updated 10 May 2010

Pierre Schaeffer

French composer, theorist, and writer born 14 August 1910 in Nancy; died 19 August 1995 in Paris.

Known as the father of musique concrète, Pierre Schaeffer was also a writer and pioneer of radio technology, notably founding the research branch of the Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française (ORTF), which he directed from 1960 to 1975. A graduate of the Paris École Polytechnique (1931), Supélec (École Supérieure d’Électricité), and Télécom (École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications), his field of research extended beyond audio-visual communications, notably to experimental music. In this domain, his theoretical contributions are no less historically significant than his modestly-sized catalogue of compositions.

In 1934, Schaeffer was made Regional Manager of Telecommunications in Strasbourg. From 1935 to 1943, he studied analysis with Nadia Boulanger. In 1938, he started a chronicle on radio broadcasting in the Revue musicale. Enlisted into the military in 1939 and discharged in July 1940, in the following October, Schaeffer hosted Radio Jeunesse, a daily radio programme aimed at young people. He went on to found Jeune France, an organisation which sought to promote the work of young, independent artists, under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth.

In late-1941, he became an engineer at the National Radio in Marseille, where he met Jacques Copeau. The two went on to lead a workshop in Beaune in 1942 on radio technology and related artforms. In the same year, Schaeffer founded an experimental studio as part of the French National Radio, where he recorded his radio opera, La coquille à planètes. It was in this studio that the first works of musique concrète, notably the Études de bruits (“Noise Studies”), were composed in 1948. Collaboration with Pierre Henry, who would become Schaeffer’s closest artistic partner, gave rise to works such as Symphonie pour un homme seul (1949-1950), which would subsequently be set to choreography by Maurice Béjart and performed around the world in 1955, and Orphée 51 ou Toute la lyre, the first scenic work to combine voices, instruments, and tape.

In 1951, Schaeffer founded the Groupe de Recherche de Musique Concrète at the National Radio, and in 1952, Editions du Seuil published his book, In Search of a Concrete Music. In the same year, he created the first anthology of works from his experimental studio, titled Ten Years of Radiophonic Experiments: 1942-1952.

In 1953, at the behest of the French Ministry of Overseas Territories, Schaeffer founded “SORAFOM” (Société de radiodiffusion de la France d’outre-mer). The organisation was made an official governmental office in 1955, but Schaeffer was removed from this position in 1957.

In 1958, the year in which he composed Étude aux allures, Étude aux sons animés, and Étude aux objets, the Groupe de recherche de musique concrète changed its name to Groupe de recherches musicales (GRM). This organisation would go on to serve as a laboratory for all forms of musical experimentation and to challenge the accepted definitions of the notions of music, listening, timbre, and sound - ontological research that was subsequently formalised in Schaeffer’s monumental treatise, the Traité des objets musicaux (1966).

In 1960, the first Festival de la Recherche was organised, comprising concerts, film screenings, and lectures. In 1962, a first version of the “Concert Collectif“ took place, an event for which numerous composers were invited to create short works. Also in the early 1960s, Schaeffer lectured in numerous countries. He resigned as director of the GRM in 1966 (succeeded by François Bayle) in order to concentrate on the research department, which he had founded in 1960 and which subsequently became the INA (National Audio-Visual Institute) in 1975.

Schaeffer was a member of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) from 1967 to 1975. In 1968, he inaugurated a seminar dedicated to experimental music at the Paris Conservatoire, remaining a professor at the institution until 1980.

In 1970, he published an assessment of current research on the means and systems of audio-visual communication, and from 1971 to 1975, was president of the Research Commission of the UNESCO International Council for Film, Television and Audio-Visual Communication. In 1970 and 1972 respectively, the two volumes of Machines for Communicating were published.

Schaeffer briefly returned to composing in the second half of the 1970s, which gave rise to Le trièdre fertile (1975) and Bilude (1979). However, he continued to dedicate most of his time to research on communication networks and to his literary activities. Several radio and television programmes have been dedicated to his work, and he has received numerous accolades, including honorary membership of the Faculty of Arts at Tel Aviv University (1982) and the McLuhan Communications Prize in Montreal (1989), as well as several homage events at the Pompidou Centre, INA, Cité des Sciences, and Paris Polytechnique, among others.

