A Composer’s Confessions

Author: John Cage
Publisher: éditions allia (2013)

Paperback:  96 pages
Language: English/French
ISBN13: 978-2-84485-617-3

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« A single sound by itself is neither musical nor not musical. It is simply a sound. And no matter what kind of a sound it is, it can become musical by taking its place in a piece of music. This point of view requires some adjustment of the definition of music which was given by my Aunt Phoebe. She hadsaid that music was made up of melody, harmony, and rhythm. Music now seemed to me to be the organisation of sound, organisation by any means of any sounds. This definition has the advantage of being all-inclusive, even to the extent of including all that music which does not employ harmony, which, doubtless, is the larger part of the music which has been made on this planet, since it includes all oriental music, all of the early and middle music of our culture, and a large and not inconsiderable part of our current production. »

An address given before the National Inter-Collegiate Arts Conference,Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, 28 February 1948.