Music Analysis

1260 words - 6 pages

Music is all around us. It is not limited to the soundtracks on a CD or the hit tunes on the radio. Music is the sounds we consistently hear in our day to day lives. It is heard in the rustle of a busy urban city. It is heard between the low chirps of birds in the early morning. It is heard in the taps and clatter of a unsettled kitchen. Music is everywhere and anywhere. Or at least that is what the composer John Cage believed. Even the smallest hint of innovation and critical thinking can change the world. A new idea can reform the way we see things, or even hear things for that matter. John Cage was seen to many people as an innovator and a musical genius. He argued for the idea that music is more than conventional idea that follows strict form and limits. Instead he celebrated the relationship between noise, silence, and vibrations. As John Cage strayed from societal norms of the time, he became one of the twentieth century's most prominent composers.
On September 5, 1912, John Milton Cage and Lucretia Cage witnessed the birth of a son whom they named John Milton Cage, Jr. Growing up, Cage didn't always want to become a musical composer. Instead he saw himself becoming a writer. Although this was his intention, John Cage later changed his mind after a trip to Europe. As he further ventured into the world of music, the tremendous influence of his colleagues and friends had began to appear as Cage reformed his idea of music. He experimented with non-intentional sounds and reformulated his pieces to demonstrate this. Even today, one of his most prominent pieces was known as 4'33''. It is in this piece that he made what was possibly the biggest statement of his career. For the entire length of the performance he had his pianist David Tudor sit a piano and not play a sound. The idea behind this piece was that the people witnessing the scene would not be exposed to the sounds instilled by the performer but instead listen to the sounds around them within the room. The irony of the piece was that the performer embodied silence while the audience produced the natural sounds around them. In other works, John Cage used a similar method of intermixing silence and unintentional sounds. Entire albums of his work encompass original pieces that portray the same message as 4'33'' once showed. For instance, in his album title, "The Seasons," he demonstrates his visionary work once again. Comparably, in other famous works such as "Imaginary Landscape No. 4" and "Concert for Piano and Orchestra" he uses unconventional methods to compose his pieces. During Imaginary Landscape No. 4 Cage played radio channels randomly and simultaneously to produce the sound he wanted. In "Concert for Piano and Orchestra" he used a piano. While one might assume that using a piano is quite ordinary and undistinguishable from traditional works, the way in which he used the piano was how his point came across. Instead of simply playing the piano keys, other methods were used to play...

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