Indeterminacy in music is represented by three main tendencies:

Chance Music

John Cage: Born 1912, died 1992.

  1. Early works
  2. Chance music.
    Cage's music is an example of music in which the philosophy, the ideas behind the composition, become more important. Instead of a narrative and a message of local importance (politics, emotions, etc.) the artist is concerned with delivering a world view
  3. Zen Buddhism - religion, philosophy, way of life. John Cage became interested in and influence by it in the late 1940s. He attended D.T. Suzuki's lectures at Columbia University. Here are a few "features" expressed in a rather succinct and superficial way:

    D. T. Suzuki, his life and times. Cage's recillection of his lectures at Columbia University and his speech drowned by the airpalnes landing at LaGuardia.

    Listen and interpret John Cage's anecdotes in Indeterminacy

  4. Western roots: DADA

  5. John Cage's importance and influence on the arts

    A few other works discussed or mentioned in class:

    His interest in mesotics and mushrooms.

    [ back to Class Notes | back to Music 202 | to Reserve list | to Syllabus | back to Courses | back to Sever Tipei's home page | Computer Music Project | ]