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#437671 - 10/20/04 10:38 AM 4'33
Requiem Aeternam Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 1395
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Just curious about this Cage song, if anyone's ever heard it performed or recorded or anything, the question I have is how exactly does the "pianist" measure this 4'33, does he sit there with a stop watch or does he beat the time in his head or is 4'33 a general reference to give or take 5 minutes?
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#437672 - 10/20/04 10:52 AM Re: 4'33
Sir Lurksalot Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 1244
I hate hearing that piece because I can never get it out of my head ;\)

But seriously, violinist Yehudi Menuhin did a TV series called The Music of Man years ago. In one episode they showed a minute or two of Cage performing this work outdoors in an informal street environment. The audience was supposed to experience the piece by listening to all the background noise (cars, etc). Cage had a stopwatch sitting on top of the piano.

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#437673 - 10/20/04 11:13 AM Re: 4'33
snap_apple Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/21/03
Posts: 710
If I want to hear backround noise I go for a walk not a concert

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#437674 - 10/20/04 11:16 AM Re: 4'33
8ude Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 2050
I think in general you're supposed to use a stopwatch.

I've never seen this POS (just my opinion)performed, but I did see a similar piece while I was at college. It amounted to a Horn player sitting on stage not playing anything while there was some background noise (people opening and closing the various doors of the concert hall). This one was only marginally better than 4'33... \:\)
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What you are is an accident of birth. What I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been a thousand princes and there will be a thousand more. There is one Beethoven.

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#437675 - 10/20/04 11:18 AM Re: 4'33
8ude Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 2050
 Quote:
Originally posted by Requiem Aeternam:
... is 4'33 a general reference to give or take 5 minutes? [/b]
Actually it is supposed to be exactly 4 minutes and 33 seconds. It is supposed to represent absolute zero, or -273 degrees Celsius. 4'33 works out to 273 seconds.
_________________________
What you are is an accident of birth. What I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been a thousand princes and there will be a thousand more. There is one Beethoven.

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#437676 - 10/20/04 11:49 AM Re: 4'33
mound Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 782
Loc: Rochester, NY
I can play 4'33 of silence better than anybody!
;\)
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"You look hopefully for an idea and then you're humble when you find it and you wish your skills were better. To have even a half-baked touch of creativity is an honor."
-- Ernie Stires, composer

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#437677 - 10/20/04 12:00 PM Re: 4'33
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6186
Fun exercise for music students:

Transcribe 4'33 for any solo instrument or chamber ensemble of your choosing. Extra credit if you arrange it for an orchestra or marching band.
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#437678 - 10/20/04 12:09 PM Re: 4'33
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13799
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I've always seen it performed with a stopwatch.
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"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#437679 - 10/20/04 12:13 PM Re: 4'33
RealPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 2340
Loc: NYC
 Quote:
Originally posted by Kreisler:
I've always seen it performed with a stopwatch. [/b]
Yes, and IIRC there are divisions of the piece into three sections which the pianist is to delineate in some way. David Tudor used to silently close and open the fallboard.
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Joe

www.josephkubera.com

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#437680 - 10/20/04 12:17 PM Re: 4'33
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1796
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Does anyone have the sheet music? \:\) I mean, perhaps it has some directions or something?

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#437681 - 10/20/04 12:21 PM Re: 4'33
Galois Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 66
Loc: Buenos Aires
 Quote:
Originally posted by 8ude:
Actually it is supposed to be exactly 4 minutes and 33 seconds. It is supposed to represent absolute zero, or -273 degrees Celsius. 4'33 works out to 273 seconds. [/b]
Ohh, that is surprisingly stupid.
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#437682 - 10/20/04 12:41 PM Re: 4'33
mound Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 782
Loc: Rochester, NY
so, do you end the piece by making noise?
_________________________
"You look hopefully for an idea and then you're humble when you find it and you wish your skills were better. To have even a half-baked touch of creativity is an honor."
-- Ernie Stires, composer

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#437683 - 10/20/04 12:54 PM Re: 4'33
Sketchee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/23/03
Posts: 198
Loc: Beltsville, MD
I've seen the sheet music. It has three movements each marked "TACET".
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#437684 - 10/20/04 12:55 PM Re: 4'33
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
call his 4'33 music is nonsense, because afterall it is no music.

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#437685 - 10/20/04 12:59 PM Re: 4'33
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1796
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
what is music?

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#437686 - 10/20/04 01:04 PM Re: 4'33
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
i assume music is not noise produced, say, on streets, talking or banging on tables/doors, explosions or any that kind. if you call every sound is music, including noise, then we can all call ourselves composers (like Cage), because we can write just as well as Cage with our 5'33 or 1'33 or whatever. come on, that's nonsense!

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#437687 - 10/20/04 01:31 PM Re: 4'33
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1796
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
I don't think you answered my question.

Anyway, I often see things that some people never would see as music, as music. Take Keith Jarrett, who during his long improvisations for solo piano sometimes gets up and starts banging with his hands basically everywhere on the piano except for where the tangents are. Usually, there's no rhythm in this, nothing "musical". Is it music? If no, why not? Does it mean that when he's sitting at the piano and playing, he's actually making music, but at the moment he starts banging it, he stops making music? Where do you draw the line? When does it cede to be music?
I once heard a band which had "transcribed" a phone call. Yes, that's right - a phone call! The drummer played the rhythm of the speech, the pianist played the notes closest to the ones which he person spoke etc... is that music? Can a phone call be called music?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Messiaen do music which imitated birdsong? I'm not sure, but I think you can agree with me that what Messiaen did can be considered as music. If so, isn't the birdsong he imitated also music?

