What can I say about John Cage’s 4′33″? Pretty much anyone can play this anytime.
It consists of the pianist going to the piano, and not hitting any keys for four minutes and thirty-three seconds. (He uses a stopwatch to time this.) In other words, the entire piece consists of silence or rests.
On the one hand, as a musical piece, 4’33” leaves almost no room for the pianist’s interpretation: as long as he watches the stopwatch, he can’t play it too fast or too slow; he can’t hit the wrong keys; he can’t play it too loud, or too melodramatically, or too subduedly.
On the other hand, what you hear when you listen to 4’33” is more a matter of chance than with any other piece of music — nothing of what you hear is anything the composer wrote.
With orchestra and soloist
Next time you come to a lesson and haven’t practiced, just tell me you’re playing Cage’s 4’33”!
• 1955 ~ Bill Haley and Comets, Rock Around the Clock hit #1
• 1958 ~ Lily Theresa Strickland, Composer, died at the age of 71
• 1962 ~ The Beatles met their producer George Martin for first time. After listening to a playback of the audition tapes, Martin said, “They’re pretty awful.” He changed his mind after meeting the group, however.
• 1971 ~ For the last time, we saw Polish dancing bears, a little mouse named Topo Gigio, remembered The Beatles, The Dave Clark Five, the comedy of Jackie Mason, John Byner, Rich Little, Richard Pryor and so many more, as The Ed Sullivan Show left CBS-TV. Gladys Knight and The Pips and singer Jerry Vale appeared on the final show. The Ed Sullivan Show had been a showcase for more than 20 years for artists who ranged from Ethel Merman to Ella Fitzgerald, from Steve (Lawrence) and Eydie (Gorme) to The Beatles. The Ed Sullivan Show was the longest-running variety show on TV ~ a “rillly big sheeeew.”
• 1991 ~ Stan Getz, Jazz saxophonist (Girl from Impanima), died at the age of 64
• 1994 ~ Willie Humphrey, Jazz clarinetist, died at the age of 93
• 1995 ~ Imam Elissa, Singer, died at the age of 76
• 2006 ~ Billy Preston, American soul musician, singer and pianist, 5th Beatle (David Brenner Show), died following long-term health issues at the age of 59
• 2006 ~ Hilton Ruiz, Puerto Rican-American jazz pianist died
• 2010 ~ Marvin Isley, American Musician The Isley Brothers died
• 2015 ~ Ronnie Gilbert, American folk singer (The Weavers), died at the age of 88