Dance No.1- John Cage- 1945

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  • Dance No.1 John Cage 1945
    • Structure
      • Based on tempo and rhythm rather than phrase length
      • Related to the Indian tala
      • Each section lasts 30 bars and is organised into a sequence
        • 2-5-2, 2-6-2, 2-7-2
        • There are 8 sections with the last being repeated making a total of 9
    • Tonality
      • Little sense of pitch, therefore, there is no sense of tonality
      • The score is highly chromatic but much of the impact is lost harmonically speaking due to the changes made to the piano
    • Melody
      • Due to the prepared nature of the piano much of the quality of pitch is missing from the piece as Cage attempted  to move away from Western concepts of melody
        • Stockhausen in 1952 wrote Klavierstucke had no sense  of melody or tonal centre
      • Ostinato is the most important feature
        • The opening three note motif
      • Some use  of note addition and subraction
    • Rhythm, Meter and Tempo
      • Frequent polyrhythms
      • Accents to provide emphasis to the off-beats
      • Ornamental groups of notes such as septuplets
      • Sense of moto perpetuo
      • A sense of rhythmic displacement
        • Steve Reich in 1972 wrote Clapping music which showcased only this technique
    • Texture
      • Most of  the music has a 4 part texture
      • Some other textures used include
        • Monophonic
        • Two-part
        • Three-part
        • Occasional silences to provide emphasis on the part to follow
          • Schoenberg write Peripetie in 1909 which made use of this
    • Harmony
      • Little if not any sense of harmony in this work
    • Sonority
      • Prepared pianos were used as a replacement for a whole percussion group
      • Screws, rubbers, coins, bolts and plastic in between the piano strings
      • PIano is amplified with microphones
      • The sound is reminiscent of the sound created by a a galamlan
    • Context
      • Leading American experimental composers of the 20th century
      • Like Debussy he was influenced by the sound of oriental music
      • Rhythmic structures influenced by the Indian Tala
      • First perfomred in 1945


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