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Schaeffer, Pierre

Traité des objets musicaux

1977

Paris: Le Seuil.

In this very complete essay, Pierre Schaeffer develops the main part of his new musical theory of the sound object. It is based on two principal ideas, making and listening, and explores the first two levels of this theory: typo-morphology and classification of sounds. He uses various disciplines such as acoustics, semiotics and cognitive science to demonstrate his explanation of sound and, in particular, the musical object within musique concrète.

Michel Chion’s Guide des objets sonores is a very useful introduction to this voluminous work.

The CD collection, Solfège de l’objet sonore provides numerous recorded examples supporting this work.

Table of Contents:

  1. Making music
  2. Listening
  3. Correlations between the physical signal and the musical object
  4. Objects and structures
  5. Morphology and typology of sound objects
  6. The solfège of the musical object
  7. Music as a subject discipline

Friday 11 February 2005, by Pierre Couprie

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