Musique Concrète

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Related to musique concrete: John Cage
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The choice of such a quotidian object from which to extract an album's worth of content is, to some extent, Matmos's most direct nod to Pierre Henry's Variations for a Door and a Sigh (1963), a seminal musique concrete work drawn solely from recordings of a creaky door, human breath, and a musical saw (which, Daniel avowed in 2012, Matmos's work "ripped off").
"I love electronic music and some of the weird, esoteric [stuff like] avant-garde, ambient, and musique concrete, but sometimes you want to hear instruments being played.
All right, it's more surreal-objects-and-spaces as musique concrete. You'll need a broadband connection --even so I never did get the 'collect' box to glow red.
Set to outdated musique concrete by Pierre Henry, this duet for (literally) a creaking Door, played by Helene Alexopoulos, in a voluminous, stage-embracing black skirt and Louise Brooks-style bangs, and (literally) a wheezing Sigh, played like a wilting ghost by Tom Gold, is not one of Balanchine's classics.
His raw mix of blues, folk and musique concrete have gained him a reputation as one of the greatest guitar innovators that's ever lived.
The origins of concrete poetry are roughly contemporary with those of musique concrete, an experimental technique of musical composition.
The Berlin-based Argentinian artist Mario Verandi presents a splendid musique concrete piece in which he treats "waste" sounds which, especially in the environment of computing technology, originate as products of Failure.
Editing by Daniel Rezende ("God") is restless but not exhaustingly so, and music by Antonio Pinto (also from "God") an effective mixture of musique concrete and the more conventional.
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.