Silence; Lectures and Writings Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is different about the type Cage uses for "Composition as Process--2: Indeterminacy"?

2. The essay "Composition: To Describe the Process of Composition Used in 'Music of Changes' and 'Imaginary Landscape No. 4'" was originally published in what city?

3. In what year were all three parts of "Composition as Process" given?

4. According to Cage's essay on him, Erik Satie was told he would "see" when he was how old?

5. "The Future of Music: Credo" was first printed to accompany a recording from whom?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Cage comment on in the article "Forerunners of Modern Music"?

2. Why does the author say he is grateful to Richard K. Winslow?

3. How did painter Willem de Kooning respond when asked what painters of the past had influenced him?

4. What happened to Cage when he and Xenia went to New York, expecting to stay with a friend named Max?

5. How has Cage's process of composition evolved?

6. How does Cage feel about poetry, according to what he says in his Foreword?

7. In the book's Foreword, how does Cage describe the way the writings and lectures in his book are written and presented?

8. What does Cage believe the future holds for sounds that are heard on a regular basis?

9. What does Cage say about Varese in relation to the present nature of music?

10. Describe the story Cage retells of when his mother asked his father to go to church.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explore the contrast created in Cage's essay which is an imaginary conversation between himself and Erik Satie. Discuss the mathematical presence in Cage's parts in relation to the near-poetic sensibility revealed in Satie's part. Why do you think the author takes this tone for his parts? Do you think he is really so cold about Satie? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Explore the author's use of philosophical ideas. When do you think it first becomes clear that the author is approaching his ideas and work from a philosophical perspective? What direct statements does he make about philosophy? At this early point in the book, what does Cage's philosophy on music seem to be? Can you sense any philosophies on life in general?

Essay Topic 3

What is the significance of the series of anecdotes relating the perspective of various innovators in philosophy and art that only the present is important found in "History of Experimental Music in the United States"? Looking at each of the three anecdotes, what do they have in common, aside from their overall theme? In the article, does Cage ever say whether he agrees or disagrees with these sentiments? How does he seem to feel about the past and the future?

(see the answer keys)

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