Tuesday, December 23, 2008


John Cage's 4'33", orchestral version conducted by Lawrence Foster.



Bear-i-tone said...

This takes me back. Years ago when I was in high school, my music class was given our final assignment. Among the choices was the option to arrange a piece written for one instrument or group opf instruments for another. We were allowed to do it with partners. A friend and I decided to arrange 4:33.

Wwe were caught about a week before the due date. The teache was going around the class, checking on the progress of the assignments. He came to us, and the discussion went like this:

Teacher: And what are you two gentleman doing?

Me: We're arranging an importnant piece by a major modern avant garde composer for full orchestra and choir, sir.

Teacher: Sounds impressive. Which major avant garde composer?

Me: John Cage, sir.

Teacher. Ah yes, yes. John Cage. And that piece wouldn't happen to be 4:33, would it?

Me: As a matter of fact...

Teacher: No, gentlemen.

Me: But sir...

Teacher. No. You have one week to do something else.

Friend: What about...

Teacher: You can't do the piece where you randomly tune four radios to various stations either.

We ended up composing various pieces. My friend, the over-achiever, composed a sonata for piano. I wrote a short canon/fugue for quartet which sounded suspiciously like Pachelbel's Canon in D.

Brian Michael Page said...


The correct reply to the teacher's questioning if the piece was "4:33" would have been, "No, sir. This is his sequel, '6:42'". (tee hee!)