Critical Analysis Of John Cage's Music And Improvisation

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John Cage’s Music and Improvisation

Many scholars believe that there are connections between Cage’s music and the practice of improvisation because of the sense of unpredictability, and freedom in his music, and also both of them are related to pre-compositional strategy and liberation of the composition and performance. Consequently, scholars might tend to consider that Cage had close connection with improvisation and had only a one single view of improvisation, actually his idea of improvisation changed over the course of his career.

Cage’s attitude towards improvisation
Cage played an important role of twentieth century music history, and he was the pioneer of indeterminacy music since he applied indeterminate and unpredictable elements of a musical process which are all the elements of improvisation. However, his attitude towards the practice of improvisation was changing throughout his lifetime as Sabine Feisst demonstrates in her article John Cage and Improvisation-An Unresolved
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Levin, Robert. Text and the Volatility of Spontaneous performance. Common Knowledge, Volume 17, Issue 2, spring 2011, Duke University Press. (Article)

Moore, Robin. The Decline of Improvisation in Western Art Music: An Interpretation of Change. Source: International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, Vol. 23, No. 1 (Jun. 1992), pp.61-84

Edited by Solis, Gabriel, and Nettl, Bruno. Musical Improvisation: Art, Education, and Society. University of Illinois Press. August 2009.

Piekut, Benjamin. Chapter one “When Orchestra Attacks!” of Experimentalism Otherwise: The New York Avant-Garde and Its Limits. University of California Press.

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