John Cage's Theatre Pieces
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Much of the information in this study comes from previously undocumented material discovered among the unpublished scores and notes of Cage and his frequent collaborator David Tudor, as well as author's interviews with Cage and with individuals closely associated with his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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1 Early Compositions and Dance Accompaniments
Early Variations on Chance Composed Theatre Pieces in Determinate Notation
Variations in Complex Indeterminate Notation
Variations on a Disciplined Action
Variations on SmallGroup Simultaneities
Variations on LargeGroup Simultaneities
General Performances and Specific Solos
The Final Theatre Pieces
Appendix 1 John Cage on Teaching
Appendix 2 John Cage on Theatre Piece
Appendix 3 David Tudors 1960 Performance of Theatre Piece
Appendix 4 Song Books Solos 9 61 and 87 in Performance
Appendix 5 A Dialogue Score by John Cage
Appendix 6 Frances Ott Allens Experiences of HPSCHD
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action actual performance aesthetics Alvin Lucier Andrew Culver appears in Fig arias audience auxiliary sound Berberian Black Mountain College brackets Cage's Cage’s Cage’s performance Cage’s score Cage’s theatre pieces Cartridge Music Cernovitch chance procedures Ching choreography composer composition concert dance dancers David Barron David Tudor determined documentation Duchamp duration electronic Empty Words Europera example excerpt film floorplan Henmar Press Inc included indeterminacy indeterminate notation inﬂuence instructions instruments interpretation Jackson Mac Low John Cage lecture listening Lucier M. C. Richards mance mask Merce Cunningham mesostic minutes movement Music Walk musicians musicircus Neely Bruce notes opera orchestra percussion ensemble performance of Theatre Philip Corner phonograph pianist playing prepared piano radio realization recalls recording silence singers Snyder Solo Song Books Sounds of Venice stage stop-watch structure tape theatrical things Thoreau Toby Twining untitled event Variations visual vocal Water Music Water Walk whistle write York