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Beautiful Noise

The Music of John Cage



Anne Schwartz Books

(pub.10.10.2023) 40 pages

4-8 years

Author: Lisa Rogers

Illustrator: Il Sung Na

Character: John Cage


" For John Cage, music was everywhere: in the hum of the refrigerator, the screech of a garbage truck, the patter of the rain. But other people disagreed. They felt that, surely, a pianist on stage must actually play their piano to create music...not just sit there. And in no way was it melodic to turn a musician's mic on and off as they do play their instruments--it was just chaos!

John Cage found sound in silence, and knew that all noises were unique. All you had to do was listen to hear it."

Tantalizing taste:

"What if ...

instead of music notes

you sometimes drew


and dots

and more curlicues

and squiggles

and asked musicians to play them like notes

however they wanted

with whatever

instruments they wanted

and they did?

Then you'd be like John Cage."

And something more: Lisa Rogers, in the Author's Note explains that John Cage , the son of an inventor "spent his life experimenting with ways to combine ordinary sounds (like people laughing, horns beeping, and sirens wailing) to invent new sounds for the music he composed. Influenced by Zen philosophy, he believed that if people could enjoy sounds they thought of as noise, they would be happier...

He was serious about asking people to accept new ideas, recognize music in everyday life, and be still enough to hear sounds in silence."


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