Pierre Schaeffer: Music Concrète historical context

During the second world war, Pierre Schaeffer joined Studio d’Essai de la Rediffusion Nationale, a resistance French radio station.  During his time at the radio station, Schaeffer developed his sound based knowledge through microphone set up and voice recordings, he was also influenced by cinema, and recording montage.

At the same time as Schaeffer was working on developing his sound practice, Halim El- Dabh  an Egyptian composer  was a student  in Cairo, where he was experimenting with tape music  using a wire recorder to record an ancient zaar ceremony, which he processed at the Middle East Radio studio, where he used: reverberation, echo, voltage controls, and re Recording. The recording was presented at an art gallery event in  1944, but  due to  the ongoing WWII (1 Sep 1939 – 2 Sep 1945)his work was not known outside Egypt,  although in later years  he did gain recognition for his influential work at Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Centre in the late 1950s.

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