John Cage (1912-1992) was an American composer.
A pupil of Schoenberg and Cowell, he joined others in reacting against the European art music tradition in favour of a more realistic idiom open to non-Western attitudes.
Working in films during the 1930s he asssembled and toured a percussion orchestra incorporating ethnic instruments and noise-makers, for which the First Construction in Metal in 1930 was composed.
He also invented the prepared piano (in which the tonal qualities of some strings are changed) to tour as accompanist with the dancer Merce Cunningham, a lifelong collaborator.
His effect on contemporary musical thinking is summed up by the piano piece 4 minutes 33 seconds in 1952, in which a performer holds an audience in expectation without playing a note.
Why is John Cage famous?
John Cage was an American composer and music theorist.
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Date Added: 15 June '12
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