Page 4 of 132 FirstFirst 123456781454104 ... LastLast
Results 46 to 60 of 1973

Thread: Why is 4'33" disparaged, while Western forms of sacred music get their own forum?

  1. #46
    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    2,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Is it music? Sure - I've said before that if one person finds particular sounds to be music, I'm not one to disagree.

    Is it sacred? Not to me, but hardly anything is sacred to me beyond individuality and family.

    Is it boring? Well, it never sounds exactly the same in a "live" setting.

    Is it tied in to one or more non-western religions? I don't care.

    Is disparaging the piece disrespectful? No, I understand why many folks find it to be nothing.

    Is finding value in the piece unreasonable? No.
    Last edited by Bulldog; Feb-04-2015 at 01:58.

  2. Likes ahammel, science, PetrB and 1 others liked this post
  3. #47
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    5,353
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by StlukesguildOhio View Post
    But then it might just be that some people are interested in listening to music... not entertaining "concepts".
    And here I thought you might be above this.

    Try listening to music with your ears rather than with an old theory textbook and you might be able to broaden your horizons a bit.

  4. Likes violadude, some guy, PetrB liked this post
  5. #48
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    SoCal, USA
    Posts
    14,349
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog View Post
    Is disparaging the piece disrespectful? No, I understand why many folks find it to be nothing.
    I consider 4'33" to be "nothing." I don't consider that disparaging, but think it's exactly what Cage had in mind. All this talk about "ambient sounds" and so forth is silly. It's nothing. No, not even nothing, because that would be something. And it's not even that.


  6. Likes ArtMusic, Sloe, JamieHoldham liked this post
  7. #49
    Senior Member Albert7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Salted Lakers City, UT
    Posts
    7,908
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    43

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KenOC View Post
    I consider 4'33" to be "nothing." I don't consider that disparaging, but think it's exactly what Cage had in mind. All this talk about "ambient sounds" and so forth is silly. It's nothing. No, not even nothing, because that would be something. And it's not even that.
    But the question is: can music exist in true nothingness? I think that 4' 33" is an homage to nature... capturing the ambient noises. We can have our own inner peace everywhere... 4' 33" pervades the total universe.

  8. Likes arpeggio, millionrainbows liked this post
  9. #50
    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    2,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KenOC View Post
    I consider 4'33" to be "nothing." I don't consider that disparaging, but think it's exactly what Cage had in mind. All this talk about "ambient sounds" and so forth is silly. It's nothing. No, not even nothing, because that would be something. And it's not even that.
    I can't agree. It's certainly more than nothing. I walk my dogs for at least one-half hour every day - no music piped into my ears, all I hear are the sounds around me (some close, some distant). That is NOT nothing. I do the Cage piece but for almost 8 times the 4'33". Funny thing is that I know two guys here in Albuquerque who speak highly of the piece; each of them plays his MP3 on every walk with their dogs, saying that the walks are an absolute bore without the piped-in music. I find that odd.

    Anyways, I have no problem with those who don't consider 4'33" music and no problem with those who do.

  10. Likes samurai, millionrainbows liked this post
  11. #51
    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    2,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by arcaneholocaust View Post
    And here I thought you might be above this.

    Try listening to music with your ears rather than with an old theory textbook and you might be able to broaden your horizons a bit.
    Those are insulting comments that are beneath you. Can't you see that?

  12. Likes Woodduck, samurai, science and 2 others liked this post
  13. #52
    Senior Member SeptimalTritone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    1,308
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KenOC View Post
    I consider 4'33" to be "nothing." I don't consider that disparaging, but think it's exactly what Cage had in mind. All this talk about "ambient sounds" and so forth is silly. It's nothing. No, not even nothing, because that would be something. And it's not even that.
    From wikipedia's 4'33" article:

    They missed the point. There's no such thing as silence. What they thought was silence, because they didn’t know how to listen, was full of accidental sounds. You could hear the wind stirring outside during the first movement. During the second, raindrops began pattering the roof, and during the third the people themselves made all kinds of interesting sounds as they talked or walked out.

