Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768ffcd9cc-6vg6l Total loading time: 0.299 Render date: 2022-12-03T10:18:14.945Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Article contents

THE ROLE OF CHOICE IN JOHN CAGE'S ‘CHEAP IMITATION’

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 January 2009

Extract

John Cage’s stated opinion regarding the original version of Cheap Imitation – for solo piano – was that it constituted a breach with what he considered the proper role of the composer to be. Despite the fact that the actual pitch content of Cheap Imitation was derived through consultations with the I Ching, and that the rhythmic and metric structures were appropriated from Satie, Cage reserved for himself a great deal of composerly control dictated only by his personal taste: the particular kind of control which, in 1970, ran counter to what he had been doing and writing about for years. In this sense, Cheap Imitation represents a watershed point in Cage’s career, away from the radical indeterminacy of the 1960s and back toward more traditional ideas of notation and composition, containing a balance between elements that are systematized, appropriated, and randomly generated. The work as a whole does not simply re-embrace determinate notation, though Cage’s composed choices are strikingly reminiscent of similar processes from his much earlier works. As William Brooks notes, ‘Cheap Imitation looks and sounds far more like pieces from the early 1940s than like any of its immediate predecessors.’

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)
1
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

THE ROLE OF CHOICE IN JOHN CAGE'S ‘CHEAP IMITATION’
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

THE ROLE OF CHOICE IN JOHN CAGE'S ‘CHEAP IMITATION’
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

THE ROLE OF CHOICE IN JOHN CAGE'S ‘CHEAP IMITATION’
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *