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Writings through John Cage's Music, Poetry, and Art$
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David W. Bernstein and Christopher Hatch

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780226044071

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226044873.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 30 March 2020

The Intent of the Musical Moment: Cage and the Transpersonal

The Intent of the Musical Moment: Cage and the Transpersonal

(p.62) Three The Intent of the Musical Moment: Cage and the Transpersonal
Writings through John Cage's Music, Poetry, and Art

Austin Clarkson

University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on quintessential exemplification of Cage's tendency to link music and spirituality by 4′33′′ composed by Cage. According to Cage, the purpose of music was to sober the mind and make it susceptible to divine influences. This chapter elucidates the understanding of Cage's views concerning spirituality exhibiting from writings by William James, Carl Jung, Meister Eckhart, and Daisetz Suzuki. Performing and listening to a composition by Cage has a transpersonal effect and it can lead to a heightened state of being by engaging the creativity of those who experience it. It is shown that spirituality, for Cage, results from a psychological transformation rather than a religious one. Thus, there is a need to develop analytical techniques that address this mode of musical experience and suggests some preliminary methods that can help one to perform and listen to Cage's music.

Keywords:   Cage, music, spirituality, transpersonal effect, Cage's music, musical experience

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