    — John Cage speaking about the premiere of 4′33″

  14. Likes dgee, arpeggio, science and 1 others liked this post
  15. #53
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    5,353
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog View Post
    Those are insulting comments that are beneath you. Can't you see that?
    You're right. They are beneath me. Didn't particularly feel right from the minute I made those keystrokes.

    Also, I haven't got a single drop of self esteem within me, so typing "beneath me" is equally painful.

  16. Likes science liked this post
  17. #54
    Senior Member Dim7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    2,215
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I think all this talk about taking 4'33'' seriously is a part of the joke, as well as people taking those people seriously who pretend to take the piece seriously.

  18. Likes Florestan, JamieHoldham liked this post
  19. #55
    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    2,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by arcaneholocaust View Post
    You're right. They are beneath me. Didn't particularly feel right from the minute I made those keystrokes.

    Also, I haven't got a single drop of self esteem within me, so typing "beneath me" is equally painful.
    It's because you do have self esteem that you wrote the above. You're a good man.

  20. Likes SeptimalTritone, samurai, science and 1 others liked this post
  21. #56
    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    2,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dim7 View Post
    I think all this talk about taking 4'33'' seriously is a part of the joke, as well as people taking those people seriously who pretend to take the piece seriously.
    More insults from the other end of the spectrum. Pretend? If that's correct, you are calling those folks liars. And why? Because they don't agree with your musical sensibilities. Tough cookies.

  22. Likes some guy, science liked this post
  23. #57
    Senior Member Giordano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    283
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tdc View Post
    But I disagree that the chop wood and carry water approach leads to one finding things in general less fascinating or significant. I think the end result is the opposite of what you are suggesting.
    I would agree with you on that. What you are disagreeing with is not what I said.

  24. #58
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    8,567
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by some guy View Post
    Funny.

    We've gone over this ground before, numerous times, but it's as if no one has ever said anything about 4'33" before this thread, because all the usual canards come rushing in, fresh as daisies, as if no one had ever said anything about what the piece really is.

    Of course, I know why.

    4'33" was something John had been thinking about for around ten years before he finally wrote it. ... It is not a piece with no sounds; it is a piece that consists entirely of sounds that the composer did not intend... in 4'33", the sounds are not under the control of the composer. That's called indeterminacy, and there are lots of pieces, by lots of different composers, both before and after 4'33", that are indeterminate.

    And it is a musical piece. It has three movements, with precise timings. It is a piece for performers. It has musical instructions.

    It can be seen as the musical equivalent of the framing one does when taking a picture. Funny that no one seems to mind if people take photos or if some of those photos are displayed on museum walls as art. But so many people get really bent out of shape if Cage frames some environmental sounds and calls the result music.

    This is a piece where both composer and performer step aside and invite you to make this into music.

    You may not like it. You may not like what it says or seems to be saying. But claiming that it is not a piece of music is kinda silly. And all this talk about it's being only conceptual is so much special pleading. Name me a piece of music by anyone from any age that is not conceptual.
    Where to begin? Well, being no fan of indeterminacy, I'll begin at the beginning.

    "Funny" is the right word. 4'33" is, to many people, funny. It makes us laugh. It tickles our funny bones. We realize that it was not intended to be amusing. That makes it funnier. People to whom it is a very serious matter are often offended by the fact that we are amused by it. We understand, we even sympathize - and we still find it funny! In saying this, I am not trying to be funny. I mean it sincerely. I find 4'33" irresistibly amusing. I can't even think of it without smiling.

    You say that you know why people are still saying the things they're saying about 4'33." But you don't tell us what it is that you know. That's all right. Some of us already know why we think what we think, without your telling us.

    When you inform us that Cage had been contemplating the idea of 4'33" for ten years before he "finally wrote it" - excuse me, the word "wrote" is making my face crack a little - I recall that Wagner conceived the idea for Tristan und Isolde around 1854 and completed that most intense and astonishing opera in 1859 - the whole musical revolution embodied in that work took him only five years - while taking a little break from composing his epic Der Ring des Nibelungen. Just a brief hiatus, a little I-think-I'll-alter-the-course-of-Western-civilization-while-taking-a-sitz-bath sort of thing...

    Well, I'm sure Cage had other important things on his mind during that decade besides 4'33" of silence.

