Musique Concrete

Topics: Electronic music, Pierre Schaeffer, Iannis Xenakis Pages: 4 (1492 words) Published: July 5, 2008
Musique Concrete

Music has existed since the beginning of time, evolving and changing with the times and culture. From monks chanting to the Beatles in the 1960’s, there is a long line of the evolution of music. The existence of musique concrete was another step in the world’s music history. But before going any further perhaps the definition of musique concrete should be specified. “ Musique concrete is the name given to a class of electronic music produced from editing together fragments of natural and industrial sound.” (Wikipedia) It is also, basically, one of the first pioneered, derivative styles of electronic music. Musique concrete could not have been made without a long line of predecessors and roots but also could not be what it is considered today without the plethora of artists that progressed and evolved this distinct style. The creation of musique concrete was also not just the invention of a new genre but also a whole new way of looking at and treating music, sound, and technology.

The foundation of musique concrete can be accredited to Pierre Schaeffer, but the roots of it cannot. There is a long history of artists working to expand their art beyond conventional music that contributed to musique concrete’s overall existence. Beginning in even 1644 with de Caus’s hydraulic organ, artists were working to expand the typical concept of music. Another early invention was the glass harp, invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1763, used by both Beethoven and Mozart. The Italian Futurists also played a role in spurring progress toward musique concrete. Ferruccio Busoni, in his “Futurist Manifesto”, “…called for a worldwide artists’ revolt against the ossified values of the past…”(Appleton, 7) And in 1914, Luigi Russolo, a Futurist painter, created an orchestra of “intonarumori” which were basically noise machines. The hissing and grunting machines were played at the Russolo’s “Art of Noises” concert, in Milan, with traditional music to make a new kind...
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