‘silence is not acoustic, it is a change of mind, it is a turning around’, so said john cage in reference to his infamous silent symphony. So put some good music on your stereo, and give it a listen. Then, when your feeling stressed, you can always bring it to mind, hum along, and let your troubles dissolve away.

2 thoughts on “Shhh…”

  1. Funny that an old piece like this still makes such a big misunderstandig, a kind of outrage. It also contains humor, also contains a big opening, a big step from the tonal, even from the twelvetone way of composing. It’s a gesture that says: “yes, everything can be listened as music.” But in a world where everything must be measured, everything must be somehow materialised, it isn’t an easy thing to deal with. So if we cant do anything with it, at least we should give some funny title to it: “Silent Symphony”. Great. Who’s idea was it? You know, it is (was?…) called simply 4:33.

  2. I don’t know where the silent symphony name originates, or whether is is a common epithet for the composition. It could be just from the bbc author, where i borrowed it from. I liked the annotations from john cage that the piece should be ‘passive, static and reserved, yet serious focused, attentive and respectful’, while also, ‘it is in three movements, the duration decided by the conductor’, which mostly leaves it to each person to add any humorous overtones.

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