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Musique concrète

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Musique concrète

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Musique concrète (French; literally, "concrete music"), is the name given to a class of electronic music produced from editing together fragments of natural and industrial sounds. It is the opposite of traditional composing (known to some as Musique Abstraite, literally, Abstract Music) as the sounds are recorded first then built into a tune as opposed to a tune being written then given to players to turn into sound. Concrète was pioneered in the late 1940s and 1950s, spurred by developments in technology, most prominently microphones, and the commercial availability of the magnetic tape recorder, utilized as tape loops.

Pierre Schaeffer, a Paris radio broadcaster, created some of the earliest pieces of Musique Concrète, including "Étude aux chemins de fer" ("Study with Trains"), "Étude au piano I" ("Piano Study I") and "Étude aux casseroles" ("Study with Baking Pans"). Each of these pieces involved speeding up, looping, and reversing recordings of sound sources like trains, piano and rattling cookware. Schaeffer also collaborated with another Musique concrète pioneer, Pierre Henry. Together, they created pieces such as "Symphonie pour un homme seul" ("Symphony for a Man Alone").

Concrète was combined with other, synthesized forms of electronic music to create Edgar Varèse's "Poème électronique". "Poème" was played at the 1958 Brussels, Belgium World's Fair through 425 carefully-placed loudspeakers in a special pavilion designed by Iannis Xenakis.

The fictitious 'twelve-tone composeress' Dame Hilda Tablet, created by Henry Reed, spoke of her creation of 'Musique concrète renforcée'.

After the 1950s, Concrète was somewhat displaced by other forms of electronic composition, although its influence can be seen in popular music by many bands, including The Beatles, in their song Revolution 9, and Pink Floyd (notably the finale of the song "Bike"). Around 1967 and 1968 Frank Zappa made several musique concrete pieces with the help of the "Apostolic Vlorch Injector" at Apostolic Studios in New York City. The resulting sound, as heard on "The Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny" and "Dwarf Nebula Processional March & Dwarf Nebula," is a series of bizarre, swirling buzzes, beeps and whooshes.

Traditional and non-traditional Concrète experienced a revival in the 1980s and 1990s. Artists like Ray Buttigieg with his experimental series "Earth Noise" and "Sound Science Series" and John Oswald's Plunderphonics use found and intended sounds in old and cutting edge techniques, although modern sampling technology is now often used in place of magnetic tape.

Recently, the growing popularity in all forms of electronica has led to a re-birth of Musique concrète. Artists such as Christian Fennesz, Francisco Lopez, Ernesto Rodrigues and Scanner use many Concrète techniques in their music while often being classified under more common electronica genres such as IDM or downtempo. Music magazines such as The Wire regularly feature articles and reviews of musique concrète.

External links

See also

Electroacoustic music

Electronic art music
Musique concrète - Noise
Other electronic music genres
Ambient | Breakbeat | Drum and bass | Electronica | Electronic art music | Hard dance | Hardcore | House | Techno | Trance | Industrial | Synthpop

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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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