Acousmatic music is constructed in theory as a form of expression mediated only by the ear. Constructing their work as ‘bracketing’ the presence of sounding bodies and spaces, acousmatic composers and theorists claim to privilege concrete encounters with the structure of audition itself. Early accounts framed this phonocentrism as a necessary response to global mass mediation. And yet, visual representations of acousmatic music abound, notably in the form of ‘listening scores’ for use in research and pedagogy. This chapter asks what visual representations of acousmatic music can tell us about the practical and epistemological frameworks embedded in acousmatic practice. Gathering policy reports, pedagogical material, and accounts of studio orientation in 1970s France and Quebec, it shows how acousmatic composers, deeply involved in contemporary efforts to reform education around new ideals of democratic citizenship and media literacy, worked to transform musical listening from a form of ‘passive’ reception to an ‘active’ participatory engagement. More than a simple representation of an otherwise unmediated act, the listening score helped train listeners to exercise a sense of proprietorship over their musical experiences that could only make sense in a soundscape saturated by media commodities.
|Title of host publication||Material Cultures of Music Notation|
|Subtitle of host publication||New Perspectives on Musical Inscription|
|Editors||Floris Schuiling, Emily Payne|
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - 17 May 2022|