The Sounds of Silence: John Cage and 4’33” – Larry Solomon

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this essay is to examine the aesthetic behind Cage’s “silent” composition, 4’33”, to trace its history, and to show that it marked a significant change in John Cage’s musical thought — specifically how it forms a point-of-no-return from the conventional communicative, self-expressive and intentional purpose of music to a radical new aesthetic that informs the field of unintentional sound, interpenetration, chance, and indeterminacy. The compositional process is described, both the writing of 4’33” and its evolution from past thought. Implications for performance are examined, and recommendations are made.

http://solomonsmusic.net/4min33se.htm

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Filed under aesthetics, Arts, Composition, Essay, Experimental Music, John Cage, Music, Silence, Solomon, Theory

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