Home    Syllabus   Course Outline

20th Century Theory






Fancy term for ďrandomnessĒ - the opposite of serialism

nA way of taking your ego out of the loop
nGet past your preconceived notions
nCreating surprise
nCreating juxtapositions that can create new meaning for you
nCould you draw a random line?
nA way of automating decisions you donít want to make
nA way of automating decisions you canít make
nInteractive art Ė the artist isnít there to make the decisions



John Cage Ė American (1912 - 1992)

Cage wanted people to listen to silence around them with the attitude they bring to a concert


nListening is an active process of making meaning
nWe can find rhythms in the sound of someone speaking
nOr hear harmony in a power drill
nCage believed these could be just as musical as a symphony

Prepared piano

Sonata V:  John Cage


John Cage on Silence




Ligeti Poeme Symphonique for 100 Metronomes


 Imaginary Landscape No. 1


Chance PowerPoint


Prepared piano

(a grand piano with objects inserted between some strings)


Later version:  Hauschka

Abandoned City

How he prepares as he plays (@2:35)


nSilence isnít silent
nItís filled with sound
nPeople walking down the hall
nThe vibration of the HVAC units
nPeople giggling
nPeople shifting uncomfortably in their chairs


nAll of these can be heard as music
nIf you donít believe me
nTry sampling it and giving it to a DJ


Graphical Scores

Graphical notation Timeline (flash)

Xenakis - Metastasis (spectral view)



Home                                Links                            Back to top 


Created and Maintained by Vicky V. Johnson