Pierre Schaeffer

Born 14 August 1910. Died 19 August 1995.
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Pierre Schaeffer

Tom speaks to composer Simon Emmerson & music journalist Rob Young about Pierre Schaeffer.

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Biography

Pierre Henri Marie Schaeffer (,; 14 August 1910 – 19 August 1995) was a French composer, writer, broadcaster, engineer, musicologist and acoustician. His innovative work in both the sciences—particularly communications and acoustics—and the various arts of music, literature and radio presentation after the end of World War II, as well as his anti-nuclear activism and cultural criticism garnered him widespread recognition in his lifetime.

Amongst the vast range of works and projects he undertook, Schaeffer is most widely and currently recognized for his accomplishments in electronic and experimental music, at the core of which stands his role as the chief developer of a unique and early form of avant-garde music known as musique concrète. The genre emerged in Europe from the utilization of new music technology developed in the post-Nazi Germany era, following the advance of electroacoustic and acousmatic music.

Schaeffer's writings (which include written and radio-narrated essays, biographies, short novels, a number of musical treatises and several plays) are often oriented towards his development of the genre, as well as the theoretics and philosophy of music in general.

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  • Founded INA-GRM