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2010


  • Jacqueline Schaeffer ;
  • Jocelyne Tournet, Sur les traces de Pierre Schaeffer 1942-1995, éd. Ina et La Documentation française, 2006 ;
  • Sophie Brunet,Sylvie Dallet, Jacqueline Schaeffer, Itinéraires d’un chercheur, Fonds Jacqueline Schaeffer.

Pierre Schaeffer : théorie du son et recherche du sens

By Jean-Marc Chouvel

Pierre Schaeffer: Sound Theory and Quest for Meaning

Pierre Schaeffer has deeply influenced today’s music — even more so, perhaps, than historians of the last half century have admitted. In reading his essays, one cannot help but wonder what tone to take when writing about this great man, who was uncommonly astute and aware of the intellectual and artistic concerns of his time. An academic style does not seem fit. The turn of his words, the content of his thought, and the expressions that punctuate his interviews inspire reaction and provoke debate. His arguments carry remarkable authority, strengthened by a virtuosic command of prose and a scientific precision that only the French grandes écoles can teach.

Schaeffer took pleasure at being at the heart of a fundamental paradigm shift in human history, that of the emergence of mass communication technology. It was his field of expertise from the start when, freshly graduated from the École Polytechnique, he began a career at Radiodiffusion Française, a public broadcasting institution. At the end of his life, mass communication continued to shape his research on machines à communiquer (communication machines). Musique concrète, the genre for which he is most known, was but one phase in his career. Schaeffer, with his acuity and lucidity, understood very early on the issues of his time, and his analyses of mass media are still highly relevant today.

Writing History

In March 1948, Schaeffer wrote his first journal entry on musique concrète: “I went to the Sound Effects Department at Radiodiffusion Française. I found clappers, coconuts, horns, bicycle horns. … There are gongs and bird calls. It is nice that an administration takes an interest in bird calls and regularly acquires them through purchase orders.” His goal: “I have in mind a “Symphony of Noise.”1 He made no reference to Luigi Russolo or to the early noise concerts of the 1910s and 1920s. Although Schaeffer’s first compositions were études,2 he was already beginning to dream of symphonies3 and would later write an opera, Orphée 53.

Schaeffer’s interest was not so much in noise itself, but rather the sound medium and the practice of listening. He was aware of the ambiguity in the word concret. True, the material for musique concrète comes from the tangible world, but musique concrète is first of all a work on the matter of sound, much like Wassily Kandinsky’s so-called “abstract” paintings, which are about the essence of lines and colors. Indeed, even as early as the 1930s, Alexandre Kojève argued for viewing Kandinsky’s paintings in terms of the “concrete.”4

By 1948 when he wrote his journal entry, Schaeffer was no novice in sound techniques. He had been working for the radio as an engineer since 1936. He worked on technical improvements as well as on broadcasting. Even when radio was only just starting, its political significance was clear — and Schaeffer knew how to make history. In 1942, he founded the Studio d’essai, through which he would organize, in 1944, a radio libérée that supported the Parisians’ insurrection against the Germans. He used the program to urge priests to synchronize the church bells of the capital while the occupiers were being expelled, and he broadcast these bells, windows opened and microphone in hand. The fact that liberation was accompanied by clerical sounds probably did not displease him.

Also in 1944 and through the Studio d’essai, Schaeffer created a dramatic radio show, La coquille à planètes. The program demonstrated what radio was capable of at the time and was a precursor to that pivotal date of 1948. To understand that this composition for radio was not just a scholarly exercise and that it was bringing real change, one must refer back to what André Cœuroy wrote about radiogénique music (music created by and for radio) in the late 1920s.5 That being said, what qualified as radio art was far from evident at the time, and remains so today. Schaeffer used his position at Radiodiffusion strategically to promote his agenda. He put all the weight of his social standing on the line, and, over the course of his career, he was fired seven times, a fact he shared with pride. He also created a theory to back the venture of “radiogenicity” — this was the role of his Treatise on Musical Objects (1966).

