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English definition

When in 1948 Pierre Schaeffer gave the name Concrète to the music which he invented, he wanted to demonstrate that this new music started from the concrete sound material, from heard sound, and then sought to abstract musical values from it. This is the opposite of classical music, which starts from an abstract conception and notation leading to a concrete performance. Schaeffer wanted to react against the "excess of abstraction" of the period but he did not shy away from "reconquering" this musical abstract. A reconquering which for him had necessarily to go through a return to the concrete. (Source - Michel Chion (1983). Guide des Objets Sonores. Eds. Buchet/Chastel, Paris. 1995 translation by John Dack/Christine North.)

Sunday 9 January 2005, by Rob Weale