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

  1. #106
    Senior Member tdc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Nature has aesthetic value, but nature is not art.
    This is where we disagree. I do consider nature art, I also consider life art. I think all "art" that is directly created by humans takes its inspiration from nature and from life itself. In a sense Cage's 4'33" points to this simple fact. Art mimics life, death and nature and I think the artist is virtuous in taking part in creating and finding new modes of expression. But personally I don't think any artist has yet surpassed the beauty found in nature.

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  3. #107
    Senior Member some guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Fine. All I need do to is to point to something. You will then notice a "found object" you wouldn't have noticed otherwise, and that will make whatever you notice "art" and me an "artist."

    Who knew it was so easy?
    Morton Feldman: "Now that everything is so easy, there is so much to do."

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  5. #108
    Senior Member dgee's Avatar
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    Look, if skimming this fills you with a harumphing, vinegary feeling - then John Cage is probably not for you:

    http://www.overgrownpath.com/2008/02...pening-in.html

    That's OK, tho. It's really fine and there's no need to feel bad about it. Plenty of things (note - I didn't even say "music"!!!) for everyone
    Last edited by dgee; Feb-04-2015 at 12:28.

  6. #109
    Senior Member some guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Just to point out that I don't 'hate' John Cage. I do not know much about him. I do not like what he purports to be his music as it sounds to me like a tuneless racket. And I do not hate 4'33" by considering it a clever idea but not a musical masterpiece! The fact is it isn't. I also cannot but help be amused by those people who take it seriously!
    Just a note about meaning. The word ignorant, in common with many other words, has many meanings. One of them is "stupid."

    But an earlier meaning of the word, an entirely neutral meaning, is "lacking knowledge."

    And that is a thing that some of us object to, people who self identify as lacking knowledge continuing to push their unsupported opinions.

    DavidA may be amused by me. I'm embarrassed by him.

    And if I get an infraction for saying that, then everyone who has said they're amused by people who take Cage's piece "seriously" should also get infractions. Fair's fair.

    By the way, I consider Ravel's Bolero to be a clever idea but not a musical masterpiece.

    Ravel would agree.

    And, furthermore, Bizet's Carmen has also been described as tuneless racket. Well, is it?

    It is possible, and possibly desirable, to be able to distinguish individual perceptions and actual characteristics.

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  8. #110
    Senior Member some guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogen View Post
    Dear John,
    Although you are dead, can I suggest a sequel to 4'33" ?
    Similar to the original, but with intentional sound in the first and third movements. That would stir the pot!
    Hey Dogen, Cage did do a sequel to 4'33", it's called 0'00", also referred to as 4'33" no. 2. And it is extremely noisy.

    So you got your wish!!

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  10. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by some guy View Post
    Hey Dogen, Cage did do a sequel to 4'33", it's called 0'00", also referred to as 4'33" no. 2. And it is extremely noisy.

    So you got your wish!!
    No sh1t!!!!

    Tell ya, I'm wasted here.

    Unless you're pulling my chain.

    I'll check!

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  12. #112
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    Senior Member arpeggio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Who are these "people" who "hate" Cage, who are calling each other "stupid" and "scolding" and "crying," and whose "egos" you have so handily diagnosed?

    They really should be told who they are so that they can go and get help before they start hating Stockhausen too.
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    I am always amused when people try and defend 4'33" as a piece of music then say people who don't agree are ignorant. May I just point our this is not an argument at all.
    Good grief. Maybe I should of used the words "disagree" and "ignorant"? I am not going to waste my time going through this forum in order to find other posts where members use "disparaging" remarks over this. Or get out my thesaurus in order to use just the right words.
    It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious. And I am a very ingenious fellow

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  16. #114
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    It's been interesting reading the comments here.

    I find myself not particularly invested in 4'33". Like much concept art I go "Oh. I see what you've done there. Neat." And then carry on with life. This type of art doesn't really have the power to hold me and keep me returning, though I appreciate what's it's trying to say and the discussions ( like this ) it leads to.

    In essence, I'm glad it exists in an abstract sort of way, but I'd always rather be listening to his Sonatas and Interludes or the like.

