The Intent of the Musical Moment: Cage and the Transpersonal

Austin Clarkson

in Writings through John Cage's Music, Poetry, and Art

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2001 | ISBN: 9780226044071
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226044873 | DOI:
The Intent of the Musical Moment: Cage and the Transpersonal

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This chapter focuses on quintessential exemplification of Cage's tendency to link music and spirituality by 4′33′′ composed by Cage. According to Cage, the purpose of music was to sober the mind and make it susceptible to divine influences. This chapter elucidates the understanding of Cage's views concerning spirituality exhibiting from writings by William James, Carl Jung, Meister Eckhart, and Daisetz Suzuki. Performing and listening to a composition by Cage has a transpersonal effect and it can lead to a heightened state of being by engaging the creativity of those who experience it. It is shown that spirituality, for Cage, results from a psychological transformation rather than a religious one. Thus, there is a need to develop analytical techniques that address this mode of musical experience and suggests some preliminary methods that can help one to perform and listen to Cage's music.

Keywords: Cage; music; spirituality; transpersonal effect; Cage's music; musical experience

Chapter.  24208 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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