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Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond
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Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  283 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Michael Nyman's book is a first-hand account of experimental music from 1950 to 1970. First published in 1974, it has remained the classic text on a significant form of music making and composing that developed alongside, and partly in opposition to, the postwar modernist tradition of composers such as Boulez, Berio, or Stockhausen. The experimentalist par excellence was J ...more
Paperback, 218 pages
Published August 6th 2014 by Cambridge University Press (first published 1974)
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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  283 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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J.L. Flores
Jul 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Excelente, antes de cualquier cosa debo aclarar yo nunca he sido músico ni mucho menos, hago ruidos y trato de contar historias sin decir palabras, lo contrario que hago en los libros.

Este libro me sirvió para ganar autoestima sobre lo que estaba haciendo, entender que mezclar escalas no estaba mal y podía arreglarmelas con mis manos chicas, y el parkinson. No es un manual para hacer música, pero si una forma distinta de entender el viaje musical.

Quizás para los más estudiosos sea algo superfi
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-bought
Even though it is only an illusion, but it seems that when John Cage walked into our room, the world has re-started in some fashion. Cage is the stone that was thrown into the pond, and future experimental music came from those little ripples from that rock. Michael Nyman, a great composer, by the way, wrote this book in 1974 at the height of Brian Eno's Obscure Records label, where he focused on the British wing of the musical avant-garde. Before Nyman's work with filmmaker Peter Greenaway, he ...more
Troy S
Jun 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: music, crit
Michael Nyman, too my slight and fortunate surprise, gives an insightful and affirming look at what makes music experimental, filled with charming anecdotes and all of the grids, lists, formulas, charts and notations of pieces that shaped experimental music today. We trace, not quite through time, but through comparisons of voices and influences, different technical diversions and transgressions that artists and composers have used since the French Impressionists that have formed the experimenta ...more
Feb 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all serious musicians
Shelves: music
I estimate that I read this bk in the fall of 1976. I must've read it before the spring of 1978 b/c by then I knew who Nyman was & eagerly attended a concert of his in London during that time. Alas, I found the concert quite boring - it was bland 'new tonality' minimalism. Oh well.. Nonetheless, this bk was the most important bk I'd read on the subject at the time & I was very inspired by it. It still sticks w/ me the way formative experiences do.
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I'm guessing that it was 1993 or so when I read this; whenever it was, it was a major turning point in the development of my thinking about music - my first encounter with so many of the great composers of the mid 20th century, and my first real immersion in the concept of "experimental music". Essential reading.
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: musica
una guida decisamente importante, sia perchè sono pochissimi i testi dedicati all'argomento sia perchè scritta da uno dei suoi protagonisti proprio nel momento e sia anche perchè scritta e pubblicata in un momento in cui quella musica stava decisamente cambiando e si trovava ad un punto fondamentale della sua storia.

una pagina di storia della musica e in generale dell'arte dello scorso secolo.
Caeser Pink
Oct 05, 2018 rated it liked it
It was interesting to someone studying experimental music from the mid 20th century, as I am. I took the reader through a series of musical concepts and composer's work. The book is a bit abstract and technical. It reads like a text book. It misses a lot of the humor, social and cultural struggle, and sheer fun of the music and performance events presented by those composers.
Ola Loobeensky
Cage, Cage i po Cage'u

Kiedy oglądasz horror i słyszysz kwestię: "Czy na pewno nic nam się nie stanie?" (w domyśle: jeżeli wejdziemy do tego starego, samotnego domu w środku lasu), to najwyższy czas na zakrycie oczu. Istnieją kategorie stwierdzeń oraz momentów tak akuratnie pasujących do siebie nawzajem, że ich wspólna obecność nie nastręcza większych wątpliwości. Pojawi się jeden, nastąpi i drugi. Stąd moja niemal absolutna pewność, która narodziła się mniej-więcej w chwili rozpakowywania książk
Nov 17, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: music
Dull. Academic in the worst way. A prime example of why I hate reading about music. Nyman appeals from the outset, and not very subtlely, to readers' sense of social egalitarianism and differentiates between so-called "experimental" music and so-called "avant-garde" music, implying that the former is superior because of experimental composers' ability to accept the sovereignty of all sounds, whether intentional or not. It's better to just read some John Cage and form one's own opinions of post-W ...more
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Michael Nyman oferece ao leitor uma visão bem informada sobre os primeiros tempos da música experimental, falando sobre alguns dos seus principais intervenientes, tanto ao nível da composição como da execução, como sejam John Cage, John Tilbury, etc., seguindo um roteiro das principais obras deste género musical, através da apresentação das suas partituras (?) e/ou da sua explicação/descrição.
Contém também muitas fotografias, citações e uma discografia seleccionada (que, na minha opinião deve se
Jan 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Read this with Christophe Cox and Dan Warner in 2001. Along with Jhn Cage's Silence and Morton Feldman's writing, it got me going down a totally different path than i could have imagined, in terms of both my listening and playing. I'm grateful to it for that, but honestly haven't returned to it since.
Shane M
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book on the major areas of development in composed experimental music after WWII. Clearly written without oversimplifying and without placing value judgements on the varied movements and approaches.
Caroline Picard
Jun 18, 2009 rated it liked it
I didn't finish this book, but I continue to pick it up and read passages and put it down again. It was a great way for me to start thinking about experimental music and there were some interesting exercises/pieces outlined inside.
Aug 12, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People interested in the old days of experimental music
This book was okay. I like a lot of the music related to the movements discussed. Some of the aleatoric musical games discussed were really cool. Overall though this was not a book that I felt driven to finish (though I did do so). I dunno, it just wasn't anything special.
Patricio Amerena
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Michael Laurence Nyman, CBE (born 23 March 1944) is an English composer of minimalist music, pianist, librettist and musicologist, known for numerous film scores (many written during his lengthy collaboration with the filmmaker Peter Greenaway), and his multi-platinum soundtrack album to Jane Campion's The Piano. He has written a number of operas, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat; ...more