John Cage's Theatre Pieces: Notations and Performances

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Psychology Press, 1996 - Music - 282 pages
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The experimental composer John Cage (1912-1992) is best known for his works in percussion, prepared piano, and electronic music, but he is also acknowledged to be one of the most significant figures in 20th century theatre. In Cage's work in theatre composition there is a blurring of the distinctions between music, dance, literature, art and everyday life. Here, William Fetterman examines the majority of those compositions by Cage which are audial as well as visual in content, beginning with his first work in this genre in 1952, and continuing through 1992.
Much of the information in this study comes from previously undocumented material discovered among the unpublished scores and notes of Cage and his frequent collaborator David Tudor, as well as author's interviews with Cage and with individuals closely associated with his work, including David Tudor, Merce Cunningham, Bonnie Bird, Mary Caroline Richards, and Ellsworth Snyder.
 

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Contents

1 Early Compositions and Dance Accompaniments
1
Early Variations on Chance Composed Theatre Pieces in Determinate Notation
25
Variations in Complex Indeterminate Notation
47
Variations on a Disciplined Action
69
Variations on SmallGroup Simultaneities
97
Variations on LargeGroup Simultaneities
125
General Performances and Specific Solos
149
The Final Theatre Pieces
167
Appendix 1 John Cage on Teaching
231
Appendix 2 John Cage on Theatre Piece
234
Appendix 3 David Tudors 1960 Performance of Theatre Piece
237
Appendix 4 Song Books Solos 9 61 and 87 in Performance
243
Appendix 5 A Dialogue Score by John Cage
248
Appendix 6 Frances Ott Allens Experiences of HPSCHD
253
List of References
256
Index of Cages Works
273

9 John Cage as a Performer
189
Conclusion
227

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