Sound: An Acoulogical Treatise
Michel Chion is a composer, filmmaker, teacher, researcher, and the author of several books, including Film, A Sound Art; The Voice in Cinema; and Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen.
James A. Steintrager is Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and European Languages and Studies at the University of California, Irvine; he is the author, most recently, of The Autonomy of Pleasure: Libertines, License, and Sexual Revolution.
This chapter considers two of the key concepts of the seminal sound theorist Pierre Schaeffer: reduced listening and the sound object. The former indicates an effort to listen without attending to the context or causes of what is heard. Its correlate is the sound object: sound conceived as a phenomenon in itself, independent of materiality. These concepts led Schaeffer to attempt a new classification and description of sounds, in which the traditional aspects of musical sound (pitch, duration, intensity, and timbre) would be rethought in different terms: mass, maintenance, grain, caliber, bearing, and so forth. The second half of the...