Pierre (Henri Marie) Schaeffer (1910 – 1995) was a French composer, writer, broadcaster, engineer, musicologist, and acoustician.
Schaeffer is most widely recognized for his accomplishments in electronic and experimental music, at the core of which stands his role as the chief developer of a unique and early form of avant-garde music known as musique concrète. A form of electroacoustic music based on pre-existing (concrete) materials such as recorded environmental sound, but also incorporating recorded sound of electronic synthesizers, instruments or voices musique concrète emerged out of Europe from the use of new music technology developed in the post-war era, following the advance of electroacoustic and acousmatic music. The revolutionary concept presented a stark contrast to previous creation techniques, where composers first conceived music in their mind, often transmitting it via notation to performers, as musique concrète compositions cannot pre-exist as ideas (the abstract), and and rather products of their constituent recorded elements.
Founder of the Groupe de recherches musicales (GRM) in 1958, Schaeffer is considered one of the most influential experimental, electroacoustic, and subsequently electronic musicians, having been the first composer to utilize a number of contemporary recording and sampling techniques that are now used worldwide by nearly all record production companies.