4'33: As a professional musician and music educator (B.A., M.A., Music Education, UCLA, plus two teaching credentials), I react in a mixed manner to this piece.
Sure, Cage was a unique musician (to say the least). But my experience with listening to and performing music (pop, jazz, dance, Broadway shows, rock, gospel, classical, etc.) is that I like to actually do something when I'm performing.
The idea of sitting quietly in the audience, watching a performer do nothing but sit at a piano for 4'33, and trying to listen to the ambient noise around me (while trying to observe proper concert hall etiquette), is a little strange.
As an appreciator of music, I love Stravinsky's Rite of Spring for its unconventional harmonies and orchestration. I also love foot-tapping jazz, Beatles and other talented rock musicians, and so on.
With all due respect to Cage's ideas, I still like music (and musicians) doing something!
That's my reaction to 4'33.
Hi musicfunman. I also like music and I certainly appreciate it when musicians do something, so I see a lot of common ground here. Yet your post makes me wonder, whether in your opinion music can only be good if a musician is actually active during its performance. What are your opinions regarding music that is largely created on electronic devices before it is performed in public? What do you think about electronically generated music, music that is actually created by computer with only certain parameters having been predefined by a human composer?