John Cage
4'33"


2.5
average

Review

by lots of opinions in this thread USER (20 Reviews)
January 20th, 2014 | 36 replies | 2,202 views


Release Date: 1952 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Concept without substance.

5 of 16 thought this review was well written

Is silence music? Can the lack of sound have the qualities of music, and create emotions that music can? It's somewhat possible--every piece of music melds sound and lack of sound. Most pieces of music are heavy on sound and light on silence, otherwise the piece has no substance. 4'33" is definitely heavy on the silence part--it's complete silence. It's music for the concept, to entertain you once, music for the sake of music. Throughout the whole piece, not one sound is heard. Every second is utter silence, which was a total shock to the audience at the first public performances. It questions the boundaries of what's music and what isn't, crossing into philosophical territory that makes you think what music actually is, which is what John Cage intended.

John Cage is a highly lauded and influential composer, exploring the realms of experimental music like few others in the 1930s to the 1960s. 4'33" is perhaps his best known composition, which isn't hard to understand. In its day it was one of the most outlandish ideas to "play" four and half minutes of complete quiet. However, John Cage believed that every second he would be immersed in sound no matter how quiet a room would seem. He visited an anechoic chamber, which is a completely sound-proofed room. All sounds are absorbed by the walls, yet he head his own blood circulation and nervous system, leading him to believe that there is no such thing as total silence.

But what, exactly, is the point? When you get down to it, Cage wrote this piece to prove his point of silence still being full of sound. Because of that, the music doesn't have substance, any at all. Even the biggest music of music snobs can agree they don't listen to this piece everyday and is genuinely excited and interested every time to hear it. Yes, the concept is slightly ridiculous, yet while the music doesn't, the concept itself manages to make a large statement and illicit responses from the audience.

David Tudor, the man to first play John Cage's piece live sat at the piano, closed the lit, and sat more. The experimental and bizarre nature of Cage's piece left everyone flabbergasted. The concept itself of the piece is somewhat witty and interesting, yet that's all it is--concept. Music that is total silence isn't able to do anything yet exist, and can't be anything but a concept. Once the initial surprise is worn off, all that's left is the statement the music is trying to make, and isn't something you'll want to hear over and over. Once is enough.



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user ratings (22)
Chart.
2.6
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ryus
January 19th 2014



1371 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

shit i reviewed the wrong one

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2014



30295 Comments


Fixed it

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Cygnatti
January 19th 2014



19974 Comments


this finally got a review, whoa :o

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StallionMang
January 19th 2014



4273 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

Shit's deep maaaaaaaaaaaaaan

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spookynewghostfriend
January 19th 2014



2518 Comments


pos 4 edgy patrician john cage msuci

Ryus
January 19th 2014



1371 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I listen to this on repeat every night when I go to sleep

Cygnatti
January 19th 2014



19974 Comments



John Cage is a cunt. What kind of pretentious asshole shit is this? rIt's not like people are unfamiliar with silence, but oh no, "it's the sounds around you". If you're hearing it performed, then I'd imagine that the venue is made to be silent elsewhere.


Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
January 19th 2014



11388 Comments


In its time I imagine it was shocking, don't really understand why it's performed today, the initial
reactions will never be replicated.

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TheBarber
January 19th 2014



783 Comments


Thing is you're not totally informed about the concept wich isn't utter silence (Cage doesn't believe total silence is possible) and honestly doing a review of this there were only two possible directions.
The first one would be to review the piece as if it was a standard rock album (wich is pointless and silly and I you avoided that), the second is to propose a "digest" of a thesis that took more than a page to elaborate (wich I believe is what you did).
For instance the music of 4'33 was not meant to be the strict partion and piano playing but also the reaction/noises of the audience, ending into a possible infinity of 4'33.

My point is that your review misses the point and speaks about something it really knows little of

Digging: Hessian - Manegarmr

Cygnatti
January 19th 2014



19974 Comments


^ mah nigga

TheBarber
January 19th 2014



783 Comments


John Cage is also one of the nicest and most humble musicans amongst the avant-garde movement, a chill
idealist so I can barely understand how you could hate the guy

tragic.details
January 19th 2014



622 Comments


Despite this site's abhorrent hate of John Cage, he actually has some pretty good pieces of music. This isn't one of them.

Havey
January 19th 2014



9313 Comments


Cage wrote this piece to prove his point of silence still being full of sound. Because of that,
the music doesn't have substance, any at all.

this hardly makes any sense, are you saying that it doesn't have any substance because of Cage's
intentions? can't art have an impact beyond the intention of the artist?

Even the biggest music of music snobs can agree they don't listen to this piece everyday and is
genuinely excited and interested every time to hear it.

what are you even saying

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treeqt.
January 19th 2014



7826 Comments


you should probably quit this music thing and look for another "hobby" or something

sixdegrees
January 19th 2014



15729 Comments


dumb review gj

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Killerhit
January 19th 2014



4467 Comments


you ask too many questions

tempest--
January 19th 2014



10808 Comments


can someone fix the tracklist for this

Frippertronics
January 19th 2014



4372 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fixed

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tempest--
January 19th 2014



10808 Comments


lol

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
January 19th 2014



19509 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

this rules live

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