Musique Concrète

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Related to musique concrete: John Cage

Musique Concrète


works of music created with tape recordings of natural or artifically produced sounds, which, at the composer’s discretion, can be subjected to various acoustic modifications and then mixed.

Musique concrète relies primarily on the sound of various noises, but human voices and musical instruments may also be used. It was introduced by the French acoustical engineer P. Schaeffer, who created his first “concrete” compositions in 1948. A group of musicians opened a studio at Central Radio Broadcasting in France in the 1950’s to experiment with musique concrete; other such groups emerged in Italy, West Germany, and the USA.

Supporters claim that musique concrète “expands infinitely” the expressive means of musical art by introducing the entire world of sounds surrounding man into a composition. Actually works of musique concrete, which break with the system of pitch organization of sound, extremely impoverish the expressive possibilities of what artistic content they may have and are capable only of fulfilling a purely applied role (supplying noises for motion pictures and stage productions, for example). Musique concrète is a manifestation of the crisis in the musical culture of bourgeois society.


Shneerson, G. O muzyke zhivoi i mertvoi, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1964.
Shneerson, G. Frantsuzskaia muzyka XX veka, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1970.


References in periodicals archive ?
Their self-released home recordings and live albums (typically manually dubbed cassettes or hand-packaged vinyl) wed alcatoricism, extended technique, and musique concrete with the swagger and amateurism of garage rock.
The things that musique concrete has brought into compositional thinking and that are very much associated
John Cage will be revisited; Stockhausen revered; musique concrete, a form of electroacoustic music, revived; Dick Raaijmakers celebrated; Sun Ra, the controversial jazz giant, remembered.
It comes framed by two specially commissioned compositions by Helena Gough, whose musique concrete explorations appear to mimic the cut-up splendour of Coventry-born sonic innovator Delia Derbyshire - member of the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop and chiefly responsible for realising Ron Grainer's theme to the television series Doctor Who.
The music from two composers, Michel F Cote and Tim Hecker, is of the musique concrete style, electronic, sounding a little like a radio badly tuned coupled with drum rhythms.
And one of his last "sidelines," as he put it, was to exper iment with electronic music and musique concrete.
Pierre Henry's musique concrete composition, consisting entirely of amplified creaks and sighs, accompanies the Louise Brooks-style seductress as she stalks her prey in a cape that covers the entire stage, eventually engulfing the lone male who writhes worshipfully through much of the piece.
Highlighting the slippage between the evidentiary functions of the museological specimen and a sound track that strays eagerly into the terrain of Musique Concrete, Crystal Palace unfolds as a meditative series of medium-close and medium-wide shots that place us squarely in the midst of the jungle's gently swaying foliage.
Chapter length discussions are devoted to important epochs or trends: the Vienna Schoenberg circle; the "Cocteau-Satie era" and neoclassicism in France; Igor Stravinsky and the neoclassical style; total serialization in Europe; and musique concrete and electronic music.
8 The Creel Pone reissue label Pieter Christophssen and Keith Fullerton Whitman's cottage industry rereleases ultraobscure musique concrete and electronic oddities from the '60s in teensy handmade editions.
Noel Akchote/Roland Auzet/Luc Ferrari, Impro-Micro-Acoustique (Blue Chopsticks) Seventy-two-year-old musique concrete pioneer Ferrari makes his first foray into free improvisation alongside two stellar young French players.
I edited and overdubbed all these tapes of jam sessions we'd done, and ended up with something that is like musique concrete,' he says.