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Cage John – Living Room Music

Cage John – Living Room Music

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Cage John – Living Room Music

Living Room Music is a musical composition by John Cage, composed in 1940. It is a quartet for unspecified instruments, all of which may be found in a living room of a typical house, hence the title (Pritchett, 1993, 20).

Living Room Music is dedicated to Cage’s then-wife Xenia. The work consists of four movements: “To Begin”, “Story”, “Melody”, and “End”. Cage instructs the performers to use any household objects or architectural elements as instruments, and gives examples: magazines, cardboard, “largish books”, floor, wooden frame of window, etc. The first and the last movements are percussion music for said instruments. In the second movement the performers transform into a speech quartet: the music consists entirely of pieces of Gertrude Stein’s short poem “The World Is Round” (Pritchett, 1998) spoken or sung. The third movement is optional. It includes a melody played by one of the performers on “any suitable instrument.”

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