A brief chronology and analysis of the basic style-trends of the music of John Cage

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Belfy, Jeanne M.
Korf, William E.
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Thesis (M.M.)
School of Music
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This thesis has traced the development of the various style trends in the music of john Cage through the study of actual music, literary description in the form of reviews and the writings of Cage, and other secondary sources. The time period covered is approximately 1933 to 1969, divided into two "periods." It was shown that the music of the first period, 1935 to 1951, contained several common attributes including interest provided by rhythmic complexity, expansion of the timbral repertoire, and form according to rhythmic structure. These attributes continued or evolved into new concepts after the development of chance in 1952, and the music of the first and second parts of the second period show a gradual move from chance to total indeterminacy in music.Causes and influences affecting Cage's development of the various style-trends are discussed in the context of the musical descriptions and are also referred to in more detail in an opening biographical chapter dealing with the events of Cage's life.