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John Cage

Subject: Music

(1912–1992) US composer and writer. His experimental and aleatoric compositions have aroused considerable interest and some amusement. The son of an inventor, Cage was ...

Cage, John

Cage, John (15 Sept. 1912)   Reference library

The Continuum Companion to Twentieth Century Theatre

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
169 words

..., John (b. Los Angeles , 15 Sept. 1912 ; d. New York , 12 Aug. 1992 ) Musician and composer . Cage studied music in Europe and America, working for a time in 1935 with Schoenberg. From 1937 onwards he developed a strong interest in music for dance, and in 1938 began a collaboration with the dancer Merce Cunningham that lasted over 50 years. An influential figure in the experimental arts (e.g. on Robert Wilson ), Cage was also interested in performance and theatre. He was responsible for developing the ‘prepared’ piano (a piano on which the...

Cage, John

Cage, John (1912–1992)   Reference library

Ryan P. Randall

The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

..., John ( 1912–1992 ), teacher , music theorist , writer , artist , lecturer , and mycologist . John Milton Cage Jr. composed and performed his own music. He studied composition with both Henry Cowell and Arnold Schoenberg . Cage's influence reaches far beyond music to dance and the visual arts, partially thanks to the collaborative performances he began at North Carolina's Black Mountain College with the painter Robert Rauschenberg and the choreographer Merce Cunningham , who was also his long-term romantic partner. Through a series of...

Cage, John

Cage, John (5 Sept 1912)   Reference library

The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
1,498 words
Illustration(s):
1

...69–138 R. Kostelanetz , ed.: John Cage (New York, 1970/ R London, 1971); rev. as John Cage: An Anthology (New York, 1991) [incl. “Cage's Visual Art,” p. 219, a list of graphic works to 1989] D. Charles : “ Cage et Duchamp, ” L'Arc , lix (Oct–Dec 1974), pp. 72–9; repr. in Gloses sur John Cage (Paris, 1978), pp. 183–96 Pour les oiseaux: Entretiens avec Daniel Charles (Paris, 1976; Eng. trans. London and Boston, MA, 1981) [based on interviews pubd. in Rev. Esthét. , xxi/2–4 (1968)] H.-K. Metzger and R. Riehn , eds: John Cage I (Munich, 1978), pp. 65–91,...

Cage, John

Cage, John (1912–92)   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of American Art and Artists (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
735 words

... ( 1967 ). Notations (with Alison Knowles ; 1969 ) gathers Cage’s selection of significant writings by other composers. Richard Kostelanetz assembled three volumes of Cage texts: John Cage ( 1970 ), Conversing with Cage ( 1987 ), and John Cage, Writer: Previously Uncollected Pieces ( 1993 ). Musicage: Cage Muses on Words, Art, Music ( 1996 ) transcribes several conversations Cage held with Joan Retallack during the last two years of his life. The Selected Letters of John Cage , edited by Laura Kuhn, appeared in 2016 . www.anb.org/article...

Cage, John

Cage, John (5 Sept 1912)   Reference library

James Pritchett and Laura Kuhn

The Grove Dictionary of American Music (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Music, Social sciences, Regional and Area Studies
Length:
8,585 words
Illustration(s):
1

..., eds.: John Cage: Anarchic Harmony: ein Buch der Frankfurt Feste ‘92 (Mainz, 1992) G. Young , ed.: “John Cage,” Musicworks , no.52 (1992) [Cage issue] W. Fetterman : John Cage's Theatre Pieces: Notations and Performances (diss., New York U., 1992) D. Revill : The Roaring Silence: John Cage, a Life (New York, 1992) J.-Y. Bosseur : John Cage (Paris, 1993) M. Erdmann : Untersuchungen zum Gesamtwerk von John Cage (diss., U. of Bonn, 1993) R. Kostelanetz , ed.: Writings About John Cage (Ann Arbor, 1993) J. Pritchett : The Music of John Cage ...

