Music, What Does It Communicate?

To John Cage, avant-garde American composer (1912-1992) there is no such thing as silence. Music is a succession of sounds and the composer the “organizer of sounds.” So he asks….

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Music, what does it communicate?

Is what’s clear to me clear to you?

Is music just sounds?

Then what does it communicate?

Is a truck passing by music?

If I can see it, do I have to hear it too?

If I don’t hear it, does it still communicate?

If while I see it I can’t hear it, but hear something else, say an egg-beater, because I’m inside looking out, does the truck communicate or the egg-beater, which communicates?

Which is more musical, a truck passing by a factory or a truck passing by a music school?

-John Cage, Silence

Be sure to attend this year’s performance of 4’33” on August 29th, 6 PM at WAAM. Performed by Clear Light Ensemble, and come listen to Kay Larson, acclaimed art critic, speak on Cage’s role in the creation of post-modernism.



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