(b Nancy, 1910; d. Aix‐en‐Provence, 1995).
Fr. composer. Trained as radio technician and worked mostly for RTF, Paris. In 1942 founded acoustical experiments studio. Began experiments in 1948 with comps. based on assemblage of recorded sounds. For these he coined the term musique concrète, his first being Étude aux chemins de fer, made from the sounds of railway trains. This and 4 other works were broadcast from Paris on 5 Oct. 1948. In 1949 he began to collaborate with the composer Pierre Henry. In 1951 RTF est. a studio under Schaeffer's dir., the first to be devoted to elec. mus. Dir. of research, RTF 1959–75. Prof., Paris Cons. 1968–76. Prin. comps. incl. Symphonie pour un homme seul (collab. Pierre Henry, 1949–50, rev. 1966); Orphée 53 (with Henry, for vn., hpd., 2 singers, and tape, 1951–3); Sahara d'aujourd'hui (collab. Henry, 1957); Études aux objets (1959, rev. 1966–7); Les antennas de Jéricho (1978); Excusez‐moi je meurs (1981); Prélude, Chorale et Fugue (1983).