• Most Respected Classical Music Platform
  • #classicalForever
(Photo credit: André Leduc)

Composer R. Murray Schafer has Died, Aged 88

The Canadian composer and teacher was known for exploring the relationship between music and the environment through his soundscapes


Raymond Murray Schafer has passed away following a battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Schafer will be primarily remembered as having founded the field of acoustic ecology — which examines the relationship between human beings and their sound environments. He popularized the term "soundscape" in his 1977 book The Tuning of the World.

Much like Webern and Cage, Schafer believed there was no such thing as pure, unadulterated silence. He came up with a concept called "sound walks," in which a listener would walk around their city with the aim of focusing on the immediate sonic environment and facilitating deeper listening.

As a composer, he wrote in many different genres. He had a particular fascination with the voice, and many of his works are for choirs of varying types. Schafer's scores often used a recognizable graphic notation.

In addition to these activities, Schafer was a passionate educator. During the 1960s, he produced a series of books and pamphlets that aimed to re-conceptualize the way that children learn music. He proposed that music pedagogy should focus on fostering creativity by centering composition and sound-based exploration, instead of merely teaching pieces by rote.

Our condolences to Mr. Schafer's family, friends, and colleagues at this time.

upcoming events

april 2024

23aprAll Day26Lyon International Chamber Music Competition(All Day) Université Lumière Lyon 2, 18 quai Claude Bernard 69365 Lyon, FranceEvent Type :competitions Event Tagschamber music,chamber music competition,Lyon International Chamber Music CompetitionFOLLOW

may 2024

06may01junQueen Elisabeth Violin Competition(may 6) 12:00 am - (june 1) 11:59 pm Flagey ASBL-VZW, Pl. Sainte-Croix, 1050 Bruxelles, BelgiumEvent Type :competitions Event Tagscompetition,Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition,violinFOLLOW

07mayAll Day13Prague Spring International Violin Competition(All Day) Rudolfinum, Alšovo nábř. 79/12, 110 00 Staré město-Staré Město, CzechiaEvent Type :competitions Event TagsPrague Spring International Violin Competition,violin competitionFOLLOW

10mayAll Day1251st Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition(All Day) University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556 USAEvent Type :competitions Event TagsFischoff Chamber Music CompetitionFOLLOW

27mayAll Day31New York Classic Violin Competition(All Day) Manhattan School of Music, 130 Claremont Ave, New York, NY 10027Event Type :competitions Event TagsClassic Violin Olympus International Competition,violin competitionFOLLOW


Get ALL our latest conveniently by EMAIL

Our newsletter is trusted by over 100,000+ industry professionals around the world

We deliver news straight to your inbox and will never share your data.
You'll never miss a beat!

click left click right