33 Musicians On What John Cage Communicates

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

100 years ago today, John Cage was born. In celebration of his birthday, we asked contemporary musicians across a wide range of genres and backgrounds โ€” not only in classical music, but also pop, rock, metal, electronic and experimental โ€” what they've taken from the late composer's musical and philosophical ideas.

Cage was known throughout his career for experimental, indeterminant avant-garde compositions. In 1958, he asked a series of questions during a lecture at Darmstadt, which were later published as "Composition as Process" in his book Silence. The lecture muses at length about music, sound and listening. During this line of questions, Cage inquires: "Music, what does it communicate?"

We turned his question around, and present here 33 musicians responding to this prompt: John Cage, what does he communicate?

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit

Source: NPR


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Comments [1]

Steven Shurtleff from Utah

I feel happy when I hear John Cage mentioned at all, let alone celebrated. I read these responses with great interest. What I would like to hear is Cage's effect on (well-known) NON-musicians.

Sep. 12 2012 10:39 PM

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