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John Cage and David Tudor
Correspondence on Interpretation and Performance


Part of Music since 1900

  • Date Published: March 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107507807

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About the Authors
  • John Cage is best known for his indeterminate music, which leaves a significant level of creative decision-making in the hands of the performer. But how much licence did Cage allow? Martin Iddon's book is the first volume to collect the complete extant correspondence between the composer and pianist David Tudor, one of Cage's most provocative and significant musical collaborators. The book presents their partnership from working together in New York in the early 1950s, through periods on tour in Europe, until the late stages of their work from the 1960s onwards, carried out almost exclusively within the frame of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Tackling the question of how much creative flexibility Tudor was granted, Iddon includes detailed examples of the ways in which Tudor realised Cage's work, especially focusing on Music of Changes to Variations II, to show how composer and pianist influenced one another's methods and styles.

    • Provides the complete correspondence between John Cage and David Tudor, making this is a valuable scholarly resource
    • Gives a full, chronological explanation of how Cage's closest collaborator worked on Cage's indeterminate scores
    • Offers a consideration of the various ways in which indeterminate work might intersect with conceptions of the musical work to show what Cage's closest collaborator actually did with his music
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… one is impressed by both Tudor's commitment and Iddon's persistence … Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates and above; general readers.' J. Behrens, Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107507807
    • length: 240 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • contains: 9 b/w illus. 1 table 1 music example
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The music of chance
    2. Correspondence, 1951–3
    3. Determining the determinate
    4. Determining the indeterminate
    5. Correspondence, 1958–62
    6. (In)determining the indeterminate
    7. Correspondence, 1965–89
    8. 'Late' realizations
    9. Praxis and poiesis in indeterminate music.

  • Author

    Martin Iddon, University of Leeds
    Martin Iddon is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Leeds. He previously lectured at University College Cork and Lancaster University, and studied composition and musicology at the Universities of Durham and Cambridge. His musicological research largely focuses on post-war music in Germany and the United States of America and has been published in numerous leading journals, including Musical Quarterly, twentieth-century music and the Contemporary Music Review. His music has been performed in Europe, North America and Australasia and has been featured on BBC Radio 3, Radio New Zealand and the Österreichischer Rundfunk.

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