Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Seven Quick Takes


Yes, the sheet music for John Cage's 4' 3". I'd like to teach this one to the kids, but I'm wondering whether I should buy five copies, or have them share one.


Wikipedia on versions of the 4' 33" score:

Several versions of the score exist: The original Woodstock manuscript (August 1952): conventional notation, dedicated to David Tudor. This manuscript is currently lost. Tudor's attempt at re-creating the original score is reproduced in Fetterman 1996, 74.

The Kremen manuscript (1953): graphic, space-time notation, dedicated to Irwin Kremen. The movements of the piece are rendered as space between long vertical lines; a tempo indication is provided (60), and at the end of each movement the time is indicated in minutes and seconds. Edition Peters No. 6777a.

The so-called First Tacet Edition: a typewritten score, lists the three movements using Roman numbers, with the word "TACET" underneath each. A note by Cage describes the first performance and mentions that "the work may be performed by any instrumentalist or combination of instrumentalists and last any length of time." Edition Peters No. 6777 (out of print).

The so-called Second Tacet Edition: same as the First, except that it is printed in Cage's calligraphy, and the explanatory note mentions the Kremen manuscript. Edition Peters No. 6777 (i.e., it carries the same catalogue number as the first Tacet Edition)

Additionally, a facsimile, reduced in size, of the Kremen manuscript, appeared in July 1967 in Source 1, no. 2:46–54; the First Tacet Edition is described in Nyman 1974, 3, but it is not reproduced in that book.

There is some discrepancy between the lengths of individual movements specified in different versions of the score. The Woodstock printed program specifies the lengths 30″, 2′23″ and 1′40″, as does the Kremen manuscript, and presumably the original manuscript had the same indications. However, in the First Tacet Edition Cage writes that at the premiere the timings were 33″, 2′40″ and 1′20″. In the Second Tacet Edition he adds that after the premier a copy has been made for Irwin Kremen, in which the timelengths of the movements were 30″, 2′23″ and 1′40″. The causes of this discrepancy are not currently understood, the original manuscript being still lost.

A friend has assured me that this is really the best version of 4' 3".


I'm a tea drinker, and my brand is Twinings. I just bought a box of their Prince of Wales Tea, which is urbane and charming and not too strong. And then today I read the blurb on the side of the box: This exquisite tea was originally blended by Twinings for HRH The Prince of Wales in 1921, who later became King Edward VIII.

Great. I've been sipping Abdicator's Brew.


The girls have been paging through The Laura Ingalls Wilder Songbook: Favorite Songs from the Little House Books. Our favorite song is Green Grows the Laurel, a simple, haunting melody. However, the arrangement must be very old. I can't find anyone singing the same tune under that name. The closest I've come is this lovely performance by Sandy Denny:


There is no Take 6.


There is nothing more soothing, when one has a headache, than being kissed on the forehead.


Dorian Speed said...

I am proud to say that I got the joke with Take One.

MrsDarwin said...

Dorian, I told this lousy joke about 4' 3", and all I heard was the sound of crickets chirping. :)

bearing said...

Oh, er, sorry, I got it too, but I forgot to say so. Ahem.
Great joke!

Melanie Bettinelli said...

I responded to the joke on Facebook; but I can repeat my reply here: It's too short!