John Cage

Essays and posts on the music of American composer John Cage (1912-1992)

John Cage: Freeman Etudes

This combines the two texts that accompany the two volumes of the recording by Irvine Arditti. The first part is a general discussion of the work; the second part is an account of the completion of this work after a lengthy hiatus.

John Cage and the prepared piano

John Cage and the prepared piano: a twelve-year history in six parts by James Pritchett Copyright 2007 by James Pritchett. All rights reserved. Prologue (5 April 1944) “Dances by Merce Cunningham; Music by John Cage”, the concert program read. “April fifth, Nineteen forty-four, at nine o’clock.” The program, divided into three parts, consisted of: DANCE …

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Here are some of my writings, mostly about John Cage, but some about other musical subjects, plus some poetry and stories. Table of contents Music: John Cage List of works Specific pieces General Other music On writing about music Poems & other texts Music: John Cage List of works A chronological listing of all the …

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John Cage and the power of a bad performance

All composers endure bad performances of their music. It’s always demoralizing and undermines self-confidence. Some solace can be taken in the knowledge that this experience is universal: it happens to all composers, the famous and the obscure, and at all points in their careers. This point was driven home to me recently when I discovered John Cage, in conversation with Morton Feldman, describing the impact of a bad performance of his Concerto for prepared piano.

What is a composer? Who is she?

“John Cage was a composer: this is the premise from which everything in this book follows.” Twenty years ago I opened my book on the music of John Cage with this strong statement. There were field marks by which I identified Cage as a composer, and I learned them by studying “the other subject” of my book.