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Listening through the NoiseThe Aesthetics of Experimental Electronic Music$
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Joanna Demers

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195387650

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195387650.001.0001

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Listening to Signs in Post-Schaefferian Electroacoustic Music

Listening to Signs in Post-Schaefferian Electroacoustic Music

Chapter:
(p.21) 1 Listening to Signs in Post-Schaefferian Electroacoustic Music
Source:
Listening through the Noise
Author(s):

Joanna Demers

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195387650.003.0001

Chapter 1 begins with electroacoustic music inspired by Pierre Schaeffer and its efforts to control the listening process. Much electroacoustic music employs sounds that are not conventionally musical. Some such sounds are abstract and nonreferential, while others are representational and seemingly taken directly from the outside world. Post-Schaefferians are conflicted in their expectations for how listeners should hear such works. Some attempt to dictate to listeners how they should hear, while others insist that composers are responsible for adapting their work to listeners. In all cases, post-Schaefferians treat sound as a sign, a relationship between sound and a concept external to it. The chapter concludes by considering post-Schaefferian anxieties over abandoning the conventions of music.

Keywords:   abstract, electroacoustic music, musical conventions, Pierre Schaeffer, post-Schaefferian, representational, sign

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