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Sound Unseen – Acousmatic Sound in Theory and Practice - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Sound Unseen: Acousmatic Sound in Theory and Practice

Brian Kane


Sound Unseen explores acousmatic sound—a sound that one hears without seeing its cause. Pierre Schaeffer, the inventor of musique concrète, in his Traité des objets musicaux, first popularized the term “acousmatic.” After an introduction, chapter 1 provides a thorough exegesis of Schaeffer’s theory of acousmatics. It also presents three objections to Schaeffer’s theories (myth, phantasmagoria, and ontology) around which the book is structured. In part I, the origins of the word acousmatic are traced from Pythagoras to 18th- century France, and then to the present. After showing the mythic use ... More

Keywords: acousmatic, Pierre Schaeffer, sound studies, listening, philosophy of cound, musique concrète, auditory culture, phenomenology, phantasmagoria, sound recording

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780199347841
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199347841.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Brian Kane, author
Yale University