The Soundscape

A blog post inspired by Ryan.

The Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer pioneered the discipline  the Soundscape Studies in the 1960s. Here he explains what a soundscape is:

Many of Schafer’s compositions attempt to mimic the sounds of the natural world, using voices and instruments. He uses innovative notation techniques in his scores:

Interesting: the Native American audio engineer Jim Wilson slowed down some tracks of crickets chirping in the 1990s, and (probably with some manipulation) they sound like this:

Celestial Music

In class, Ryan mentioned the music of Saturn’s rings:

In fact, the Greek mathematician Pythagorus, who lived in the 6th century B.C., originated the notion of the “Harmony of the Spheres,” which holds that the heavenly bodies produce sound as the revolve. Pythagorus was also a philosopher of music, and was the first theorist to understand that the pitch of a musical note is in inverse proportion to the length of the string (plucked or bowed) that produces that note. He believed that the sun, moon, stars, and planets all produced a unique pitch as they turned which was proportionate to their size and mass.

music of


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