Schafer vs. Schaeffer

Noah Sniderman
RTA 907
Lori Beckstead
October 9th, 2016

Schafer vs. Schaeffer

In this blog post, I will compare the thinking of R. Murray Schafer and his theory of schizophonia, with that of Pierre Schaeffer and his “musique concrete. Although these two terms are quite similar and Schaeffer’s musique concrete  was around before Schafer coined the term schizophonia, mystique concrete is in some sorts a continuation of schizophonia.

Schizophonia is the seperation of a live individual sound into the recorded version of it. Which has the ability to be sent anywhere in the world. This was new not too long ago, and meant that every sound isn’t its own indidicual entity. Now, a sound can be reproduced from a recording anywhere at anytime!

Musique concrete is the use of recorded sounds mixed together to form music and a piece of music through these individual and recognizable sound.

It could be argued that both of these concepts lend themselves to turning everyday sounds into music, but what is different about each one more specifically and which one really excentiautes the sound of music or feels like music to us. Is every sound music in a sense? Do these sounds need to be mixed to be considered music? I think that music is the sound of a baby taking its first breathe or my girlfriend dipping her toes into the water. Schafer would argue that this is music but Schaeffer would remix this into a song. The world is my stage and I am a musical wizard creating music with my toes, my fingers, my nails and my mouth!


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