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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...

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