In addition to introducing the concept of soundscape he also coined the term schizophonia in 1977, the splitting of a sound from its source or the condition caused by this split: "We have split the sound from the maker of the sound. Sounds have been torn from their natural sockets and given an amplified and independent existence. Vocal sound, for instance, is no longer tied to a hole in the head but is free to issue from anywhere in the landscape. Steven Feld, borrowing a term from Gregory Bateson, calls the recombination and recontextualization of sounds split from their sources schismogenesis.
In 1987 he was awarded the first Glenn Gould Prize in recognition of his contributions. In 2005 he was awarded the Walter Carsen Prize, by the Canada Council for the Arts, one of the top honours for lifetime achievement by a Canadian artist.
Schafer is particularly famous for his situational opera The Princess of the Stars.