John Cage was an Avant-Garde classical composer. This type of composer ignored the old masters and Schoenbergs twelve-tone theory, incorporating non-traditional structures, instruments and approaches into the classical tradition. Composer John Cage used chance operations to determine the structure of his compositions, while Harry Partch designed his own instruments. Many Avant-Garde composers included electronic instrumentation in their music. Cage?s music often is similar to hearing the soundtrack of a movie with no plot. This style of music is known as “musique concrete.” This became Cage?s particular style of music. He would make music out of non-traditional instruments.
John Cage was born in Los Angeles in 1912. Cage briefly attended college and then traveled in Europe. Returning to the United States in 1931, he studied with Richard Buhlig, Henry Cowell, Adolph Weiss, and Arnold Schoenberg. While teaching in Seattle, he began organizing percussion ensembles to perform his compositions, and he began experimenting with works for dance in collaboration with his longtime friend, the choreographer and dancer Merce Cunningham. Cage?s early compositions were written in the 12-tone method of his teacher Schoenberg, but by 1939 he had begun to experiment with increasingly unorthodox instruments such as the ?prepared
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