The Music of John Cage

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Mar 14, 1996 - Music - 223 pages
Although John Cage has been almost universally recognised as the leading figure of the post-war musical avant-garde, this is the first book to present a complete and coherent picture of Cage the composer. Providing a historical account of Cage's musical concerns and changing style, James Pritchett describes just what it was Cage did and why and how he did it. The book is centred around extensive descriptions of the most important works and compositional techniques, including in-depth explanations of the role of chance and indeterminacy in Cage's music. Dr Pritchett also considers the relationship of Cage's musical thought to his interests in such diverse subjects as Eastern philosophy and religion, Marshall McLuhan, and anarchism (among many others). This book thus makes the essential introduction to Cage's musical world.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
For more new sounds 19331948
6
Percussion ensembles
10
The prepared piano
22
To sober and quiet the mind 19461951
36
Changes in style and aesthetic
45
From choice to chance
60
Throwing sound into silence 19511956
74
Musical tools
126
Music not composition 19621969
138
Process and action
146
Electronics
150
Simultaneity abundance and anarchy
154
Joy and bewilderment 19691992
162
Work in other media
175
Program music
189

Chart systems
78
Pointdrawing systems
92
The Ten Thousand Things
95
Indeterminacy 19571961
105
New notations
109
Instrumental music
198
Notes
205
Sources
215
Index
220
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