• 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

january 2024

12janAll Day16APAP|NYC+ Arts Presenters Conference(All Day) New York Hilton Midtown, 1335 6th Ave, New York, NY 10019Event Type :conferences & tradeshows Event TagsAPAPFOLLOW

18janAll Day21Chamber Music America National Conference(All Day) Westin New York at Times Square, 270 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036Event Type :conferences & tradeshows Event TagsChamber Music America National Conference,CMA,ConferencesFOLLOW

25janAll Day28National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Show(All Day) Anaheim convention center, Anaheim, CA 92802Event Type :conferences & tradeshows Event TagsNAMM,The National American of Music Merchants ShowFOLLOW


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