitjacketon thesenew materials for one year or two. Boulez has created his first dtude. Messiaen,who unfortunatelystayedsomewhataway from the producer. At the same time, the abstractsthemselvesrecognized the thanklesscharacterof the materials they had chosen, recommending researchinto the sonic matter and.

So was born, early in ,an dtudeby Mchel Philippot, which, asan 6tude,pleasedeverybody. The serial constructionthere was applied to valid materials of which one respectedthe substance. Schaefferic, pp. A kind of symbiosis in which the concreteswould investigate sonority while the abstractswould create ceuvres nfight have appearedas a possible compromise.

Nonetheless,the label experimentalmusic intendedto do more than bridge over the different approachesto concretematerial. Philippe Arthuys' 'Pour commencer The aim of this Decade was to bring together, under the banner of Experimental Music and on the initiative of the Groupe de Recherchesde Musique Concr6te, all researchesthat have been done in this direction.

It was not at all a Concrete Music festival with a large public, but a workshop of which something was expected to emerge. Arthuys , p. Schaeffer in turn was al- ready thinking of concretemusic as 'the starting point of a more generalmusical procedure' cf. The International Decadeof Experimental Music corresponded to the need of a radical reformulation within the concrete group. A few yearspassed. What had appearedto us as an inconsequentialexcursion proved to be a fertile exploration. What we had taken for an island was perhapsa continent where others might have landed on other shores.

We needed to go back to our fundamentals, compare our machines and machinations, recognize the team mates of a necessarily collective adventure and, to these ends, to travel, to correspondwith the five parts of the world, with those who know the musical past of this planet, and those who are imagining its future. Schaeffer c, p. Later, in Tettre A Albert Richard', Schaeffer will avow that his intention was 'to realize a synthesis of the different efforts aiming not only at a comparisonof but methods also at the establishment of complementary research programmes' Schaeffer B,p.

Genese des simulacres, this was rephrased as: 'to contribute towards a synthesis of different efforts, by prompting not only a comparison of methods, but alsothe establish- mentof complementary research programmes' Schaeffer B, p. Schaeffer's view of international developments in electro-acoustic andelectronic music is uncomplimentary though.

Schaeffer C. The Americans, dynamic and naive, put their pianos out of gear and apply to composition somewhat rashly the law of probabilities. Schaeffer :LC,p. According to a French historian though, there exists a fundamental difference betweenthe French and the English sensesof humour: while Englishmen make fun of someoneelse by laughing at themselves,Frenchmenlaugh at someoneelse to make fun of themselves. It is sometimes touching, and often comical, to see the same successes and failures reward attempts made with diverse means in Paris, New York or Cologne by people who, at least thus far, have not met and are unlikely to have copied each other, to have employed the same procedures, followed the same d6marches, or made the same remarks.

It is quite interesting anyway that they have undertaken the same tentative efforts, that they have come up against the same deadlocks and4 little by little, are publicizing only their contributions and their perhaps divergent methods.

Schaeffer tried to project this compromiseonto the arenaof international avant-garde. Thus, concretemusic,electronicmusic,tapemusicand world music were rallied under the banner of experimental music by the concretegroup. Such instruments,only just good enough to imitate but to what end?

The useof preparedor exotic instruments,which now join the classicalmeansfor obtainingsoundsconsideredmusical,is of no relevance. Apart from the fact that such sounds,of questionable purity, disturbthehabitsof our ear,we arequitedeterminednot to composeandnot to hearanymusicotherthanthat manufactured with theOccidental lutherie,which crystallizedone centuryago, sayat the time of Bach.

The meansof acceleration,deceleration,superimposition,montage and retrogression which recording techniques afford are totally irrelevant, as are artificial filterings or reverberations: they are engineer's tricks, only just good enough for the sound track of animated cartoons. No more relevant is the creation of complex sonic objects obtained from sounds or noises musical or otherwise through the combination of all the aforementioned techniques,which have been systematicallypractised under the name of concretemusic and perfected by means of special machines such as the phonogbne chromatic or continuous , the morphophone,the multi-track tape recorder, etc As to taking into accountthe tridimensionalsonic spacewhere,knowingly or not, one projectsany music Oive or recorded ,this is a minor phenomenonto which one shouldnot attachmuch importance,be sucha phenomenonstatic-Le.

