46.docx - John Cage Early years John Milton Cage Jr. was an...

This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 4 pages.

John CageEarly yearsJohn Milton Cage Jr. was an American musician who was born in California in 1912 and died in New York City in 1992. During his life time, he composed, theorized, wrote and promoted predominately electro-acoustic music. He was an iconoclast who pioneered indeterminacy in music and the use of non-standard instruments. He is considered by many to be the most influential American composer of the 20th century.He began music studies at an early age, receiving piano lessons from private tutors. However, he preferred sight-reading to piano technique. When older he decided to become a writer and in 1928, enrolled at Pomona College in Claremont where he studied theology. After two years he dropped out considering his studies “of no use” for a fledgling writer. He soon left for Europe having convinced his parents that a trip to Europe was more beneficial to a writer than college. He stayed there 18 months. Hestudied, among other things, Gothic and Greek architecture, painting, poetry and music. It was while he was in Europe that he was first introduced to the contemporary music of Stravinsky and Hindemith as well as experienced Johann Sebastian Bach for the first time.By 1931, Cage was back in the United States in Santa Monica, California. There he earned a living giving lectures on contemporary art. Deciding to concentrate on music as opposed to art, he moved to New York City in 1933. At the suggestion of Henry Cowell, he studied music with Adolph Weiss. He soon approached Schoenberg who offered to take Cage on as a pupil, free of charge. Cage admitted that although he onlystudied with him for two years, privately at UCLA and USC, Schoenberg exerted the greatest influence on his work.Early compositionsWhen Cage first began composing, he turned to complex mathematical formulas to write short piano pieces. Very few of these early works remain. He soon abandoned this procedure and began improvising and writing down the end results. These works, including "Sonata for Clarinet" (1933) and "Composition for 3 Voices "(1934), are highly chromatic. That is, they are based on a twelve-tone technique with each pitch a semi-tone above or below the next.

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

End of preview. Want to read all 4 pages?

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

Term
Spring
Professor
professor_unknown
Tags
John Cage, John Milton Cage Jr

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture