The Music Of The Environment – R. Murray Schafer

– Acoustic ecology. Based on the idea that the cosmos itself is a musical composition.

– Soundscape.

– ….the world soundscape, the vast musical composition that is unfolding around us ceaselessly. 

– What is the relationship between man and the sounds of his environment and what happens when these sounds change?

– Is the soundscape of the world an indeterminate composition over which we have no control or are we its composers and performers, responsible for giving it form and beauty?

– Which sounds do we want to preserve, encourage, multiply?

– Only a total appreciation of the acoustic environment can give us the resources for improving the orchestration of the world.

– … the world soundscape as a macrocosmic musical composition.

– “Music is sounds, sounds heard around us whether we’re in or out of concert halls.” – John Cage

– ….experiences in the sounds and sights of nature an inexhaustible entertainment. – Thoreau

– 2 theories of what music is or ought to be: 1) Music is conceived as subjective emotion breaking forth from the human breath, 2) It is external sound possessing secret unitary properties. It suggests that the universe is held together by the harmonies of some precise acoustic design, serene and mathematical.

– God was conceived as sound or vibration.

– When man lived mostly in isolation or in small communities their ears operated with seismographic delivery.

– In a Hi Fi soundscape even the slightest disturbance con communicate interesting or vital information.

– Originally all sounds were originals…… Sounds were then indissolubly ties to the mechanisms which produced them. 

– Tests have shown that it is physically impossible for nature’s most rational and calculating being to reproduce a single phoneme in his own name twice in exactly the same manner.

–  Earphones (internal sounds) and Nada Yoga, in which internalized sound (vibration) removes the individual from this world and elevates him towards higher spheres of existence.

– Using earphones, the listener is the Universe.

– ……musicians are the architects of sounds; they are concerned with making balances and arrangements of interesting sounds to produce desired aesthetic effects. 

– The essence of sound is felt in both motion and silence, it passes from existent to non-existent.


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