To thesecommentson the meansof producing sounds,combining them and presenting them to auditors, other negative propositions would have to be added in the interest of comprehensiveness. Music, which is all containedin the symbolsof sol2ge, mustnot takeany account of thosesonoritiesthaLbeingtoo complexandtoo new,eludesucha systemof notation and,for this reason,can be neitheradequatelylaid out on a scorethat is accessible to traditionallytrainedmusiciansnor officially registeredin the SACEM.

The composeris ableto imagineall possiblesoundsanddesirablecombinations withoutresortto soundexperimentation. Likewise,he takestheir psycho-physiological effectsfor granted,outsideany sensorialexperience. In particular,it is througha puretheoreticalprocedure,ratherthanthroughthe tenta- tive effortsof experience,that he demandsnew shapesfrom the new instruments.

The modemcomposer,writing lessandless'for the instrument',is supportedby electronics in his absoluterefusalto continueworryingaboutmeansfor performance:theseneither help nor constrainhim any longer. Finally, the musicalwork existsin itself, as unlistened-to,and the auditormustbe considered ashavingno sharein thegenesisof thework or at leastin its raisonXitre.

He is no more than a witnesswhosesole limitation is his capacityfor adherenceor refusal. I shall not insist on the last four points, which would risk to deepenthe misunderstanding of a contingent controversy, although they have been sometimesinvolved in the talks and discussions of the First International Decade of Experimental Music, organized by the Groupe de Recherchesde Musique Concrite de la Radiodiffusion-Tilivision Frangaise.

The primary objective of this decade was to highlight the notion of an experimental music, gathering as much information as possible on the subject, and bringing together in Paris those few personalities who have committed themselvesto the diverse approacheswhich could be grouped under this name. The only important thing now, precisely, is to weigh up the various researches,taking the opposite course to an msthetic debate, which is certainly necessarybut untimely: first of all, to record the existence of a music in process of experimentation, acknowledging its tendencies and comparing results.

In short, let us begin by applying to researchersthemselvesthe experimental procedure. In 'Musique dlectronique', Eimert expoundsthe option for a particular kind of material which is inherent to electronic music. Like Schaeffer,he dismissesthe use of new machines to imitate traditional instruments, also observing that 'the virtuosic use of special electronic instruments by any modem symphonic orchestra remains within the framework of the usual manner of playing' Eimert , p.

What is plainly statedby Eimert, is expressedby Schaeffer with all resourcesof the rhetorical arsenal; Schaeffer's commitment to the msthetic implications of new material displays a radicalnessunknown to Eimert: How to explain then the state of underdevelopmentin which these instruments have remained for almost twenty years?

Bode's melochord, which today equips certain German studios, and the new models of the Martenot or of the ondioline, simply present in a more convenient manner possibilities formerly glimpsed at. In too convenient a manner, doubtless. These instruments for virtuosi of not only melody but also Klangfarbenmelodie,of ultra-high and infra-low pitches, of the quintuple forte and the sextuple pianissimo, at the start only increase the composer's embarrassment. Instead of destroying note, the last stronghold of traditional music, they put in some more: timbre notes, intensity notes,register notes.

To which the prix de Rome replied4as if in the face of the flood: 'What a lot of notes! Electronic and concrete music share the same aspiration towards musical abstraction. In the words of Eimert: 'It is meaningless to speak of electronic music unless the central processes involved are musical processes, that is, unless all essential decisions concerning form and sound are taken from musical points of view' Eimert , p.

Schaeffer would have no qualms stating the same about concrete music. Even the credo of Schaeffer's is subscribed to by Eimert. Tbus, both Schaeffer's 'Vers une musique expAdrimentale' and Eimert's 'Musique dlectronique' display as an epigraph the same quotation from Van Gogh: 'I believe one thinks much more sanely when ideas arise from the direct contact with things, than when one starts to look at things with the aim of finding there one idea or another' Schaeffer C, p.