Listening as a Fundament of Music

The Belgian writer François Weyergans said of Schaeffer: “He neither failed nor succeeded a composition. Power did not make him a happy man, and he did not make others happy through his power. He is a character of our times. His importance does not matter; he matters. Between sadness and void, he chose music.”6 It would perhaps be more accurate to say that music chose him. In “De l’expérience musicale à l’expérience humaine” published by the Revue musicale in 1971, Schaeffer writes: “Music […] led me step by step from the formalism of the traditional system to the empiricism of a universal approach.”7

As demonstrated in his writings such as “A la recherche d’une musique concrète”8 and “Vers une musique expérimentale” from the Revue musicale in 1953, Schaeffer’s relationship with music was mostly interrogatory, based in dissatisfaction and concern that remained unresolved in his Treatise on Musical Objects and its companion piece Solfège de l’objet sonore. Schaeffer was a phenomenologist, and not easily placated by elementary answers to neat problems. He wanted to tackle the question. And that question entailed beginning at the beginning, that is to say, with acoustics: “I had to rethink most notions about music acoustics, which were twice false in both their statements and their methods. I was thus led to reinvent an authentic approach.”9 This approach was informed by phenomenology, which led him to place subjectivity at the center of discussion. This endeavor translated into his paying increased attention to the phenomenon of listening.

The part of the Treatise on Musical Objects that addresses listening10 is well known and has been widely commented upon. Its importance is absolutely central: the notion of a “musical object” could not even be conceived without analyzing the functions of listening. One of the most striking sections of Schaeffer’s text is about “reduced listening.” He mentions a return to the “original experience,” making reference to one of the founders of phenomenology, Edmund Husserl. The “reduction to the object” is a process of deconditioning listening practices. Accessing the qualities of sound represents an “anti-natural” effort, since nothing is more natural than to obey a habit that has been conditioned.11 Schaeffer points toward emancipation from the “cultural.” It is a reconstruction of listening through a familiarity that enables one to isolate sound and manipulate it. Composition, for Schaeffer, was an experimental practice. He wished to instill a “new way of listening” that would be completely dependent on the subject. The mystical aspect of this process should not be overlooked. Schaeffer could have linked this approach to listening to a kind of spiritual exercise. If listening is a spiritual exercise, then the Treatise is a revelatory word providing musicians with the meaning of the discovery of musique concrète.

In “De l’expérience musicale à l’expérience humaine,” one can find an evocative schematic of Schaeffer’s relationship to the nascent musical semiology, as well as his foresight into the problems that would later be attributed to this science. Under the title “Petit train des interdisciplines, parcours déterministe pseudo-scientifique,” Schaeffer includes the following interaction, described as the “usual course of all language analysis.”12

image 1

Directly under it is the following chain reaction:

image 2

The phenomenon of communication would remain central among Schaeffer’s concerns. In 1972 he published two volumes of Machines à communiquer, dedicated to the connection between power and communication. He scrutinizes the entire media system. In the article “La Communication” from Encyclopedia Universalis, he gives the following diagram, which is typical of his thought process and aims at synthesizing the relationship between communication and power through dialectics.

image 3

Human control over what he calls “the fourth power” (4ème pouvoir) on “the flux of simulacrums” must be read with this graph in mind. Schaeffer found that it is not so much the “message” that must be manipulated, but rather the way we listen. We must configure listening to prepare reception, and an illusion of naturalness, which is in fact shifted from reality, is what gives rise to the simulacrum of communication. The fourth power is a function of the pressures it absorbs, and is perhaps the prototype of the consent that stabilizes modern forms of media power. In Genèse des simulacres, the first volume of his Machines à communiquer, Schaeffer describes a situation in which “conservatives from both Stalinist and American influence confuse culture and consumption.”13

Research, Creation and Self-Work

One can easily underestimate the subversive force that a research department like the one Schaeffer led could have within this fourth power. Even the possibility of research was not a given in the current political climate, in which governments exercised control over artistic production and distribution. As a result, an effervescence infused the team around Schaeffer at Radiodiffusion. In a report of an “intergroupe” meeting, the following lines appear: “What is hard is to mobilize oneself in peaceful times (if I dare say) to make something abnormal emerge in a society set in its habits and ways of thinking.” Schaeffer, in the midst of this effort to mobilize, was something of a guru. “I also appreciated his concerns,” says François Bayle. “With him, we reached the marrow of what we wanted to say” — he adds, “precisely when we didn’t really know what we meant to say.”14 The report from a meeting on 1 July 1961 gives a sense of how far the phenomenon he was leading could go: “If we take things from a fundamental research perspective, we discover a new idea: experimental procedures can be applied to areas where, until now, only aesthetic approaches were of use.” The barrier between research and creation would necessarily fall, and the research department would become a laboratory and a workshop for creation.15

