What 4′33″ also Is: A Response to Dodd

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):395-400 (2019)
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Abstract

Julian Dodd [2018] persuasively argues that John Cage’s 4′33″ should be characterised as a silent piece, as opposed to a sonically replete piece, containing the environmental sounds that occur as it is performed; a piece of performance art, but not a piece of music; a work of conceptual art. While I agree with Dodd’s claims, I contend that he fails to account for two features of 4′33″. I argue that a qualified description of Cage’s work as belonging to a subgenre of conceptual art could address these shortcomings.

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Matteo Ravasio
Peking University

Citations of this work

Organized Sound, Sounds Heard, and Silence.Douglas C. Wadle - 2023 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 10.
Musical Silences—Opaque and Capacious.Owen Hulatt - 2023 - British Journal of Aesthetics 63 (4):523-536.

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References found in this work

Everyday Aesthetics.Yuriko Saito - 2007 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
II—Genre, Interpretation and Evaluation.Catharine Abell - 2015 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 115 (1pt1):25-40.
What 4′33″ Is.Julian Dodd - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (4):629-641.
Silent Music.Andrew Kania - 2010 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 68 (4):343-353.
John Cage's 4′33″: Is it music?Stephen Davies - 1997 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 75 (4):448 – 462.

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