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No such thing as silence : John Cage's 4'33…

No such thing as silence : John Cage's 4'33" (2010)

by Kyle Gann

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A brisk and fascinating discussion of that notorious piece of non-music. To this Cage ignoramus, it seems as good an introduction to his thought as it would be possible to find. ( )
  dazzyj | Jan 25, 2014 |
Simply the best book in the 33 1/3 series of focused books on music that never appeared in the 33 1/3 series. Of course, there couldn't ever have been a 33 1/3 book on John Cage's 4'33", because it was a composition, not a recording -- whether or not it is recordable is another question, just one of the koan-like nuggets that comprise Gann's survey of a piece of music that is seen as a prank by some and a philosophical entreaty by others. That 210-plus pages could be written about a work in which nothing is, technically speaking, played is a testament to the lessons inherent in Cage's most famous work. Gann divides up the story of the work into the Cage himself, influences on the piece, the piece and its reception, and its own influence on culture.
  Disquiet | Mar 30, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0300136994, Hardcover)

First performed at the midpoint of the twentieth century, John Cage’s 4'33", a composition conceived of without a single musical note, is among the most celebrated and ballyhooed cultural gestures in the history of modern music. A meditation on the act of listening and the nature of performance, Cage’s controversial piece became the iconic statement of the meaning of silence in art and is a landmark work of American music.

In this book, Kyle Gann, one of the nation’s leading music critics, explains 4'33" as a unique moment in American culture and musical composition. Finding resemblances and resonances of 4'33" in artworks as wide-ranging as the paintings of the Hudson River School and the music of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, he provides much-needed cultural context for this fundamentally challenging and often misunderstood piece. Gann also explores Cage’s craft, describing in illuminating detail the musical, philosophical, and even environmental influences that informed this groundbreaking piece of music. Having performed 4'33" himself and as a composer in his own right, Gann offers the reader both an expert’s analysis and a highly personal interpretation of Cage’s most divisive work.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:24 -0400)

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A discussion of John Cage's "4'33"," a mid-twentieth-century musical work composed entirely of silence, providing a cultural context for the piece, and examining the musical, philosophical, and environmental factors that influenced Cage.

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Yale University Press

2 editions of this book were published by Yale University Press.

Editions: 0300136994, 0300171293

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