However, the incompatibility between concrete and electronic music is implicit in the following paragraphs of Eimert's. The fact that this system allows the creation of new musical material that cannot be obtained with classical instruments constitutes a true criterion of electronic music. From an historical point of view, it is not by chance that means of construction today have been pushed to the limits of the possibilities of realization, and that, precisely at this moment, the new electronic means become available.

Thus, there are doubtless real points of contact, particular connections between traditional and electronic musics. Those complicated rhythmic values that can no longer be played by instrumentalists, may be easily representedas length values, that is, in centimetre length. This notwithstanding, it is equally important to learn how to identify and grasp the immanent laws of matter that govern electronic sounds.

We are still quite far from having a detailed knowledge of theselaws -let me say, by analogy: the tonality laws of electronic music. In such a situation, all one can do is open wide the door onto this new sonic world and, while shaping that world, to operate by analogy with the processesof musical production. Eimert , p. Furthermore, he recognizesthe need for this research, stating that 'there is a kind of tonality of electronic music; we do not know its details yet, but it will probably be a tonality of timbres' Eimert , p.

For Eimert though, the introduction of new material does not imply a break with Western musical evolution. In his view, the so called 'tonality laws of electronic music' will emerge, on the one hand, from the analysis of soundsby subtractive and additive syntheses,and, on the other, from the creation of pieces within the framework of Westernmusical tradition.

If one examines the kind of concerns Pierre Boulez expressesin the article 'Tendances de la musique r6cente' Boulez , the frailness of his connection with concretemusic becomesevident. Boulez considersthe 'musical language' to be in a period of assessment and organization, after destructive researchesthat abolishedthe tonal world and the regular metric: on the one hand, complex rhythmic structures combined with very elementary centres of tonal attraction were developed by Stravinsky; the secondViennese school, on the other hand, worked towards the dissolution of tonal attractions thus discovering the series, which was differently explored by Schonberg, Berg and Webern.

Boulez stresses the idea that Webern alone was aware of the series as 'a way of giving a structure to the sonic space,of threading it somehow' Boulez , p. He explains: 'Whilst melody remained the fundamental element even in the bosom of polyphony, in the serial system as conceived by Webern it is the polyphonic element itself that becomesthe basic element; hencethis mode of thinking transcendsthe notions of verticality and horizontality' Boulez , p.

All he the same, adds, rhythm remained unconnectedto the serial language,9 even in Webem. Boulez then focuses on the music of Vartse, emphasizing two points: in Var6se, 'the function of the chords is no longer traditionally harmonic, but rather appearsas a value of a sonic bodyIO calculated in terms of natural harmonics, lower resonancesand the diverse tensions necessaryto the vitality of this sonic body' Boulez , p.

These two points are summed up by Boulez in what he considers to be VarUe's main preoccupation: acoustics proper. In Boulez's words: 'Considering the acoustic phenomenon as primordial in sonic relations, Vartse applied himself to verifying how it could govern musical construction' Boulez , p.

Vattse's refusal of temperament is also noted by Boulez, as well as his proposal of 'non-octaving scales, repeating themselves according to a spiral principle, or, to be clearer, a principle whereby the transposition of sound scales is no longer organized in accord with the octave, but rather in accord with different intervallic functions' Boulez , p. For Boulez, Cage represents the need to extricate oneself from the lin-dtations of the traditional lutherie, rendered obsolete by the eclipse of the tonal system; hence Cage's interest, sharedby Var6se,in percussion.

Send comments to: isast leonardo. About Us. Whats New. Figure I. Pierre Schaeffer round The Familial Declivity. Slowing-downs of a Digression. An Ineluctable Thrust: Jeune-France. Transparency of a Radio. The Empirical Connection. The Engineer's Inventions. A Poorly Perceived Filter. On the Subject of Precursors. From Mishearing to Misunderstanding.

And of a Man. From the Question to Fundamental Answers. The Influence of an Immersion. Into Systematic Essences. To the Future. In a Civilized Manner Though. A Discourse on Method? Classifications to Think About. Systema Naturae.

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