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Experimental Music

Experimental Music
Cage and Beyond

2nd Edition

$32.99 (G)

Part of Music in the Twentieth Century

Robert Worby
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  • Date Published: August 1999
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521653831

$ 32.99 (G)

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About the Authors
  • Michael Nyman's book is a first-hand account of experimental music from 1950 to 1970. First published in 1974, it has remained the classic text on a significant form of music making and composing that developed alongside, and partly in opposition to, the postwar modernist tradition of composers such as Boulez, Berio, or Stockhausen. The experimentalist par excellence was John Cage whose legendary 4' 33'' consists of four minutes and thirty three seconds of silence to be performed on any instrument. Such pieces have a conceptual rather than purely musical starting point and radically challenge conventional notions of the musical work. Nyman's book traces the revolutionary attitudes that were developed toward concepts of time, space, sound, and composer/performer responsibility. It was within the experimental tradition that the seeds of musical minimalism were sown and the book contains reference to the early works of Reich, Riley, Young, and Glass. This second edition contains a new Foreword, an updated discography, and a historical overview by the author.

    • The author is a very well-known composer, especially of film music (The Piano, The Draughtsman's Contract etc.)
    • Originally published in 1974 by Studio VISTA, Cassell and Collier, MacMillan
    • This book has been out of print since 1980 and copies of the original are much sought after
    • It is still the only detailed account of this music, now seen to be so influential on music of the present day
    • Foreword by the composer Brian Eno, former member of Roxy Music and producer for David Bowie and U2
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Nyman's book remains a privileged window into that strange world, and its republication will be a boon to a new generation.' BBC Music Magazine

    '… a welcome reissue of the book … Above all, Experimental Music is a useful source book for a period of radicalism in musical practice in which the rule was to break the rules.' Music Teacher

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    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: August 1999
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521653831
    • length: 218 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 173 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • contains: 67 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Foreword Brian Eno
    Preface to the second edition
    1. Towards (a definition of) experimental music
    2. Backgrounds
    3. Inauguration 1950–60: Feldman, Brown, Wolff, Cage
    4. Seeing, hearing: Fluxus
    5. Electronic systems
    6. Indeterminacy 1960–70: Ichiyanagai, Ashley, Wolff, Cardew, Scratch Orchestra
    7. Minimal music, determinacy and the new tonality
    Discography Robert Worby.

  • Author

    Michael Nyman


    Brian Eno


    Robert Worby

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