Musicology is the study of music as a branch of knowledge or field of research as distinct from composition or performance. If we are talking about the Dada art movement influence on music or the music influence on the Dada art movement, we have to mention the genius John Cage…

Courtesy of John Cage Trust – Your support in this project has been highly appreciated.

John Cage

“At college I had given up high school thoughts about devoting my life to religion. But after dropping out and traveling to Europe I became interested in modern music and painting, listening‑looking and making, finally devoting myself to writing music, which, twenty years later, becoming graphic, returned me now and then for visits to painting (prints, drawings, watercolors, the costumes and decors for Europeras 1 & 2).”

“In the late thirties I heard a lecture by Nancy Wilson Ross on Dada and Zen. I mention this in my forward to Silence then adding that I did not want my work blamed on Zen, though I felt that Zen changes in different times and places and what it has become here and now, I am not certain. Whatever it is it gives me delight and most recently by means of Stephen Addiss’ book The Art of Zen. I had the good fortune to attend Daisetz Suzuki’s classes in the philosophy of Zen Buddhism at Columbia University in the late forties. And I visited him twice in Japan. I have never practiced sitting cross‑legged nor do I meditate. My work is what I do and always involves writing materials, chairs, and tables. Before I get to it, I do some exercises for my back and I water the plants, of which I have around two hundred.]”

John Cage約翰·凱吉

在大學時期, 我放棄了學業並把我的生命奉獻給高中時期的宗教思想。但在輟學後, 我前往歐洲, 我開始對現代音樂會繪畫而感興趣, 聆聽並且創作, 最後我致力於寫作音樂, 二十年後, 我開始繪圖, 時不時回到我的繪畫世界 (版畫, 圖紙, 水彩畫, 並且為戲劇Europeras 1 & 2搭配服裝與飾品)。”

“到三零年代後期, 我接觸到Nancy Wilson Ross(南希·威爾遜·羅斯) 和達達 (Dada)以及禪宗, 我在我的書Silence中提到這點, 並且補充說到, 我不希望我的創作歸咎於禪宗這點方面, 儘管我覺得禪在不同的時間與地點產生了變化, 至於它現在變成了什麼, 我並不是很確定。不管它成為了什麼, 它使我開心, 至於最近我也透過Stephen Addiss(斯蒂芬·阿迪斯) 的”禪的藝術”這本書得到了某些啟發。在四零年代後期, 我有幸參加Daisetz Suzuki (鈴木大拙,本名貞太郎〔ていたろう〕) 在哥倫比亞大學禪宗學的一門課程。並且去日本拜訪了他兩趟, 我從來沒有練習盤腿而坐, 而且也不打坐。我的工作就是我所做的, 總是涉及寫些材料, 設計椅子, 桌子。從這開始以前, 我會為我的背部做些伸展, 並且為我的植物澆澆水, 算一算大概也有個兩百顆左右吧。


This work was originally written for the Duchamp portion of Hans Richter’s film entitled Dreams That Money Can Buy. The composition evokes timbres and harmonies of Asian music, as well as the music of Erik Satie, i.e. it is static, meditative, and timeless. The music uses few tones, muted by weather stripping (seven pieces), a piece of rubber, and one bolt. The soft materials avoid fluctuations in resonance. This was important for Cage because the music had to be recorded, and in the first recordings Cage commented on “how poor the piano […] sounded”. The rhythmic structure is 11 x 11 (extended): 2-1-1-3-1-2-1. One new idea in this work is evident in Cage’s use of silence, heard especially in the last part, where 7 x 2 bars of music are followed by 2 bars of silence. These repetitions create tension and constitute a new dimension in Cage’s music, stepping away as they do from his usual rhythmic propulsions. This work is available in the C.F. Peters compilation “Prepared Piano Music 1940 – 47, Volume 2” (catalog number noted).

這部作品最初是為了Hans Richter的電影” Dreams That Money Can Buy 錢能買到的夢”裡面部分杜尚而寫的。這個作品喚起了亞洲音樂的協和和樂聲, 以及一些Erik Satie埃里克薩蒂的音樂, 即使它是靜止的,冥想的, 與永恆的。使用音調極少的音樂, 透過天氣剝離(七調), 一塊橡膠,一個螺栓,使材料避免共振波動。這對Cage凱吉來說很重要, 因為音樂必須被錄音下來, 並且在第一錄音章節Cage凱吉評論”鋼琴的琴聲聽起來是多麼的貧窮”。結構則是11×11(擴展) : 2-1-1-3-1-2-1節拍。在這件作品中有一個新的想法可在它的沉默中聽見, 特別是在最後一部分聽到的, 其中7×2的音樂節章後面跟隨著兩個靜音節。這些重複性製造了緊繃的面貌, 而這在Cage凱吉的音樂中構成了一個新的維度, 就像他們慣常的節奏推動性那樣, 悄悄的漂走。這項樂章這在C.F.彼得斯彙編” Prepared Piano Music 1940 – 47, Volume 2”(目錄編號註明) 裡面所聽得見。

譯文撰寫 Translator ─ Coraline Chuang