Though the borders between research and creation can blur, the ones between the scientist and the artist do not disappear so easily. On the one hand, Schaeffer claimed confidence in scientific materialism and saw a clear use for it in the arts.16 On the other hand, he knew the limits of the materialist vision. He was haunted by the problem of finding links between knowledge and creation, between object and musical, and between material and structure. At the end of the Treatise on Musical Objects, he writes: “The main pitfall of this work is solitude. More than six hundred pages dedicated to objects weigh on one tray of the scale. To restore balance, the author should have produced a Treatise of Musical Organization of equivalent weight.”17 This body of work on musical organization is obviously his compositions. His teaching at the Paris Conservatory, which he began in 1968, was undoubtedly shaped by this challenge: “I gave many warnings to students who were tempted to build ‘musical objects’ or to apply criteria of sound analysis to musical structures.”18

As with his religious education, his commitment to scouts, and his acquaintance with the philosopher and mystic George Gurdjieff, Schaeffer probably also lived out his musical ventures as a passion with very high spiritual value. “The mystery of music, which remains grand and largely untouched,” he wrote, “sees itself confronted with the very mystery of knowledge, that of the human experience, in all the meanings of the word.”19 In De la musique concrète à la musique même, he speaks of the “dual approach that is required by any initiation: knowledge of the object, and a preparation of the subject.”20 In an interview with Martine Cadieu published in 1966, he gave a statement that foreshadowed his conclusion in the Treatise: “Art is but the sport of the interior man. All art that does not strive toward this is useless and harmful. There is a spiritual and a bodily technique, and both are linked. As in sports, art is work on oneself.”21

Schaeffer composed less in his later years, when he turned his focus on analysis and theory, and thus might be seen to have abandoned this interior work. In the poignant lines he wrote for the publication in disc format of his compositional output, he seems to be torn about his decision:

Finding something and bidding adieu have only the absence in common, or rather desertion: the author, terrified by what he had found around 1948 came back to it nonetheless in 1958. But in 1960, he condemned himself without appeal, preferring henceforth the noise of his own words to the noises to which he had — in the first place — given voice. This disc is more of a testament, or rather a tomb where the author has walled in — with admitted yet cruel regret — all possible destiny for a musician, unended, and in truth never really begun.22

His decision to back away from composing was motivated in part by a trauma he experienced when his Orphée 53 was performed at the Contemporary Music Festival in Donaueschingen, Germany, where the public’s negative reaction was on a par with that in other of music history’s great scandals. Schaeffer had aimed to raise electroacoustic music to operatic dimensions — a goal too ambitious considering the technical immaturity of musique concrète. Serialism was the compositional approach that was then in full bloom. Did this unfortunate experience cause Schaeffer to harbor resentment? Or did it cultivate his critical thought? Whatever the case, he was not lenient toward his fellow composers. He called them out on their “shit style” and accused them of writing “from fashions, pressures, and snobbism” and of taking part in phony ceremony.23 The beginning of his series of interviews with writer Marc Pierret is telling on this matter. Especially the composers a decade younger than him were targets of his assertive blows. Only Pierre Henry, despite their quarrels, and perhaps John Cage — for somewhat peculiar reasons24 — found some favor in his ears, managing to produce music that he perceived as better than “boring.”

From then on, Schaeffer promoted a set of ideas similar to those that Theodor Adorno championed in the 1960s: Both had taken up the difficult vocation of composer. Both worshiped a certain idea of modernity. Both were, despite everything, rooted in humanism. Both analyzed the effects of mass art. And by analyzing their era so deeply, they perhaps could not love it as indulgently as those who examined it less closely.

Schaeffer wrote that “one of the great laws of art lies in the oscillation between sense and nonsense, and between novation and communication.”25 This balancing act, as much as his link with high culture, positioned him as one who calls on classicism, if not romanticism, in the middle of a baroque, or even mannerist, aesthetic field. Reconsideration, reinvention, and discovery are all one moment in artistic consciousness. Schaeffer saw himself in the role of a messiah: “I was granted a historic mission: that of introducing noise to music. I boast of the opposite: to have discovered, within the musical world, the noise part that it contained, and that we persist in ignoring.”26

Another statement on noise, appearing at the end of the Treatise on Musical Objects, reveals a sense Schaeffer saw in his music, beyond its technical inputs. “As opposed to the sign, which is sent with intention,” he writes, “and as opposed to background noise or parasitic sounds, noise is an indiscreet trace of what we would like to hide. The composer would like to affirm his intentions. He is revealed by his noise.”

