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Although often employed interchangeably with ACOUSTICS, the term might better be restricted to the technology dealing with the practical applications of SOUND, as distinct from the pure science of acoustics. (It will be noted, however, that the contemporary acoustical engineer or acoustician is often mostly involved with the practical applications of sound.)
(French: concrete music) A development introduced in Paris in 1948 by Pierre Schaeffer at the studio of the French Radio (O.R.T.F.). Its aim was to replace traditional musical material with recorded (i.e. concrete) sounds which were then manipulated by FILTERing, tape reversal, TAPE LOOPs, speed changes, tape SPLICEs, or other electronic means. The source of all sounds, however, was environmental. The experimental side of this study developed the concept of l'objet sonore.
A form of STEREOPHONIC or multi-channel reproduction in which the sound source is spread around the listener by the use of four tracks or CHANNELs in recording or transmission and the use of four (or more) LOUDSPEAKERs. Conventional music or speech may be recorded in this way, in which case the speakers behind the listener add REVERBERATION to the original sound or are simply out of PHASE with respect to the front ones; or new works may be composed in which all tracks carry original material.
If a sound is a complex of many TONEs of various FREQUENCY, AMPLITUDE and PHASE, repeating together in a basic CYCLE of definite frequency, the fundamental is the lowest frequency of this complex and corresponds to the unique PITCH heard in such a COMPLEX TONE.