Silence, John Cage’s first book and epic masterpiece, was published in October 1961. In these lectures, scores, and writings, Cage tries, as he says, to find a way of writing that comes from ideas, is not about them, but that produces them. Often these writings include mesostics and essays created by subjecting the work of other writers to chance procedures using the I Ching. Fifty years later comes a beautiful new edition with a foreword by eminent music critic Kyle Gann. A landmark book in American arts and culture, Silence has been translated into more than forty languages and has sold over half a million copies worldwide. Wesleyan University Press is proud to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the book’s publication with this special hardcover edition.
50th Anniversary ed.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I am not a musician and this book is not just about music, although Cage revolutionized the field. This book is about following dreams, about chasing curiosity, about a willingness to be fully human.
To say that the always-iconoclastic John Cage was a musical revolutionary would be a bit of an understatement. He was a pioneer of indeterminacy in music, a precursor to contemporary electroacoustic music, an innovator of musical instruments, and, perhaps most controversially, a philosopher of sound and silence.
He was much more than just a composer—he was a music theorist, a writer, an artist, and a thinker. This book holds incredible insight into the world of contemporary art, and looks far, far beyond the traditional Western music tradition. Cage took his inspiration from the ordinary and the uninspiring—but it was his uncanny ability to see the humor and the sparkle in the everyday mundane that makes his work truly exceptional.
If you enjoy this book, please check out my 8-part series written on John Cage's "Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse)" on Second Inversion! [...]
The most important work by one of the most important figures of the 2oth century Essential reading for anyone interested in Cage and his thought...this is the beginning and all that came after was a development of the ideas expressed here
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