The quest for the essential, for truth, is what should be heard in his last composition, Bilude, which he initially titled Éternels regrets ou Le clavier mal tempéré. This piece goes well beyond expressing a simple admiration for Johann Sebastian Bach and the ideals of inspiration and classic musical structures.27 Schaeffer alternates phrases of Bach’s Second Prelude from the Well-Tempered Clavier: Book I, interpreted live by a pianist, and electroacoustic recordings of his own creation. In doing so, he brings listeners into a listening exercise that is both fundamental and full of irony. The original cover page of the Treatise on Musical Objects represents Schaeffer’s research through images of a score, a violin, and a graphed signal. Through these various “states” of our apprehension of the real, how do we synthesize the “musical”? In contrast to the descriptions by which it is too often limited, Schaeffer’s work is committed to a theory of music that does not take satisfaction in partial descriptions.

1. Pierre SCHAEFFER, A la recherche d’une musique concrète, Paris, Seuil, 1952.

2. For example: Étude No. 2 Imposée ou Étude aux chemins de fer, Étude No. 3 Concertante ou Étude pour orchestre, Étude No. 4 Composée ou Étude au piano, Étude No. 5 Pathétique ou Étude aux casseroles. All were created in 1948 and broadcast that same year at the Radiodiffusion’s Club d’essai (the new name of the Studio d’essai after 1946).

3. See Symphonie pour un homme seul, in collaboration with Pierre Henry (1950), staged as ballet music in 1955 by Maurice Béjart.

4. Alexandre KOJÈVE, Les peintures concrètes de Kandinsky (1936), Brussels, La letttre volée, 2001.

5. “The true new face of music [is] in the music of the ‘ether waves’ [meaning the theremin and ondes Martenot] as well as in music for the radio. […] A radioelectric music tool will only attain true aesthetic interest if it strives to highlight its own personality, to put forth its specific qualities and to create, as the poet would say, a frisson nouveau.” From André CŒUROY, Panorama de la musique contemporaine, Paris, Kra, 1928/1930, p. 216-219.

6. In François BAYLE (ed.), Pierre Schaeffer, l’œuvre musicale, Paris, INA-GRM/Séguier, 1990, p. 13.

7. Pierre SCHAEFFER, “De l’expérience musicale à l’expérience humaine,” La Revue musicale, n° 274-275, 1971, p. 8.

8. Pierre SCHAEFFER, A la recherche d’une musique concrète, Paris, Seuil, 1952.

9. Pierre SCHAEFFER, “Vers une musique expérimentale,” La Revue musicale, n° 236, 1957, p. 8.

10. Pierre SCHAEFFER, Traité des objets musicaux, essai interdisciplines, Paris, Seuil, 1966, p. 112-156.

11. Ibid., p. 270.

12. Pierre SCHAEFFER, De l’expérience musicale à l’expérience humaine, La Revue musicale, nº 274-275, 1971, p. 19.

13. Pierre SCHAEFFER, Genèse des simulacres, Paris, Seuil, 1970, p. 299.

14. Martine CADIEU, À l’écoute des compositeurs, Paris, Minerve, 1992, p. 160.

15. The complex history of GRM has been described by Évelyne GAYOU in her book GRM : Le Groupe de recherches musicales, cinquante ans d’histoire, Paris, Fayard, 2007.

16. “Before making choices, like an architect the musician must not ignore the properties of his materials, and he has all interest, at this stage, in making his examinations as insightful and impartial as possible.” Pierre SCHAEFFER, De la musique concrète à la musique même, Paris, Mémoire du livre, 2002, p. 281.

17. Pierre SCHAEFFER, Traité des objets musicaux, Paris, Seuil, 1967, p. 663.

18. Pierre SCHAEFFER, De la musique concrète à la musique même, Paris, Mémoire du livre, 2002, p. 279.

19. Pierre SCHAEFFER, “De l’expérience musicale à l’expérience humaine,” La Revue musicale, nº 274-275, 1971, p. 10.

20. Pierre SCHAEFFER, De la musique concrète à la musique même, Paris, Mémoire du livre, 2002, p. 263-264.

21. Martine CADIEU, À l’écoute des compositeurs, Paris, Minerve, 1992, p. 123.

22. Pierre SCHAEFFER, “De l’expérience musicale à l’expérience humaine,” La Revue musicale, nº 274-275, 1971, p. 43.

23. Marc PIERRET, Entretiens avec Pierre Schaeffer, Paris, Belfond, p. 29.

24. Schaeffer said about Cage, “One day, he told me he was the son of a pastor and that he had never completely shaken the possibility of having a calling himself. […] This revelation shed light on the instinctive fondness that I had always had for him.” Ibid., p. 27.

