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Q&A Why do you need sheet music of John Cage's 4′33″ to perform it?

Obviously you don't need it. You don't need to have an instrument. Technically, you don't need to do anything. The point of "performing" 4'33" is to create an atmosphere. To do this, performers gen...

posted 6mo ago by gmcgath‭

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#1: Initial revision by user avatar gmcgath‭ · 2022-05-28T16:17:11Z (6 months ago)
Obviously you don't _need_ it. You don't need to have an instrument. Technically, you don't need to do anything. The point of "performing" 4'33" is to create an atmosphere. To do this, performers generally follow the conventions of performing a piece, such as sitting at an instrument, turning the pages, and bowing at the end. Without them, the audience wouldn't know anything special was happening.

Some people consider 4'33" a way to get the audience to focus on the ambience which they normally don't pay attention to. Others consider it all a joke. Either way, it has to be set up to work.