History of Classical Music

Chance Music

(20th Century 4)
In chance music, the composer leaves a lot up to the performer. For example a composer might give each player in the band four different sheets of music. On the director's signal each player in the band could play any one of the four sheets of music, starting and stopping whenever he or she wished. Chance music is interesting because each performance is different.

One important composer of chance music was John Cage. His Imaginary Landscape No.4, consists of 12 radios all playing at the same time, but all tuned to different stations.

John Cage
Previous (Neo-Classicism) Overview of 20th Century Next (Atonal Music)

Sample Works:

MIDI Example 4'33" (arranged for oboe and piano duet) by John Cage


4'33", MIDI sequence by Garrett Hall
    from Classical MIDI Connection

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