Preface: Pierre Schaeffer

In his short preface, Pierre Schaeffer touches on a number of points and issues he hopes will inform our understanding of the Guide Des Objects Sonores. We see him pointing out the challenge of unpacking a …three-stage musical problematic… the sonorous, the musical, the meaning… (Schaeffer in Chion, 1983) and developing perspectives on how a thing is formed, the sound of a whole thing and the reflections of the listener.

In his preface to Chion’s treaty, we can feel a sense of plea to his readers – rise to the challenge that Chion is presenting to you. We can also see here he suggests there is no right or wrong interpretation to the treatise and interpretations can be personal, provocative and fundamentally question the notions of art and art-making previously articulated by leaders in the field of experimental music and sonic arts.

The future…belongs to you. Do not complain if I have left the most difficult part to you. All you will find is a way of proceeding: not one real rule of Art.

(Schaeffer in Chion, 1983)