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John Cage was a giant of American experimental music--composer, writer, and artist. He is most widely kwn for his 1952 composition 4'33, whose three movements continue to challenge the definition of music by being performed without playing a single te. In questioning fundamental tenets of Western music, Cage was often at the center of controversy, and is regarded as an important contributor to many facets of American culture. To enable readers to understand what makes Cage such an extraordinary figure, David Nicholls masterfully places his striking body of prose and poetry, over 300 music compositions, and prominent performance career into historical, environmental, intellectual, philosophical, and aesthetic contexts. Nicholls\u2019 intimate study of John Cage\u2019s personal and professional life confirms the legacy of this major figure in twentieth-century American culture.
David Nicholls is a professor of music at the University of Southampton, author of American Experimental Music, 1890-1940, and editor of The Cambridge Companion to John Cage.