OKay, back to 4'33 and silence... Consider this, which is one of my favourite quotes by Keith Jarrett: "Silence is the potential for music to arise". He's absolutely right. I think that John Cage represents this. Another quote:

"Silence is a much more important thing than anybodys music. I believe there are times when people must just... shut up! Of course you can't always shut up when you should, bet we're at a time when we need either for someone to say something very important or for someone to say nothing - and in that sense be very important. That's one thing John Cage was representing. Your expectations would always be shattered. To me that can have a more positive influence on a future musician than a lot of music. The musician has to transcend a state of inaction and go into action... Cage's music was always about what that means, what the action is, what the music is. It's very important that somebody is representing that."


If Cage's 4´33 ISN'T music, why can you find it on sheet MUSIC? ;\)

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#437688 - 10/20/04 01:49 PM Re: 4'33
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13799
Loc: Iowa City, IA
People who don't get 4'33" have a very shallow understanding of the arts and the important role that experimentation plays in keeping the arts alive and growing.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#437689 - 10/20/04 01:54 PM Re: 4'33
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1796
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
I second that.

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#437690 - 10/20/04 02:04 PM Re: 4'33
Freedom Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 1192
Loc: Scotland
 Quote:
Originally posted by Axtremus:
Fun exercise for music students:

Transcribe 4'33 for any solo instrument or chamber ensemble of your choosing. Extra credit if you arrange it for an orchestra or marching band. [/b]
:D Nice
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#437691 - 10/20/04 02:06 PM Re: 4'33
Goldberg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/08/03
Posts: 1231
Loc: U.S.
I must agree with fnork and Kreisler. Although 4'33 is absurdly simple, it can easily become relatively complex. The "music" ends up creating itself.

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#437692 - 10/20/04 02:18 PM Re: 4'33
NAK Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 2561
Loc: Canada
The funny thing is when you have to cough/fart/sneeze/hiccup/burp while it is "playing". You kind of sit there, waiting for someone else to break the silence. Someone farts, everyone laughs.

Speaking of which, I like to think of "music" as interrupting silence.

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#437693 - 10/20/04 05:25 PM Re: 4'33
pdolce Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/01/03
Posts: 478
Loc: CA.
 Quote:
Originally posted by Kreisler:
People who don't get 4'33" have a very shallow understanding of the arts and the important role that experimentation plays in keeping the arts alive and growing. [/b]
Not necessarily. That's why art is so subjective.
Although I do agree that experimentation keeps art alive and growing.

pdolce
_________________________
But, I played it perfectly at home!!

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#437694 - 10/20/04 07:37 PM Re: 4'33
valarking Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 2331
Loc: Dallas
 Quote:
Originally posted by 8ude:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Requiem Aeternam:
... is 4'33 a general reference to give or take 5 minutes? [/b]
Actually it is supposed to be exactly 4 minutes and 33 seconds. It is supposed to represent absolute zero, or -273 degrees Celsius. 4'33 works out to 273 seconds. [/b]
HAHAHAHAHA WHAT A STUPID POST.

That's great 8ude... I'm having trouble typing because I'm laughing so hard....

I personally think 4'33" is ok in theory, but I would rather see Handel music performed (that's saying a lot). The premise that John Cage knows exactly what music is and isn't and the elitist bashing of his fans is pretentious to the extreme.
I understand the views of both people who say it's brilliant and those who say it's stupid. I'm somewhere inbetween. But it sure as hell is not music to me. If any kind of noise can be music, then I don't see why music should be a distinction at all. You've got to draw the line somewhere.

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#437695 - 10/20/04 07:38 PM Re: 4'33
valarking Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 2331
Loc: Dallas
BTW I'm selling my orchestral arrangement for $80 with an autograph. Any takers? ;\)

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#437696 - 10/20/04 07:52 PM Re: 4'33
Requiem Aeternam Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 1395
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Also I wanted to know has anyone heard of another piece (possibly by Cage too I forget..) that is supposedly the "longest piece ever composed," as I read it in a newspaper, what it basically is a composition for organ that some church somewhere is playing, it sounds one note of the composition per year, and the song won't end until like the year 4,000 or some such thing. I wonder if anyone's heard about this?
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#437697 - 10/20/04 07:57 PM Re: 4'33
valarking Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 2331
Loc: Dallas
Yes, that would be his "Organ² / ASLSP". One of the most idiotic things to ever bear the title of music.

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#437698 - 10/20/04 08:27 PM Re: 4'33
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3915
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by 8ude:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Requiem Aeternam:
... is 4'33 a general reference to give or take 5 minutes? [/b]
Actually it is supposed to be exactly 4 minutes and 33 seconds. It is supposed to represent absolute zero, or -273 degrees Celsius. 4'33 works out to 273 seconds. [/b]
I've been listening to this piece for years, and that's the first time I've learned that!
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There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#437699 - 10/20/04 08:28 PM Re: 4'33
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
 Quote:
Keith Jarrett: "Silence is the potential for music to arise".
sadly, potential for music to arise != music, just as potential for talent != talent. Cage created 4'33 maybe just to make a point, but it doesn't equal to music itself. call me shallow as you want, but by making "silience=music" sort of statement itself does not make such an equation to be true. Messiaen at least wrote his music down to sheets, even with bird songs, which at least can be called music. but calling 4'33 music is as absurd as calling anyone composer.

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#437700 - 10/20/04 09:06 PM Re: 4'33
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
I have as much appreciation for negative space in art as the next guy but 30 seconds of this piece and I feel like I get the gist of it. In other words, I have figured out that it has already started and I can pretty much skip out on the rest without missing anything.
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