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Mehmet Emin Saraliolu

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Thinking Music

Indeterminacy
Uncertainty, a quality naturally in many artworks, acquired a radical understanding
in the indeterminate musical works of the post-1950 avant-garde. Such music
challenges the ontological status of the work and as a result of the activity of
musical analysis in relation to it. One model for an information theory discovery of
these issues is the semiological tripartition of Jean-Jacques Nattiez, influenced by
Jean Molino, together with its associated concept of the "total musical fact."

Investigation of a work such as Cage's Solo for Piano whiches written on 1957
Hes giving examples about how indeterminate music fosters a reconstruct of the
conventional division of labor among composer, performer, and analyst. It also
suggests that analysis might need to become not only more flexible and wide
regarding its own concept, but also open to a further blurring between itself and
music aesthetics and theory just as Cage's output opened itself up to Zen
philosophy.

While these changed conditions do not causes a total dislocation from those
surrounding more "conventionally" unidentified musical works like Debussy's
Prelude, theyre arguing about how to do represent pace Nattiez, a difference in
principle as well as in a degree. Theyre, we might say, radically ambiguous, and
this needs to be reflected in the epistemological framework with in which we
consider them. To argue otherwise it would be fail to keep faith with what is radical
about indeterminacy.