In re: 'Experimental Music'

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John Cage is universally associated with the phrase “experimental music.” But what did that phrase mean, for Cage and for Cage’s predecessors? I begin with Cage and Lejaren Hiller, both writing important texts on “experimental music” in 1959. From there I trace the phrase backwards, eventually reaching Émile Zola, Gertrude Stein, and William James. A final section traces the phrase forward to Cage and Hiller’s collaboration on HPSCHD (1969).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-62
Number of pages26
JournalContemporary Music Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2012
EventNouvelle perspectives sur l'oeuvre musicale et plastique de John Cage - Paris, France
Duration: 21 Jun 201222 Jun 2012


  • John Cage
  • Lejaren Hiller
  • experimental music

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