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Trends and Concepts GRM

Trends and Concepts GRM

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Published by John Sutcliffe

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Published by: John Sutcliffe on Aug 25, 2010
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03/20/2013

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A selected bibliography reflecting the GRM’sconcepts and trends
YANN GESLIN* and DANIEL TERUGGI**
*Researcher, responsible for preservation trends in electroacoustic music, GRME-mail: ygeslin@ina.fr**Head of Research, Director of GRMINA-GRM, Maison de Radio France, Pie`ce 3521, 116 av du Pt Kennedy, 75220 Paris Cedex 16, FranceE-mail: dteruggi@ina.fr
In order to understand through the original writings theevolution of ideas and technology in the history of GRM, arecommended bibliography is proposed here.
1. INTRODUCTION
During the sixty years of existence of musique concre`te,the GRM has produced an important amount of written material. This material can be separated intodifferent themes: technical, philosophic, musicological,pedagogical, general. Since Pierre Schaeffer was quitegifted for writing and formalising ideas, from the veryfirst moments of his experiments with sound (and evenbefore) he regularly produced books and articles,mainly oriented to explain his discoveries and the ideasofmusiqueconcre`teaswellashisgeneralideasonmusicand communication. Therefore, the first ten years of musiqueconcre`teareverywelldocumentedandcontainmany of the ‘founding’ texts that have stronglyinfluenced the ideas about music.His close collaborators followed him in this task, andthen his successors continued with the ambition of communicating and spreading what they considered tobetheimportantideasandconceptsthatthisnewwayof making music had brought. Parallel tothe moregeneralwritings, specific articles, often in the technical domain,would regularly give insights on the evolution of technology and practice as well as of the researchorientations. Another strong trend was that of aestheticand philosophical ideas, which started from the verybeginning and were the backbone for the evolution of concre`te, electroacoustic and acousmatic music, gen-erating increasing interest through time. In recent yearsthrough multimedia productions and the Internet,interactive analysis of electroacoustic music has becomeavailable, thus supporting a greater understanding of what music is and how it functions.Exceptinrecentyears,therehasalwaysbeenacertainseparation between musical research, as it was carriedon at the GRM, and writings evolving from theacademic research world. From the very beginningPierre Schaeffer was quite sceptical about the methodsof academic research and their capacity to proposeeffective solutions to tackle the diversity of newproblems that musique concre`te brought to light. Thisiswhyhecreatedresearchgroupsanddevelopedspecificmultidisciplinary research projects, crossing differentdomains of knowledge. The academic domain alsoregardedhisactivitiesasnotbeingcompletelyorthodox,and was quite critical regarding his approach. Thismutual distrust continuedduringthe first thirtyyears of musique concre`te, and only in the 1980s were someexchanges and collaborations undertaken as well aspublications appearing in the academic domain. Thistrend has increasingly become important in the last tenyears,andnumerouscollaborationsandexchangesexistwith universities in different countries.The outstanding fact in GRM’s history is that PierreSchaeffer was not the only writer who developedoriginal ideas on music and the influence that technol-ogy brought on it. His work was strongly divulged byMichel Chion, who was the exegete in charge of analysing and explaining his positions, as well as anoriginal writer on sound and music that has sinceenlarged the vision of electroacoustic music. Franc¸oisBayle as promoter of the word ‘Acousmatic’ has alsobrought new understandings regarding the soundphenomenon and how our mind creates structures thatgive coherence to the musical listening. Finally,Franc¸ois Delalande has offered original insights regard-ing musicians’ approach to composition and the waychildren explore and play with sound and objects, thusdetermining the origins of musical perception andpleasure.Many others have contributed regularly and occa-sionallyto explain anddiffuse the ideas andpositions aswell as work in progress or achieved actions and tools.TheyhaveworkedfromwithintheGRMorhadstudiedit from outside, often developing more critical regardson its achievements.
2. ORGANISATION OF THE BIBLIOGRAPHY
Thisbibliographyisstructuredinthreedomains:books,articles and Internet links. Books often develop the
Organised Sound 
12
(3): 279–283
ß
2007 Cambridge University Press. Printed in the United Kingdom. doi: 10.1017/S1355771807001884
 
