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Music Archives at the National Library of Canada

SCHAFER, R. MURRAY  (Raymond Murray), 1933-
MUS 85


R. Murray Schafer fonds.  - 1924-1994.  - 3.54 m of textual records.  - 10 photographs.  - 9 negatives.  - 135 slides.  - ca. 100 drawings.  - 77 audio tape reels.  - 1 audio tape cassette. 

Biographical sketch
Composer, writer, educator, draftsman and environmentalist born in Sarnia, Ontario.  Raymond Murray Schafer studied piano with Alberto Guerrero, harpsichord with Greta Kraus, composition with John Weinzweig and musicology with Arnold Walter.  In 1961, after some five years in Europe, Schafer returned to Canada and set up the Ten Centuries Concerts, in collaboration with Harry Somers and Gordon Delamont, among others.  In 1963 he began a teaching career at Memorial University and subsequently became a professor at Simon Fraser University (1965-75).  In his teaching, he fought against the academic formalism of the university community by incorporating such modern concepts as creative listening and sensory awareness.  At Simon Fraser University, he created and directed the World Soundscape Project, designed to study the individual's relations with his acoustic environment.  A prolific composer, his works include Canzoni for Prisoners, Dream Rainbow Dream Thunder, Scorpius, The Crown of Ariadne, Patria II, Magic Songs, Ra, concertos for guitar, harp and flute, and several string quartets. 

Scope and content
The fonds contains records pertaining to the life and musical activities of R. Murray Schafer.  Schafer's numerous scores show his musical talent as well as his skills in visual art by illustrating several music manuscripts.  Several records also reveal his research on new tones and his interest for a social and environmentalist approach to music. 

The fonds includes, among other items:  personal diary; notebooks; correspondence, including letters from Takemitsu, Cage, Mercure, Garant, Boulez and Levi-Strauss; autograph manuscripts of compositions by Schafer; writings; posters; concert programmes; press clippings; photographs of R. Murray Schafer, personalities of the music world, music groups and performances; sound recordings of musical works by Schafer, interviews and lectures. 

Immediate source of acquisition:  acquired from R. Murray Schafer in a number of accessions between 1977 and 1994. 

Restrictions:  the personal diary and notebooks are confidential. 

Finding aids:  Myra Grimley Dahl.  "Numerical List of the R.  Murray Schafer fonds."  Ottawa:  National Library of Canada.  1987.  61 p. (unpublished); provisional description for the most recent accessions. 

Associated material: R. Murray Schafer fonds at the University of Calgary Library, Special Collections.

Accruals:  further accessions expected. 



Proactive Disclosure