25. Pierre SCHAEFFER, “De l’expérience musicale à l’expérience humaine,” La Revue musicale, nº 274-275, 1971, p. 160.

26. Pierre SCHAEFFER, De la musique concrète à la musique même, Paris, Mémoire du livre, 2002, p. 278.

27. In the words of Antoine Goléa, cf. François BAYLE (ed.), Pierre Schaeffer, l’œuvre musicale, Paris, INA-GRM/Séguier, 1990, p. 104.

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2010


Écrits de Pierre Schaeffer
  • Propos sur la coquille, Arles, éd. Phonurgia Nova, 1990.
  • Recherche musicale au GRM, La Revue musicale, Paris, éd. Richard-Masse, 1986, épuisé.
  • Faber et Sapiens, Paris, Belfond, 1985, disponible auprès de Jacqueline Schaeffer*.
  • Prélude, choral et fugue, Paris, Flammarion, 1983, épuisé.
  • *Excusez-moi je meurs et autres fabulations,Paris, Flammarion, 1981, disponible auprès de Jacqueline Schaeffer.
  • Les antennes de Jéricho, Paris, Stock, 1978, disponible auprès de Jacqueline Schaeffer*.
  • La face cachée de la musique française contemporaine, La Revue musicale, Paris, éd. Richard-Masse, 1978, épuisé.
  • De la musique concrète à la musique même,La revue musicale, Paris, éd. Richard-Masse, 1977, triple numéro, n° 303-304-305, nouvelle édition : Mémoire du Livre, Pierre Belfond, avec une préface d’Henri Dutilleux, 2002.
  • Machines à communiquer 2 : pouvoir et communication, Paris, Seuil, coll. Pierres vives, 1972, 318 p., réédité en 1998.
  • Machines à communiquer 1 : genèse des simulacres, Paris, Seuil, coll. Pierres vives, 1970, 315 p., réédité en 1998.
  • De l’expérience musicale à l’expérience humaine, La Revue musicale, Paris, éd. Richard-Masse, 1971, disponible auprès de Jacqueline Schaeffer*.
  • La musique et les ordinateurs, La Revue musicale, Paris, éd. Richard-Masse, 1971, disponible auprès de Jacqueline Schaeffer*.
  • L’avenir à reculons, Paris, Casterman, 1970, disponible auprès de Jacqueline Schaeffer*.
  • « Réflexions », dans : Sophie Brunet, Pierre Schaeffer, La Revue Musicale, coll. « Hommes choisis », Paris, éd. Richard Masse, 1969, épuisé.
  • Le gardien de volcan, Paris, Seuil, 1969, disponible auprès de Jacqueline Schaeffer*.
  • La musique concrète, coll. Que sais je ?, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 1967, épuisé.
  • Traité des objets musicaux, essai interdisciplines, Paris, Seuil, coll. Pierres vives, 1967, 711 p., plusieurs rééditions, édition en anglais avecÀ la recherche d’une musique concrète, par John Dack et Christine North, Ina/Presses universitaires de l’Université de Californie, novembre 2010.
  • Expériences musicales, La Revue musicale, Paris, éd. Richard-Masse, 1959, épuisé.
  • Expériences Paris juin 1959, La Revue musicale, Paris, éd. Richard-Masse, 1959, épuisé.
  • Vers une musique expérimentale, La Revue musicale, Paris, éd. Richard-Masse, 1957, épuisé.
  • À la recherche d’une musique concrète, Paris, Seuil, coll. Pierres vives, 1952, 229 p., réédité en 1998 puis en 2010, édition en anglais avec leTraité des objets musicaux par John Dack et Christine North, Ina/Presses universitaires de l’Université de Californie, novembre 2010.
  • Les enfants de cœur, Paris, Seuil, 1949, disponible auprès de Jacqueline Schaeffer*.
  • Amérique nous t’ignorons, Paris, Seuil, 1946, disponible auprès de Jacqueline Schaeffer*.
  • Essai sur la Radio et le Cinéma, esthétique et technique dans les arts-relais, 1941-1942, édition établie par Carlos Palombini et Sophie Brunet, Paris, éd. Allia, 2010.
  • Clotaire Nicole, Paris, Seuil, 1938, disponible auprès de Jacqueline Schaeffer*.
