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

  1. #121
    Senior Member Dim7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tortkis View Post
    As repeatedly pointed out, there is no such thing as "nothing."
    If everything is a thing, the word "thing" is meaningless.
    Therefore there's no such thing as a "thing."
    Therefore no thing exists.
    Therefore nothing exists.
    Therefore there is such a thing as "nothing."

  2. #122
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    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.
    Didn't you watch the video on the previous page? Tsk, tsk!

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  4. #123
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pianolearnerstride View Post
    So are the people defending it just trolling or are they serious?
    The term "troll" is often used to disparage anyone who holds an opposing viewpoint, I've noticed.

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  6. #124
    Senior Member millionrainbows'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?
    Yeah, but you didn't devote your whole life to creating a credible, historically valid context for that, like John Cage did.

    So what's next? A big coffee-table sized book called "The Art of Woodduck"? A 20-CD Boxed set?

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  8. #125
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    There are so called works of 'art' found in places like Tate Modern in London. I don't knowwhetherthey have an empty frame among all this junk but no doubt if they have someone has claimed it as a masterpiece!
    I do seem to recall that they have a pile of bricks there.

  9. #126
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fagotterdammerung View Post
    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.
    Well, you're here, aren't you?

  10. #127
    Senior Member millionrainbows'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. 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
    Ironically, Frank Zappa's version of 4'33" is available on this CD:


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  12. #128
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    I'd just like to say (in case this thread gets shut down) that I am very proud of the way this discussion has gone. Seriously, it's one of the best, informative, and civil threads on 4'33" I have ever seen, far surpassing anything else I've seen elsewhere.

    Nice going!


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  14. #129
    Senior Member Cosmos's Avatar
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    millionrainbows, without looking at most of this thread, I can see what you mean by calling 4'33" Eastern and sacred. But, I'm sure you've found this out, most people who shrug the work off don't do it because they think it Eastern or sacred, rather they think it's a dumb piece.

    "It's troll music!"
    "Anyone could have written that"
    "It's not even music, it's a joke"

    I like your perspective, and yes, I can understand 4'33" as a sacred work. If I "listen" to it again, I'll have to keep this in mind

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  16. #130
    Senior Member Celloman's Avatar
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    In my view, 4'33" isn't so much a piece of music as it is a state of mind or philosophical statement. John Cage was in earnest when he wrote it, but it isn't something that must needs be relegated exclusively to the concert hall. It's an idea that you can put into practice at home, work, or play. Cage was fascinated by the sounds happening around him and we can be, too. Paying close attention to these sounds can affect the way we perceive the world.

    Is it sacred? That depends on your opinion, I suppose.
    Last edited by Celloman; Feb-04-2015 at 18:19.

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  18. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celloman View Post
    In my view, 4'33" isn't so much a piece of music as it is a state of mind or philosophical statement. John Cage was in earnest when he wrote it, but it isn't something that must needs be relegated exclusively to the concert hall. It's an idea that you can put into practice at home, work, or play. Cage was fascinated by the sounds happening around him and we can be, too. Paying close attention to these sounds can affect the way we perceive the world.

    Is it sacred? That depends on your opinion, I suppose.
    I once made the same statement about 4'33" being a philosophical statement. I was reminded that the work is actually performed, and philosophical statements are not performed. So I agree that it's a work of art (maybe performance art). I think the importance of the work lies in the philosophical statement it makes.

    What is music?
    What is the relationship between sounds and listeners?
    How might (not ought) one listen to sounds?

    I don't think it's absurd, worthless, or trolling, but neither do I believe it is a work of music (my personal view). It was very courageous and certainly made many people think about issues they never had before.
    Last edited by mmsbls; Feb-04-2015 at 18:48.

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  20. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dim7 View Post
    If everything is a thing, the word "thing" is meaningless.
    Therefore there's no such thing as a "thing."
    Therefore no thing exists.
    Therefore nothing exists.
    Therefore there is such a thing as "nothing."
    Everything is a thing, and it does not make the word "thing" meaningless. And, even if a word is meaningless, it does not mean that something, which the meaningless word is not indicating, does not exist.
    Regarding 4'33", there is something in the literal sense, and the question is whether it "constitutes a work of art" or is musically meaningful.

  21. #133
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    You may call 4'33" performance art, a gimmick, a con job, a trivial statement of some sort, whatever, but it is not music, no more than the pandemonium of a pair of street cats having a go at each other in the back alley is music. Quite astonished to learn so many actually subscribe to the idea of it being music and actually seem offended by those questioning its "sanctity"!

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  23. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by rivulet View Post
    You may call 4'33" performance art, a gimmick, a con job, a trivial statement of some sort, whatever, but it is not music, no more than the pandemonium of a pair of street cats having a go at each other in the back alley is music. Quite astonished to learn so many actually subscribe to the idea of it being music and actually seem offended by those questioning its "sanctity"!
    I respect your opinion, but it is just an opinion. As for being offended, I understand the feeling. When you really like a piece of music and someone states that it isn't even music, well, that's enough to get the blood agitated.

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  25. #135
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    So is any sound art? Is there anything that is not art?

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