author’s position or theories regarding concre`te, elec-troacoustic or acousmatic music; they can be highlyspecialised or more intended to the public. Most booksreferenced here are still available and can be found firstor second hand.For articles, the references are mainly to researcharticles, often in the technological domain. A campaignhas been startedto make most of these articlesavailableonline.The Internet links are given in order to give access tointeractive analysis of music or to articles only availableonline.As a general remark it must be said that most of thereferences are in French. Except for the occasionalarticle, there is no major translation of the foundingtexts of Schaeffer, although some projects are on theirway. There is no discrimination by the authors of thisarticle towards books or articles not shown here; theambition is not to make a complete bibliography but arecommended one containing what the authors thinkare the most necessary in order to understand theevolution of the GRM and its ideas.
3. BOOKS3.1. Collections
Three collections have, through time, offered regularinformationaboutthemaintrendsorideasonwhichtheGRM was working or that other researchers contrib-uted to. After the 1950s and the 1960s, when Schaefferhimself carried on the main publishing activity, thetrend was to make collective publications on specificthemes. The three collections are as below.
3.1.1.
The
Cahiers Recherche/Musique
(Research andMusic Notebooks)
This lasted from 1976 and 1980, some volumes includedpreviously published articles. This was an importantcollection of collective works, which became a strongreference among music teachers and researchers, sincetheybroughtthecurrentideasandprojectsoftheGRMup to date. They are quite optimistic in their views, at atime when the GRM was starting a new life through itsintegration in INA and the computer seemed to be anessentialtoolforthefuture.Forthefirsttime,thestrongconcernof the GRM in terms of teachingwasno longerrestricted to adults, but now was intended for children.Eight volumes were published, some of them stillavailableatGRMorinspecialisedlibraries.Nos2and3are difficult to find.No. 1:
Pe´ dagogie musicale d’e´ veil 
, 1976 (pedagogy of music early discovery)No.2:
Le traite´ desobjetsmusicaux10ans apre`s
,1976(The Treatise of Musical Objects, 10 years later)No. 3:
Synthe´ tiseur ordinateur
, 1976 (Synthesiser– Computer)No. 4:
La musique du futura-t-elle un avenir? 
, 1976 (Isthere an afterlife for the music of the future?)No. 5:
Le concert pourquoi? comment? 
, 1977 (Theconcert, why? How?)No. 6:
Le pouvoir des sons
, 1978 (The power of sounds)No. 7:
L’animation musicale
, 1979(Musicalactivities)No. 8:
Hors se´ rie: Re´  pertoire acousmatique 1948– 1980
, 1980 (Acousmatic repertoire, 1948–1980, spe-cial volume)
3.1.2. Bibliothe`que de Recherche Musicale
(MusicalResearch Library)
This is in a way the continuation of the Notebooks; itwas directed by Franc¸ois Delalande from 1982, and hasproduced several classics regarding ‘musique concre`te’,pedagogy,musical analysis and sociology of music.ThecollectionwaspublishedbytheINA/GRMandBuchet-Chastel in Paris.
L’enfant du sonore au musical 
by Ce´leste, Delalande,Dumaurier (The child, from sound to music)First printed in 1982, reprinted in 1996, it studies theways children experience sound and later music.
L’Envers d’une Oeuvre
by Mion, Nattiez, Thomas (Aworkupsidedown,ananalysisof 
DeNaturaSonorum
of Bernard Parmegiani)Acompleteanalysisof 
DeNaturaSonorum
withthreedifferent points of view. Printed in 1982.
Guide des Objets Sonores
by Michel Chion (A Guideto Musical Objects)Acomprehensiveexplanationofthe
Traite´ des ObjetsMusicaux
of Pierre Schaeffer, where all the concepts of the Treatise are explained and analysed; an essentialbook for understanding Schaeffer’s ideas. An Englishtranslationisbeingpreparedandshouldbeaccessiblein2008. First printed in 1983, reprinted in 1995.
La musique est un jeu d’enfant
by Franc¸ois Delalande(Music is a child’s game).One of the great classics in musical pedagogy,showing how the attitude of children when exploringthe sounding world is very similar to electroacousticmusicians attitudes and how pedagogy can be built onthese premises. First printed in 1984, reprinted in 1990,1994, 1996, 2001, 2003. Spanish translation: BuenosAires, Ricordi Americana, 1995, 2001. Italian transla-tion: Milan, FrancoAngeli, 2001, reprinted four times.
Musique acousmatique, propositions positions
byFranc¸ois Bayle (Acousmatic Music, propositions positions)Important book in which Franc¸ois Bayle givesinsights into his concepts and music. Printed in 1993.
‘Il faut eˆ tre constamment un immigre´ ’, entretiens avecXenakis
by Franc¸ois Delalande (‘One has to constantlybe an immigrant’, discussions with Franc¸ois Delalande)
280
Yann Geslin and Daniel Teruggi 
 
