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Murray Schafer Study Guide

Music and Culture
Course Code
Andy Lee

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Murray Schafer (1933- )
-composer, educator, environmentalist, scholar, and visual artist
-studied in University of Toronto with John Weinzweig
-World Soundscape Project is a study of relationships between people and their acoustic
-early Concerto for Harpsichord and Eight Wind Instruments and Sonatina for Flute and
Harpsichord were influenced by Weinzweig, neoclassicism of Stravinsky, and Les Six
-drew on serialism
-studied urban themes of alienation and psychoneurosis
-work reflected social consciousness
-Ear Cleaning and New Soundscape are projects that he experience students and infuse Cage’s
concepts of creative hearing and sensory awareness
-Epitaph for Moonlight introduced young musicians to unusual sounds in create process
-interest in eastern to eastern thought
-used Buddhist text for “From the Tibetan Book of the Dead” in Lustro
-father of acoustic ecology
-concerned about damaging effects of noise on people, especially those near sonic sewer
-Tuning of the World summarized his soundscape research
-background rhythmic structure for String Quartet No. 2 was based on intervals at which ocean
waves crest
-graphic notation of No Longer Than Ten Minutes was influenced by charts made of Vancouver
traffic noise
-search for hi-fidelity soundscape led him to move in an Ontario farmhouse
-created natural environment works, including Music for Wilderness Lake for 12 trombones
-employ music and theatre in a manner called theatre of confluence (Gesamtkunstwerk)
-used ritual as way of revitalizing theatre
-transform audience into participants
-The Princess of the Stars was performed in Haliburton Forest in central Ontario
-other outdoor works include The Enchanted Forest and Palace of the Cinnabar Phoenix
-use of graphic notation
-interest in solo female voice
-wrote concertos for flute, harp, and guitar, three string quartets, chamber and orchestral works
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