Aleatoric Music Of The 20th Century Music Essay

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Aleatoric Music Of The 20th Century Music Essay

compositional and instrumental methods utilized by John Cage The biographical background educational influences and examples of the musical compositions of Cage will also be illustrated This paper continues by describing the various methods and processes employed by John Cage in the formation of music written during the minimalist movement Contrived instruments ambient audience noise nontraditional tone structures and electronic music will be identified and defined Furthermore this paper will explore the debate over aleatoric music as art form versus noise Traditionally Western music is highly structured and organized however music written in aleatory form generally lacks traditional instrumentation time and other methods present in Western forms According to whom one would ask aleatoric music can be extremely complex emotional and intellectual On the other hand there are those who believe aleatoric music is nothing more than random noise with no structure rhyme or reason Over the course of this paper the reader will be able to discern that aleatoric music is a definitive musical genre

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Aleatoric Music of the 20th Century

Compositions of John Cage An Art Form Not Noise

Introduction

Aleatoric music refers to musical compositions where some aspect of the music is left to chance The tempo instrumentation dynamics order of the written music or various other devices can be manipulated Simply put aleatoric music is left up to some amount of chance However the amount of chance is not immeasurable In many cases the composer only allows a portion of the entire composition to chance while the rest conforms to standard Westerninfluenced counterpoint The American composer John Cage was one of the foremost composers who utilized aleatory in musical works He was also the father of the avantgarde in music during the minimalist movement

THESIS

By studying the devices used in Cages compositions the argument will be clearly made that aleatoric music while sometimes free in form and function is clearly a structured art form and not random noise

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Aleatoric Music of the 20th Century

Compositions of John Cage An Art Form Not Noise

Outline

Aleatoric Music

Explicative definition of aleatoric music

Overview of aleatoric devices

John Cage

Early life and education

B Utilization of aleatoric devices in compositions

Thesis support

Compare and contrast with opposing viewpoint

Acknowledge and dismiss opposing view utilizing evidenciary support

Conclusion

Summarize main points

Reinforce the argument that aleatoric music is not random

Markham 1

Selena Markham

MUS 2930

Dr Valerie Austin

November 22 2010

Aleatoric Music of the 20th Century

Compositions of John Cage An Art Form Not Noise

Aleatoric music refers to musical compositions where some aspect of the music is left to chance The tempo instrumentation dynamics order of the written music or various other devices can be manipulated Simply put aleatoric music is left up to some amount of chance However the amount of chance is not immeasurable In many cases the composer only allows a portion of the entire composition to chance while the rest conforms to standard Westerninfluenced counterpoint The American composer John Cage was one of the foremost composers who utilized aleatory in musical works He was also the father of the avantgarde in music during the minimalist movement By studying the devices used in Cages compositions the argument will be clearly made that aleatoric music while sometimes free in form and function is clearly a structured art form and not random noise

One of the most prolific composers of music in aleatory John Cage was born September 5 1912 in Los Angeles California He was the only child of

Markham 2

parents Lucretia and John Cage Sr two other sons passed away as infants His father was an inventor and his mother worked on and off as a writer for the Los Angeles Times The couple me

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