- John Cage developed the use of percussion, used elements of change, explored new sound sources and notation adn used eastern philosphy in his music.
- Cages used mathematical proportions to govern both large and small scale dimension 'micro-macrocosmic' used in First Construction (in Metal)
- Inserted items into piano like bolts + screws between strings
- Sonatas and interludes written (1946-48)
- referred to as intentionally expressive compositions
- Permenant emotions of indian aesthetics: heroic, ******, wonder, rejoicing, anciety, fear, anger and loathing.
- Cage didn't specify how he represented emotions but suggested each movement represents an emotion that towards the end becomes calm and tranquil.
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Performing Forces + Handling
- Every performance would be different because pianos different
- would be unable to posses sound he creates (Zen philosophy)
- Four ways in which the preparation of piano affected sound was:
- quietens it
- changes it timbre
- splits into two or three sounds
- shortens duration
- There is no strict plant to be followed - if you enjoy playing it then do what seems right to you.
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- Chords (sonata I b1)
- Monophony (Sonata II b1)
- Two part homo-rhythm (Sonata II b10)
- treble movement over static or ostinato accompaniment (Sonata II b17/ Sonata III b1)
- layered textures (Sonata II b30)
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- 20 movements organised after composition: every 4 sonatas has an interlude
- Most of the sonatas are in Binary form
- duration of music micro-macrocosmic structure like fractals in nature and art
- Sonata I: Micro patten 28 crotchets, rhythmic groupings 4-1-3 repeated 4-2 repeated, 'macro' scheme is times groupings by 7.
- Sonata II: micro pattern lasts 31 crotchets, composed of groupings 1-1/2 repeated, 1-1-3/8 repeated, 'macro' scheme times groups by 31.
- Sonata III: micro pattern last 34 crotchets, groupings 1-1-3 1/4- 3 1/4, macro scheme times groupings by 34.
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Tonality + Harmony
- tonal relationships of scale and key are absent
- music doesn't contrast key
- passages do repeat, phrases do approach cadence points, and pitched notes do exist
- no marking out of cadences by harmonic progression
- continuous flow of harmonic progression is not in these pieces
- some harmonic moments like G7 chords at opening of sonata I and parallel chords at b20 sonata I.
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- some repetition of pattens with short statements and phrases separated by rests
- arch shape melodies sonata I b15-16.
- limited number of pitches and conjunct movement
- decorative use of grace notes and rhythmic embellishment
- rhythms not referred back to
- patterns place unpredictably against metre and irregular groupings
- stresses displaced and metre changes frequently
- irregular metres
- periods of silence
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