  • Entretiens inédits de Pierre Schaeffer, à paraître aux éditions Phonurgia Nova.
  • Marc PIERRET, Entretiens avec Pierre Schaeffer, éd. Pierre Belfond, Paris, 1969.
Écrits sur Pierre Schaeffer
  • Pierre Schaeffer (1910-2010), ouvrage collectif sous la direction de Martin Kaltenecker et Karine Le Bail, CNRS-éditions/Imec, octobre 2010.
  • Portrait polychrome de Pierre Schaeffer, ouvrage collectif, avec 4 cds de la voix de Pierre Schaeffer, Paris, éd. Ina-GRM, 2008 [il existe une édition du même ouvrage en anglais, sans les cds, Ina-GRM, 2008].
  • Sophie BRUNET, Pierre Schaeffer, suivit de Réflexions de Pierre Schaeffer, La Revue Musicale, coll. « Hommes choisis », Paris, éd. Richard Masse, 1969, épuisé.
  • Sylvie DALLET, Sophie BRUNET, Itinéraire d’un chercheur, bibliographie commentée de l’œuvre de Pierre Schaeffer, bilingue français-anglais, fonds Jacqueline Schaeffer, 1996.
  • François DELALANDE (dir. de publication), Ouïr, entendre, écouter, comprendre après Schaeffer, articles de Denis Dufour, Jean-Christophe Thomas, Makis Solomos, Hugues Dufourt, Jean-François Augoyard, Régis Renouard Larivière, Jean Molino, François Bayle, Jean-claude Risset, Francis Dhomont, Denis Smalley, Lelio Camilleri, Marcel Frémiot, Pierre Schaeffer, Sylvie Dallet, Bibliothèque de recherche musicale, Ina/GRM, Paris, Buchet/Chastel, 1999.
  • Evelyne GAYOU, Le Groupe de Recherches Musicales, cinquante ans d’histoire, éd. Fayard, 2007.
  • Anne Marie LAULAN et Jacques PERRIAULT (coordination), « Les racines oubliées des sciences de la communication », revue Hermès, n° 48, éditions CNRS, 2007, réédition en 2010 dans Les essentiels d’Hermès, avec un article de Jocelyne Tournet sur Pierre Schaeffer, CNRS éditions, août 2010.
  • Martial ROBERT, Pierre Schaeffer : Des Transmissions à Orphée. Communication et musique en France entre 1936 et 1986, I, Paris, éd. L’Harmattan, coll. « Communication », 1999.
  • Martial ROBERT, Pierre Schaeffer : D’Orphée à Mac Luhan. Communication et musique en France entre 1936 et 1986, II, Paris, éd. L’Harmattan, coll.«  Communication », 2000.
  • Martial ROBERT, Pierre Schaeffer : De Mac Luhan au fantôme de Gutenberg. Communication et musique en France entre 1936 et 1986, III, Paris, éd. L’Harmattan, coll. « Communication », 2002.
  • Jocelyne TOURNET-LAMMER, Sur les traces de Pierre Schaeffer, Archives 1942-1995, Institut national de l’audiovisuel, Fenêtre sur les archives de l’Ina, Paris, La documentation française, 2006.
  • écrire à jacqueline dot schaeffer at orange dot fr

Cds, dvds

  • Pierre SCHAEFFER, L’œuvre musicale intégrale, édition sur cédéroms accompagnés de textes et documents inédits réunis par François Bayle, Paris, Ina/GRM et librairie Séguier, 1990, édition augmentée à paraître.
  • Pierre SCHAEFFER, Les Grandes Répétitions, avec cinq émissions du Service de la Recherche de l’ORTF, sous la direction de Pierre Schaeffer, réalisées par Gérard Patris et Luc Ferrari, sur Olivier Messiaen, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Edgar Varèse, Hermann Scherchen et Cecil Taylor, 2 dvds K-films, en coédition avec l’Ina et France-Musique, 2010.
  • Pierre SCHAEFFER, Claude ARRIEU, La coquille à planètes, suite fantastique pour une voix et douze monstres en huit émissions radiophoniques, Jacques Henri Duval, Jean Toscane, Jean-Claude Dranoel, Louis Salou : voix, orchestre national de l’ORTF, direction : André Girard, 4 cds Adès avec livret du texte intégral, 1990 [enregistrement de 1943-1944].

Liens Internet