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Word Count: 322
John Cages idea of composing chance music was not arbitrary His motives were inspired by Eastern philosophy especially Zen Buddhism Its influence was so deep on Cage that some people argue he was more of a philosopher than a composer Many different philosophical elements were combined to create unique processes and approaches resulting in the development of chance music Sound and nature which were closely related to each other in Cages context fascinated him very much Cage believed that any sound or noise we hear is music and thus the distinctions between life and art should be eliminated Everything that surrounds us from clock ticking in our room to cars honking outside our apartment is music Consequently Cage composed 433 a composition containing four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence When pianist David Tudor first performed it in 1952 some people thought it was a joke but others acknowledged Cages effort in removing the creative input from musical composition Another major source of influence for John Cage was the I Ching I Ching also known as the Book of Changes originated in China around 256 BC It was used to predict the future by tossing sticks or throwing coins Later on it became a book of philosophy instead of a fortunetellers manual The Americans were exposed to the book in 1951 after it went through European filter and after the German version was translated into English Cages interest in this method has led him to produce Fontana Mix in 1958 his first taped work involving indeterminacy The following quote best sums up Cages outlook on art and the element of chance The philosophy religion and art of the West assumed that humans created in the image of God were destined to rule over nature From a non-Western perspective however human beings were simply one of many species of life and nature itself tended more toward randomness than order
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