A very rich book of discussions with Xenakis, whereheexplainshismainideasandconcepts.Printedin1997.
Ouı¨r,entendre,e´ couter, comprendre d’apre`s Schaeffer
,collective work (Listen, hear, understand, followingSchaeffer)Printed in 1999.
Le Son des musiques
by Franc¸ois Delalande (TheSound of Musics)Studies on how sound is conceived in differentmusical domains, as baroque music, electroacousticand pop. Printed in 2001.Next issue:
La musique au-dela`des notes
by Franc¸ois Delalande(Music beyond notes).
3.1.3. Portraits Polychromes
Collection of composer’s portraits directed by E´velyneGayou,withthecollaborationofPierre-AlbertCastanetand started in 2001. The aim of this collection is to givean insight of a composer through his writings,biography, catalogue, as well as writings by otherresearchers.Thiscollectionhasamultimediapartontheweb, developed by Dominique Saint Martin, wherecomplementary texts and graphical analyses can befound, thus completing the points of view presented onthe books. The list of composers is the following:Luc FerrariJean-Claude RissetGilles RacotBernard ParmegianiIvo MalecFranc¸ois BayleJohn ChowningMichel ChionJacques LejeuneFrancis DhomontMax Mathews (also in English)Available at: www.ina.fr/grm/acousmaline/poly-chromes/index.fr.html
3.2 Reference books
Chion, Michel. 1991.
L’art des sons fixe´ s
,
ou la musiqueconcre`tement
. Fontaine: Me´tamkine/Nota Bene/Sono-Concept. 104 pp. Conceptual approach to the ideas of Michel Chion.Chion, Michel, and Reibel, Guy. 1976.
Les musiquese´ lectroacoustiques
. Aix-en-Provence: INA-GRM,Edisud. 340 pp. This is a historic book retracing thehistory, the technology and the main concepts of electroacoustic music. It also surveys all the existingstudios in the world.Pierret, Marc. 1969.
Entretiens avec Pierre Schaeffer
.Paris: E´ditions Pierre Belfond. 193 pp. Interview withSchaeffer, where he speaks in a very friendly way abouthis ideas and personal history.Reibel, Guy. 1984.
Jeux musicaux, Vol. 1: Jeux vocal 
.Paris: E´ditions Salabert. 276 pp. A complement to thework of Franc¸ois Delalande, oriented towards musicalpractice.Schaeffer, Pierre. 1952.
A la recherche d’une musiqueconcre`te
. Paris: E´ditions du Seuil. 230 pp. Reprinted in1998. One of the most touching books by PierreSchaeffer, he tells the story of how he came to ‘musiqueconcre`te’ and how his ideas started and weredeveloped.Schaeffer, Pierre. 1966.
Traite´ des objets musicaux
.Paris: E´ditions du Seuil. 702pp. The ‘Bible’as it is oftencalled, a general text about the views and concepts of Schaeffer on music. Discussions have been undertakenregarding the necessity of an English translation,however, the project has never managed to take form.Abridged versions of the Traite´exist in Spanish andPortuguese.Schaeffer, Pierre. 1967a.
La musique concre`te
,CollectionQuesais-je?Paris:PUF.128pp.Anoverviewbook in the famous French collection Que sais-je?(What do I know?)Schaeffer, Pierre. 1967b.
Solfe` ge de l’Objet Sonore,Trois microsillons d’exemples sonores de Guy Reibel,assiste´ de Beatriz Ferreyra illustrant le Traite´ des objetsmusicaux et pre´ sente´ s par l’auteur
. Paris: E´ditions duSeuil. 44 pp. Three CDs with Schaeffer’s recorded voiceexplaining the different examples issues from the
Traite´ des Objets Musicaux
. Reprinted in 1999 by INA/GRM.Schaeffer, Pierre. 1971.
La musique et les ordinateurs
.Paris: La Revue Musicale. 46 pp. Also printed inEnglish:
Music and Computers
, translation: WilliamSkivington. The Revue Musicale was a constantreference publisher for Schaeffer and the GRM,directed by Pierre Richard. Since the 1950s it hasregularly published articles on concre`te and electro-acousticmusic.ThelastnumberdedicatedtoGRMwasin 1985, with a book called
Recherche Musicale auGRM 
,wherethedifferentresearchprojectsareexposed.The review ceased to exist in 1990.Teruggi, Daniel. 1998. ‘Le Syste`me Syter. Sonhistoire, ses de´veloppements, sa production musicale,ses implications dans le langage e´lectroacoustiqued’aujourd’hui’. PhD dissertation, Universite´ParisVIII. Extensive work on the technology of GRM.Veitl, Anne. 1997.
Politiques de la MusiqueContemporaine
. Paris: l’Harmattan. 254 pp. Socio-political work analysing the way politics regardingcontemporary music was carried. A whole chapter isdedicated to the GRM and its role in the evolution of music in France.
4. ARTICLES
Allouis, Jean-Franc¸ois, Du¨rr, Bernard, Jaffrennou,Pierre-AlainandMailliard,Be´ne´dict.1976.‘Synthe´tiseur/Ordinateur’. Cahiers Recherche/Musique No. 3.Paris: INA-GRM. 278 pp.
A selected bibliography
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