The Cambridge Companion to John Cage

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Overview

American composer John Cage (1912-1992) was without doubt one of the most important and influential figures in twentieth-century music. He spent much of his career in pursuit of an unusual goal—"giving up control so that sounds can be sounds", as he put it. As well as composing around 300 works, he was also a prolific performer, writer, poet, and visual artist. This Companion celebrates the richness and diversity of Cage's achievements and provides readers with a fully rounded portrait of a fascinating figure.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
This volume presents contributions by composers and musicologists that reveal the richness and diversity of composer John Cage, whose novel ideas included the development of the prepared piano and of the percussion orchestra, the adoption of chance and indeterminacy, the use of electronic resources, and other challenges to basic tenets of western art music. The chapters discuss aesthetic contexts; sounds, words, and images; and interaction and influence. Edited by Nicholls, U. of Southhampton). Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
"These essays ... represent a significant contribution to understanding the uniqueness of Cage. Highly recommended." Choice
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521783484
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Series: Cambridge Companions to Music Series
  • Pages: 302
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

David Nicholls is Professor of Music at the University of Southampton. Author of American Experimental Music, 1890-1940 (Cambridge, 1990) and editor of The Cambridge History of American Music (Cambridge, 1998) and numerous articles on topics in American music, he has also acted as contributing editor for the reissue of Henry Cowell's New Musical Resources (CUP, 1996) and The Whole World of Music: A Henry Cowell Symposium (1997). He is also editor of the journal American Music.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Notes on contributors
Preface
Acknowledgements
Chronology
Pt. I Aesthetic contexts
1 Cage and America 3
2 Cage and Europe 20
3 Cage and Asia: history and sources 41
Pt. II Sounds, words, images
4 Music I: to the late 1940s 63
5 Words and writings 85
6 Towards infinity: Cage in the 1950s and 1960s 100
7 Visual art 109
8 Music II: from the late 1960s 128
Pt. III Interaction and influence
9 Cage's collaborations 151
10 Cage and Tudor 169
11 Cage and high modernism 186
12 Music and society 214
13 Cage and postmodernism 227
14 No escape from heaven: John Cage as father figure 242
Endnotes 261
Bibliography 268
Index 277
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