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

  1. #2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ludwig Von Chumpsky View Post
    Late to this interesting thread. I have a question for you to help sort this 4 33 thing out. I'm a composer too, though if I told you my real name you wouldn't recognize it since I'm not famous or even known as a composer, but that's beside the point. I too have composed a piece called 5'44". Much like Cage's piece I mean to draw attention to silence as an element of music. My work though has an extra movement.

    Now answer me this: I'm thinking of putting on a debut concert of my composition. The concert ticket will cost say $75. Hopefully it will be performed by a prominent symphony orchestra. No other pieces will be performed other than, following mine, they'll perform Cages. Would you attend?
    I probably would. I mean our local concert hall (which has a group 2 orchestra.) have five levels of cost. (75USD is the middle or upper mid level seating.) so i would probably go if this was the case. (the concert hall is big here... if i remember correctly it can hold 2000 folk. i shall look it up... hold on... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omaha_Symphony_Orchestra (although they don't tell us the amount of folk...(edited: they do say 2005 seat in the Holland Performing Arts Center) they usually are at the local concert hall. i was trying to get to the official site... but my data is low and cannot effectively look it up...)
    Last edited by Capeditiea; May-16-2018 at 19:19.

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  3. #2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capeditiea View Post
    I probably would. I mean our local concert hall (which has a group 2 orchestra.) have five levels of cost. (75USD is the middle or upper mid level seating.) so i would probably go if this was the case. (the concert hall is big here... if i remember correctly it can hold 2000 folk. i shall look it up... hold on... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omaha_Symphony_Orchestra (although they don't tell us the amount of folk... they usually are at the local concert hall. i was trying to get to the official site... but my data is low and cannot effectively look it up...)
    I mean i am sure they would play my first symphony when i write the official first symphony... Op. 13, but studying is priority for me currently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    I'm sure the lawyers of the Cage estate would attend and sue. They have done so before (Cage versus Batt).
    Ok but would you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capeditiea View Post
    I probably would. I mean our local concert hall (which has a group 2 orchestra.) have five levels of cost. (75USD is the middle or upper mid level seating.) so i would probably go if this was the case. (the concert hall is big here... if i remember correctly it can hold 2000 folk. i shall look it up... hold on... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omaha_Symphony_Orchestra (although they don't tell us the amount of folk...(edited: they do say 2005 seat in the Holland Performing Arts Center) they usually are at the local concert hall. i was trying to get to the official site... but my data is low and cannot effectively look it up...)
    Ok, disregarding the cost, which isn't the point of the question, would you attend?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ludwig Von Chumpsky View Post
    Ok, disregarding the cost, which isn't the point of the question, would you attend?
    Let me respond. I generally attend concerts of (a) music that (b) I want to hear. In the case of 4'33", the first is a falsity and the second an impossibility.

    Since you lack even a famous name, the likelihood of my attending your concert is necessarily somewhat less than Cage's, which is zero.
    Last edited by KenOC; May-16-2018 at 22:25.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    I'm sure the lawyers of the Cage estate would attend and sue. They have done so before (Cage versus Batt).
    And well they should. If there's a storm during the performance of your piece, you'll be stealing Cage's thunder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    And well they should. If there's a storm during the performance of your piece, you'll be stealing Cage's thunder.
    OK, I think you may be getting a little too smug and comfortable here, Wagneroperaman. Let's check out what might happen at 4'34":

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    Quote Originally Posted by fluteman View Post
    OK, I think you may be getting a little too smug and comfortable here, Wagneroperaman. Let's check out what might happen at 4'34":
    A charming montage.

    Cage's quote about returning all the operas to Europe brings to mind Boulez saying he wanted to burn all the opera houses to the ground. They're probably either comforting each other in their disappointment or laughing about how seriously they were taken.

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    I'll offer to bootleg the concert and sell the tapes at an enormous amount
    Last edited by EddieRUKiddingVarese; May-17-2018 at 02:51.
    "Everyone is born with genius, but most people only keep it a few minutes"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    I'm sure the lawyers of the Cage estate would attend and sue. They have done so before (Cage versus Batt).
    They didn't. The controversy was a spoof.

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    John wrote numerous soundworks before he ever came up with the surprise of 4:33 - he had artistic leverage as a composer to try it - and it wasn’t the focus of attention for an entire concert or recital. So it’s already been done with all the controversy, perhaps because people can’t sit still for that brief length of time and they angrily blame him for it. Anyone who tries to do something similar is likely to suffer by comparison and damage their reputation as a serious composer. One has to get in the front door of any decent symphony orchestra by actually writing something of merit, and even with that, it’s usually impossible ”not” to be heard performing the silence of something that reminds others of 4:33. There is an infinite number of ways that silence can be incorporated into a composition and it’s really an indispensable part of music because it’s the background to all music, only rarely if ever fully acknowledged except by someone like John Cage. It was a huge acknowledgment that some still do not accept or understand because they haven't considered the role of silence in music, ever, while others are consciously listening for it. “Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence.”
    Last edited by Larkenfield; May-17-2018 at 08:20.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    A charming montage.

    Cage's quote about returning all the operas to Europe brings to mind Boulez saying he wanted to burn all the opera houses to the ground. They're probably either comforting each other in their disappointment or laughing about how seriously they were taken.
    Well, according to operabase, Cage is 31st among American composers and 325th out of all composers worldwide in opera performances this season. (Verdi leads all composers, Bernstein is the leading American and 39th overall.) And that's with no help from you, KenOC, or a number of other posters here. So I'm betting Cage, at least, is laughing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fluteman View Post
    Well, according to operabase, Cage is 31st among American composers and 325th out of all composers worldwide in opera performances this season. (Verdi leads all composers, Bernstein is the leading American and 39th overall.) And that's with no help from you, KenOC, or a number of other posters here. So I'm betting Cage, at least, is laughing.
    Hmmm... I can't even name 31 American opera composers!

    Somehow that reminds me of the supposed Soviet reporting of a Soviet-American two-man foot race. The Soviet runner came in second, the American second to last...


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    Quote Originally Posted by fluteman View Post
    Well, according to operabase, Cage is 31st among American composers and 325th out of all composers worldwide in opera performances this season. (Verdi leads all composers, Bernstein is the leading American and 39th overall.) And that's with no help from you, KenOC, or a number of other posters here. So I'm betting Cage, at least, is laughing.
    Could you list the other 29 who beat Cage? And how many Americans were behind Cage?
    Last edited by Johnnie Burgess; May-17-2018 at 01:18.
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    Go to Operabase opera statistics. Scroll down to Composers and select United States from the drop down menu that says "World". Finally select "Top 50". You can read off those above and below Cage.

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