    I understand, of course, that we're not talking about actual silence here. We're talking about sounds, sounds that have not been composed by anyone. But wait a minute...There's something funny about that, isn't there? If Cage didn't compose the sounds, how can he be called the "composer"? Isn't that sort of, well, contradictory? Isn't that like someone who's called an artist inviting you to his gallery and showing you a blank wall? Or someone calling himself an author publishing a book with blank pages? (It didn't take me ten years to come up with those examples - though I admit I had Cage to inspire me, while he was working from scratch.)

    Now, you use the example of a framed photograph. But that is not a good example. A photograph may be an image of things in the environment - but those things are chosen by the photographer, and the image is made by him through a controlled process. A photograph really is a composition, and the photographer really is a composer. A better analogy would be a frame with no photograph in it. But a frame with nothing in it is - well, we're back to that blank wall. A frame containing nothing contains... Nothing.

    If I may get down to brass tacks here: I do not think that saying that 4'33" is "only conceptual" is "special pleading." I think it is true. I do not think that a list of instructions for a "performer" to behave in a certain way, for a certain period of time divided into "movements," while playing nothing, constitutes a piece of music. I do not think, either, that instructing musicians to choose what it is that they're going to play, so that no one knows what sounds will occur, and giving it a pompous artsy name like "indeterminacy," constitutes musical composition. These things are certainly "conceptual" - and, yes, all music is "conceptual." But what does that mean? It certainly does not mean that a composition of sounds, composed by an actual composer, and played by musicians, is the same thing as a directive issued to someone in a tuxedo to sit at a piano with his hands folded in his lap while hundreds of people watch him and simultaneously listen to distant traffic and cockroaches scurrying beneath their seats. Whether these people find this an interesting or rewarding experience does not alter the fact that it is a distinctly different experience.

    Admirers of Cage's experiment in awareness are certainly free, as we all are, to define music in any way they want. But those who decline to go along with them are not " kinda silly" to do so. What I find silly is the stern solemnity and condescension with which some of those admirers, who cannot find humor in Cage's subversion of ordinary meanings, react when confronted with the amusement of those of us who are not tempted to discard our concept of what music is just because a sweetly smiling fellow with a feather and a cactus and a book of Chinese hexagrams plays a little trick on us.

    We fans of ponderous Wagnerian epics are a notoriously serious bunch, yet we laugh harder than anyone when Anna Russell points out that Gutrune, "Die Gotterdammerung Gibich," is the first woman Siegfried has ever seen who isn't his aunt. I can only wish an equal measure of self-deprecating humor on the fans of John Cage when they hear about people singing 4'33'' in the shower.

    I can do it with variations.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Feb-04-2015 at 05:14.

  25. Likes samurai, SiegendesLicht, Florestan and 7 others liked this post
  26. #59
    Senior Member Marschallin Blair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    9,367
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by arcaneholocaust View Post
    And here I thought you might be above this.

    Try listening to music with your ears rather than with an old theory textbook and you might be able to broaden your horizons a bit.
    Better still: he can listen to music with his mind and not a catechism lesson.

    Last edited by Marschallin Blair; Feb-04-2015 at 05:16.
    "Let me have my own way in exactly everything, and a sunnier and more pleasant creature does not exist." - Thomas Carlyle

  27. Likes Woodduck, JamieHoldham liked this post
  28. #60
    Senior Member arpeggio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Burke, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    2,811
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I think the entire discussion on whether or not 4'33" is music is bogus. It is what it is. I consider it theater. Some might considerate invisible architecture.

    I still think it is a work of whatever you want to categorize it were the audience is a performer.
    It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious. And I am a very ingenious fellow

  29. Likes brotagonist liked this post

Similar Threads

  1. Progressive Rock and its ties to Western "art" music
    By millionrainbows in forum Non-Classical Music
    Replies: 62
    Last Post: Jun-14-2013, 04:53
  2. Non "western" classical music....
    By Selby in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: May-16-2013, 07:20
  3. I've been asked to perform Cage's 4'33"
    By Huilunsoittaja in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 124
    Last Post: Mar-18-2012, 00:15
  4. John cage 4'33" - music or junk????
    By thatperson in forum Orchestral Music
    Replies: 241
    Last Post: Sep-19-2010, 05:10

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •