The main foal of the current project is to give a brief analysis of two compositions of John Cage, one of the most influential musicians and composers of 20th century. His compositions have made him a pioneer of electroacoustic music. In addition, he was one of the pioneers of non-standard use of musical instruments. Both these statements will be proved with further analysis of his compositions given below.
For example, his famous “Music of Changes” is a bright sample of his technique of nested proportions, as they tend to remain the same through the course of the entire composition. The proportion of 3 – 5 – 6¾ – 6¾ – 5 – 3⅛ makes total of 29⅝. The division of this proportion is heard in 4 large parts in first, second and first and second sections. The tempo throughout the composition remains unstable; however, not due to the time signatures change, as it was only tempo changing throughout the piece. As for the dynamics, they vary each time unpredictably, from ffff to pppp (YouTube).
Another piece, called “HPSCHD” has fewer pauses and keeps mixing the melodies of classical and non-classical composers during more than 20 minutes of the performance. The melody and the timbre remain more classical on their background, giving the impression of a Mozart or Beethoven piece being played. Although, on the top of the composition there are many dissonances, cacophonic sounds of electronic nature. The overall piece is being accompanied by bizarre graphical material. It seems that Cage tried to explain that contemporary music has always been influenced by the classical pieces; moreover, he has proved that the classical melodies fit in everything that is being played on the top of the composition (YouTube).
As Cage lived and worked in the years of surreal and abstract art development in various expressions. He has chosen to become a pioneer of new waves of music that still inspire young contemporary artists and musicians.
YouTube. 'HPSCHD By John Cage'. N.p., 2015. Web. 5 July 2015.
YouTube. 'John Cage-Music Of Changes Book 1 (1951)'. N.p., 2015. Web. 5 July 2015.