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Saturday: November 5, 2005

Up To A Point, Lord Copper

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:59 PM GMT-0500

On Halloween, Terry Teachout quoted an apophthegm of John Cage:

It is better to make a piece of music than to perform one, better to perform one than to listen to one, better to listen to one than to misuse it as a means of distraction, entertainment, or acquisition of ‘culture.’

This sentence would be much better — or at least truer — with mutatis mutandis inserted somewhere in it. I think it is better to listen to a piece of music by Bach or Mozart, or even Crusell or Arriaga (just to name two of my favorite smaller fish in the ocean of music), than to perform one by Cage, and much better to listen to almost any other composer’s work than to make a piece of music like the ones Cage made.

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