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  18. #115
    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arcaneholocaust View Post
    It's almost like he didn't write a piece at all, but rather took a long-legendary piece called "Silence" and transcribed it for performers. And yes, your statement is completely correct (well, perhaps not inside a black hole): there is no "nothing" - which is a scientific point that supports the conclusion that the "THERE'S NOTHING THERE TO UNDERSTAND" crowd in previous pages are... lacking some crucial understanding. If they'd just use their ears...
    I have always understood Cage's concept and the rationale for its execution, and I have also always found it puerile, lame, and insulting. I don't need to be told I should expand my definition of what counts as music. I don't need to have my consciousness raised by being made aware of ambient sound. What I always sing in my head when some poser with pretensions to a deep spiritual awareness tries to tell me what I need is:

    Look here brother
    Who you jivin' with that cosmic debris?
    Look here brother
    Don't you waste your time on me.
    Frank Zappa
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Feb-04-2015 at 15:41.

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  20. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    I have always understood Cage's concept and the rationale for its execution, and I have also always found it puerile, lame, and insulting. I don't need to be told I should expand my definition of what counts as music. I don't need to have my consciousness raised by being made aware of ambient sound. What I always sing in my head when some poser with pretensions to a deep spiritual awareness tries to tell me what I need is:

    Look here brother
    Who you jivin' with that cosmic debris?
    Look here brother
    Don't you waste your time on me.
    I don't do drugs either, for the record

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  22. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by arcaneholocaust View Post
    I don't do drugs either, for the record
    I do—I take my caffeine every morning.

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  24. #118
    Senior Member some guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    I have always understood Cage's concept and the rationale for its execution, and I have also always found it puerile, lame, and insulting.
    What this says to me is that you don't understand the concept or the rationale.

    But maybe you do.

    Tell us, now, your understanding of the concept and the rationale. And then explain how that is puerile, lame, and insulting.

    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    I don't need to be told I should expand my definition of what counts as music. I don't need to have my consciousness raised by being made aware of ambient sound. What I always sing in my head when some poser with pretensions to a deep spiritual awareness tries to tell me what I need is:

    Look here brother
    Who you jivin' with that cosmic debris?
    Look here brother
    Don't you waste your time on me.
    Frank Zappa
    Nice anecdote, but what does it have to do with the preceding? (I'm really beginning to suspect that you do not indeed understand Cage's concept. You seem, at least, to be addressing only millionrainbow's interpretation. At most, to be addressing SimonNZ's experience. And, if the latter, I should probably remind you that Simon has never to my knowledge ever tried to tell anyone what they need. Come to think of it, I don't recall ever hearing Cage trying to tell anyone what they needed.)

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  26. #119
    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by some guy View Post
    What this says to me is that you don't understand the concept or the rationale.

    But maybe you do.

    Tell us, now, your understanding of the concept and the rationale. And then explain how that is puerile, lame, and insulting.

    Nice anecdote, but what does it have to do with the preceding? (I'm really beginning to suspect that you do not indeed understand Cage's concept. You seem, at least, to be addressing only millionrainbow's interpretation. At most, to be addressing SimonNZ's experience. And, if the latter, I should probably remind you that Simon has never to my knowledge ever tried to tell anyone what they need. Come to think of it, I don't recall ever hearing Cage trying to tell anyone what they needed.)
    Music comprises sounds that are notated and sounds that are not. The ones that are not exist in the score as rests or caesuras. These notated "silences" — well, he maintained actual musical silence was impossible, but … — open windows into the outside world making environmental sounds musical ones. 4'33'' is a big window. Not complicated. He stated the proper purpose of music is to "quiet the mind and thus make it open to divine influence," — thus, cosmic debris. That's not complicated either. The dadaist impulse is pretty obvious too.

    Most of the above paraphrases ideas from Silence.
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Feb-04-2015 at 19:21.

  27. #120
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegendesLicht View Post
    How exactly is this music sacred...
    I consider 4'33" sacred because of what it is, and also I know about John Cage as a man. I read the biography, and I've heard a lot of his music. Someguy met him in person; perhaps you should ask him.


    Quote Originally Posted by SiegendesLicht View Post
    ...and why do you oppose it to "Western" music? Was John Cage not a Westerner?
    Cage was a Buddhist, and I see his ideas about music as being more Eastern than Western, because I think I understand what he was doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by SiegendesLicht View Post
    ...Personally, I make fun of it because it is nothing but a musical joke. Or rather it is the musical equivalent of internet trolling, designed to stir up controversy and thus to make the composer famous.
    No, I think John Cage was very serious about his music and art. Not the kind of "Squinch up your eybrows/John Houseman" serious, but not a jokester. He did have a sense of humor, though. Humor can be used in a serious way, I think. And no, I don't think I'm a troll, as you seem to be implying.



    The ohh, so serious John Houseman, who likes his music "the old-fashioned way"

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