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Musique Concrete

Presentation for Module 8

Elisabeth Tasciotti

on 3 May 2013

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Transcript of Musique Concrete

Musique Concrete Definition "a recorded montage of natural sounds often electronically modified and presented as a musical composition "
-Merriam-Webster Materials commonly used * reel ro reel four track
* mixing desk
* microphones to capture sound
* blade to slice the tape
* Scotch tape to put tape back together
* three-head tape recorder Techniques commonly used Sound Transposition
Sound Looping
Sound-sample Extraction
Splicing Video describing the way Musique Concrete was made Sound Transposition Changing the speed of the sound, either making it faster or slower Example of Transposition and Looping four-track recorder three-headed tape recorder- used to synchronize multiple tapes Sound Looping Creating a loop with a sound and repeating it throughout the piece “First I recorded six sounds of variously prepared low piano strings struck with an iron beater, using a tape speed of 76.2 centimetres per second. After that, I copied each sound many times and, with scissors, cut off the attack of each sound. A few centimetres of the continuation [steady state], which was – briefly – quite steady dynamically, were used. Several of these pieces were spliced together to form a tape loop, which was then transposed to certain pitches using a transposition machine. A few minutes of each transposition were then recorded on separate tapes." -Stockhausen Sound-sample Extraction Manipulating a very small piece of a recorded sound, many times used to creating an entirely new sound.
Used in Symphonie pour un homme seul by Pierre Henry. Pioneers of Musique Concrete Pierre Henry and Pierre Schaeffer First piece of musique concrete When first heard on the radio in the Concert de bruits radio broadcast in Paris on 5.10.1948 most listeners were outraged with this "noise". It was in fact even called a noise collage. The "Études aux chemins de fer" is based on recordings that Schaeffer made at the Gare des Batignolles in Paris with the aid of six engine-drivers. He "improvised" by taking sounds and maximizing their use, not according to what the sounds were but emphasizing their musical values like rhythm, tone color and pitch. Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM) After the broadcast of "Études aux chemins de fer" a group of composers got together to create a studio in 1951. The GRM was a place where artists could come together and study these new techniques. One brain child of GRM is Desert by Edgard Varese. However, these techniques were so labor intensive that this studio did not last long. Pierre Schaeffer retired in 1960. Modern uses of Musique Concrete Although modern technology has made the techniques used in this period seem obsolete, many artists still mix concrete music made by cutting tape and looping it, with modern computer-based techniques. Some examples are:the Beatles' use of this method in ground-breaking tracks like 'Tomorrow Never Knows', 'Revolution No. 9' and 'Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite', as well as Pink Floyd albums "Umma Gumma", "Dark Side of the Moon" and Frank Zappa's "Lumpy Gravy". This piece is taken from "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" from the Beatle's album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The "swirly" notes and other sounds were made by musique concrete techniques.
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