Cage, John

Cage, John (1912–92)   Reference library

Jeremy Noel-Tod

The Oxford Companion to Modern Poetry (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

..., John ( 1912–92 ) Born in Los Angeles and spent most of his life in New York. He studied music with Arnold Schoenberg at the University of California in the 1930s, and went on to be one of the most original artists of the twentieth century, introducing aleatory principles into composition and performance that have been widely influential in postmodernist poetry. In 1952 , Cage staged his first ‘happening’ at * Black Mountain College, with poetry read by Charles * Olson . He also gave lectures composed in verse-like patterns. His emphasis on the phatic...

Cage, John

Cage, John (1912)   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Aesthetics

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
Art & Architecture, Philosophy
Length:
2,669 words

...mirror of eternity. Cage's ethics are thus both Buddhist and postmodern, befitting a man for whom the whole world is in play in his work. See also Aleatoric Processes ; Modernism , article on Modern Music ; Music , historical overview article; and Performance Art , historical overview article. Bibliography Works by Cage Cage, John Silence: Lectures and Writings . Middletown, Conn., 1961. Cage, John A Year from Monday . Middletown, Conn., 1967. Cage, John Empty Words: Writings, 1973–1978 . Middletown, Conn., 1979. Cage, John X: Writings,...

Cage, John

Cage, John (5 September 1912)   Reference library

The International Encyclopedia of Dance

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Performing arts, Dance, Music
Length:
2,316 words

...on a Plane: Cage, Cunningham, Johns . New York, 1990. Ballet Review 13 (Fall 1985): 23–40. Panel discussion entitled “The Forming of an Aesthetic: Merce Cunningham and John Cage.” Cage, John . Silence . Middletown, Conn., 1961. Cage, John . A Year from Monday . Middletown, Conn., 1967. Cage, John . M. Middletown, Conn., 1972. Cage, John . For the Birds . Boston, 1981. Cage, John . X . Middletown, Conn., 1983. Hamm, Charles . Cage, John. In The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians . London, 1980. Kostelanetz, Richard , ed. John Cage . New York,...

Cage, John

Cage, John (5 Sept 1912)   Reference library

Hugh Davies

The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Music
Length:
738 words

...Tudor was doing so beautifully; and because Cage composed mainly to fulfil commissions, his choice of instrumentation to some degree reflected the desires of his patrons. Bibliography J. Cage : ‘For More New Sounds’, Modern Music , vol.19 (1942), 243; repr. in John Cage , ed. R. Kostelanetz (New York, 1970), 64 M. Nyman : Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond (New York, 1974) J. Pritchett : The Music of John Cage (Cambridge, 1993) K. Silverman : Begin Again: a Biography of John Cage (New York, 2010) Hugh Davies /R ...

Cage, John

Cage, John (1912–1992)   Reference library

Daniel Herwitz

Encyclopedia of Aesthetics (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Art & Architecture, Philosophy
Length:
2,911 words

..., John ( 1912–1992 ), American musician and composer . There is little doubt that John Cage was one of the most important figures in twentieth-century music. As a writer, poet, performance artist, and maker of sounds, he in many ways defined what the musical avant-garde is. His contributions to music included the extension of percussive means (most notably the invention of the prepared piano), the development of new rhythmic configurations in composition, the early use of electronically processed sounds, and the early use of “aleatoric” or “chance”...

Cage, John

Cage, John (1912–92)   Quick reference

World Encyclopedia

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Encyclopedias
Length:
87 words

..., John ( 1912–92 ) US avant-garde composer . He experimented with new sound sources, believing that all sounds, including noise and silence, are valid compositional materials. He worked with percussion orchestras and invented the ‘prepared piano’, modified by fixing objects to the strings. He used chance in his compositions: Imaginary Landscape ( 1951 ) is written for 12 randomly tuned radios; Reunion ( 1968 ) consists of electronic sounds created by chess moves on an electric board; 4'33” ( 1952 ) has no sound, except for the environment in which...

Cage, John

Cage, John (1912–1992)   Quick reference

Who's Who in the Twentieth Century

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
History
Length:
418 words

..., John ( 1912–1992 ) US composer and writer. His experimental and aleatoric compositions have aroused considerable interest and some amusement. The son of an inventor, Cage was born in Los Angeles but travelled extensively in Europe ( 1930–31 ), studying music, art, architecture, and poetry. On his return to America he took courses in composition, counterpoint (with Arnold Schoenberg ), and folk, contemporary, and non-Western music (with Henry Cowell ( 1897–1965 ). In 1938 he began composing for percussion groups; a concert of percussion music...

