Music History Contemporary Essay

Pages: 3 (870 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Music

¶ … Music History

John Cage (1912-1992)

John Cage was an American composer born in 1912 in Los Angeles and studied alongside Henry Cowell, Adolph Weiss, Arnold Schoenberg and Richard Buhlig. In 1938, the first prepared piano piece "Bacchanale" was composed by Cage. Cage and a group of musicians and engineers made the first music ever recorded on magnetic tape in 1951. Cage was the receiver of a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as an Aware from the National Academy of Arts and Letters for "having extended the boundaries of music through his work with percussion orchestra and his invention of the prepared piano." (Guttman, 1999) in 1978 and then again in 1988. Cage is the author of Silence (1961) a Year From Monday (1968) as well as many others writing throughout his life.

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The work of Gutmann (1999) states that he personally knew John Cage, although be it briefly, when he was an undergrad at Wesleyan University, and that the music department at the university "lauded him as a guiding genius while others disparaged him as a negligible buffoon." (Guttman, 1999) in fact, it is stated that his performances "were more 'happenings' than concerts, and could range from seemingly random events to a lecture about his beloved wild mushrooms." (Guttman, 1999) Cage was "always happy and gentle, alive with awestruck wonder of the world, and especially fascinated by its sounds." (Guttman, 1999) the work which Cage entitled 4'33" was an interesting piece in which the musician played only very little music and which was "inspired by Cage's visit to Harvard's anechoic chamber, designed to eliminate all sound; but instead of promised silence Cage was amazed and delighted to hear the pulsing of his blood and the whistling of his nerves." (Guttman, 1999)

II. WILLIAM ALWYN (1905-1985)

Essay on Music History Contemporary Assignment

William Alwyn was born in 1905 in Northampton to a grocer and into a family that had no musicians however, all in the family "shared a passion for literature and the visual arts." (Culot, 1985) Culot (1985) shares that Alwyn wrote in his autobiography: "We all shared father's literary enthusiasm and his less-knowledgeable interest in art...but neither he nor the others had much feeling for music. In this I was alone." (Winged Chariot: William Alwyn autobiography, 1983) Alwyn additionally states that he "was not cut out to be a provincial grocer" and that instead his time was divided "between music, poetry and painting." (Culot, 1985) Upon his father's death Alwyn states: "The need for money was urgent so I took the first reasonably paid job that came my way, the position of music master at a residential private school[END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Music History Contemporary.  (2008, July 25).  Retrieved April 3, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/music-history-contemporary/354204

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