R. Murray Schafer

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Raymond Murray Schafer (18 July 1933, Sarnia, Ontario, Canada - 14 August 2021, Peterborough, Ontario) was a Canadian composer, writer, music educator and environmentalist perhaps best known for his World Soundscape Project, concern for acoustic ecology, and his book The Tuning of the World (1977).

Schafer studied harpsichord and piano in Toronto and London, and literature, music and philosophy in Vienna. He pioneered research in the field of acoustic ecology in 1972, and has since remained active as a researcher, notably with the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology. As a professor at Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, B.C., Canada) from 1965-1975, he founded the World Soundscape Project as well as the Studio for Sonic Research and Electronic Music.


  • Ezra Pound and Music, 1961.
  • The Composer in the Classroom, 1965.
    • "O compositor na sala de aula", in Schafer, Ouvido pensante, São Paulo: UNESP, 1991, pp 19-65; 2nd ed., 2012. (Brazilian Portuguese)
  • The Book of Noise, Wellington, NZ: Price, Milburn, 1970, 30 pp; repr., Indian River, ON: Arcana Editions, 1998. A publication of the World Soundscape Project. [1]
  • When Words Sing, 1970.
  • E.T.A. Hoffmann and Music, 1975.
  • editor, European Sound Diary, Vancouver: A.R.C. Publications, 1978, 100 pp. A publication of the World Soundscape Project.
  • The Thinking Ear: Complete Writings on Music Education, Toronto: Arcana, 1986, 342 pp. Contains "The composer in the classroom", "Ear cleaning", "The new soundscape", "When words sing", "The rhinoceros in the classroom", and "Beyond the music room".
    • O ouvido pensante, trans. Marisa Trench de O. Fonterrada, Magda R. Gomes da Silva and Maria Lucia Pascoal, São Paulo: UNESP, 1992. (Brazilian Portuguese)
  • Voices of Tyranny, Temples of Silence, Toronto: Arcana, 1993.


  • "Soundscape in the Age of Networks. Murray Schafer in Conversation with Sabine Breitsameter", Apr 2005. [4]