Cage, John

Cage, John   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Literature in English

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005

..., John ( 1912–92 ), American composer , author , and printmaker , born in Los Angeles; he studied music and composition under Arnold Schoenberg , and at the New School for Social Research, with Adolph Weiss . Cage also travelled and studied a variety of disciplines, including architecture, Dadaism, oriental philosophy, and noise music with Edgard Varèse . In 1944–6 , he was the musical director for the Merce Cunningham Dance School in New York. He later collaborated with Merce Cunningham and the painter Robert Rauschenberg on the first famous...

Cage, John

Cage, John (5 Sept. 1912)   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Dance (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Performing arts, Dance, Music
Length:
298 words

...Cage, John ( b Los Angeles , 5 Sept. 1912 ; d New York , 12 Aug. 1992 ) US composer . He collaborated with Merce Cunningham over a period of 50 years and played a central role in the creative life of the latter's company. A radically experimental composer who rejected both harmony and traditional instrumentation, he began working with Cunningham in 1942 , becoming music director of his company when it was formed in 1953 . Cage wrote many scores for Cunningham, although in accordance with his, then, avant-garde principles, the music and choreography...

Cage, John

Cage, John (1912)   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Music (6 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Music
Length:
958 words

..., John ( b Los Angeles , 1912 ; d NY , 1992 ) American composer and writer . From 1937 developed interests in dance and perc. In 1938 experimented with Cowell's invention of the ‘prepared pf’ by inserting various objects, from rubber‐bands to hatpins, between the str to create new effects. Settled in NY 1942 , beginning long assoc. with Merce Cunningham Dance Co. as music dir. 1944–68 . Theater Piece ( 1952 ) for Cunningham is regarded as first musical ‘happening’ (spontaneous event). Study of oriental philosophies and Zen Buddhism and...

John Cage

John Cage (1912–92)   Quick reference

Oxford Essential Quotations (6 ed.)

Reference type:
Quotation
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Quotations
Length:
40 words

...0John John Cage 1912 – 92 American composer , pianist , and writer I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry. ‘Lecture on nothing’ (1961) nothing to say nothing to say saying it and that is ...

John Cage

John Cage (1912–92)   Reference library

Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Quotation
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Quotations
Length:
40 words

...0John John Cage 1912 – 92 American composer , pianist , and writer I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry. ‘Lecture on nothing’ (1961) nothing to say nothing to say saying it and that is ...

John Cage

John Cage (1912–92)   Reference library

Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Quotation
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
Quotations
Length:
50 words

...0John John Cage 1912 – 92 American composer , pianist , and writer ; his experimental approach included the use of periods of silence I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry. ‘Lecture on nothing’ (1961) nothing to say nothing to say saying it and that is ...

John Cage

John Cage (1912–92)   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of American Quotations (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Quotation
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
Quotations
Length:
84 words

...John Cage 1912 – 92 Beauty is now underfoot wherever we take the trouble to look. Said in praise of his friend Robert Rauschenberg, whose art found beauty in the litter of urban life quoted in The New York Times [Sept. 19, 1997] We are involved in a life that passes understanding, and our highest business is our daily life. Where Are We Going? And What Are we Doing? , in Silence , 1961 Try as we may to make a silence, we cannot. Silence ,...

Cage, John

Cage, John (1912–92)   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
385 words

...). After a period of varied activity (including a spell as a dance-class accompanist), Cage settled in New York in 1942 and became a prominent figure in avant-garde circles, his artist friends eventually including Marcel Duchamp , Max Ernst , Jasper Johns , and Robert Motherwell . Cage's music is extremely unorthodox, cultivating random and chance effects and experimenting with unusual sound sources, including electronic devices and the ‘prepared piano’ (Cage's invention), in which a piano is transformed into a percussion instrument by the insertion...

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