John Davies Cale, OBE is a Welsh musician, singer and record producer, a founding member of the American rock band the Velvet Underground. Over his five-decade career, Cale has worked in various styles across rock, classical, avant-garde and electronic music, he studied music at Goldsmiths College, University of London, before relocating in 1963 to New York City's downtown music scene, where he performed as part of the Theatre of Eternal Music and formed the Velvet Underground. Since leaving the band in 1968, Cale has released 16 solo studio albums, including the acclaimed Music for a New Society. Cale has acquired a reputation as an adventurous producer, working on the debut albums of several innovative artists, including the Stooges and Patti Smith. John Davies Cale was born on 9 March 1942 in Garnant in the industrial Amman Valley of Wales to Will Cale, a coal miner, Margaret Davies, a primary school teacher. Although his father spoke only English, his mother spoke and taught Welsh to Cale, which hindered his relationship with his father, although he began learning English at primary school, at around the age of seven.
Cale was molested by two different men during his youth, an Anglican priest who molested him in a church and a music teacher. Having discovered a talent for viola, Cale studied music at Goldsmiths College, University of London. While he was there he organised an early Fluxus concert, A Little Festival of New Music, on 6 July 1964, he contributed to the short film Police Car and had two scores published in Fluxus Preview Review for the nascent avant-garde collective. He conducted the first performance in the UK of Cage's Concert for Piano and Orchestra, with the composer and pianist Michael Garrett as soloist. In 1963, he travelled to the United States to continue his musical training with the assistance and influence of Aaron Copland. Upon arriving in New York City, Cale met a number of influential composers. On 9 September 1963 he participated, along with John Cage and several others, in an 18-hour piano-playing marathon, the first full-length performance of Erik Satie's "Vexations". After the performance Cale appeared on the television panel show I've Got a Secret.
Cale's secret was that he had performed in an 18-hour concert, he was accompanied by a man whose secret was that he was the only member of the audience who had stayed for the duration. Cale would attribute Cage's writings with his own "relaxed" artistic outlook, having hitherto been raised to believe that European composers were obliged to justify their work. Cale played in La Monte Young's ensemble the Theatre of Eternal Music known as the Dream Syndicate; the drone-laden music he played there proved to be a big influence in his work with his next band, the Velvet Underground. One of his collaborators on these recordings was the Velvet Underground guitarist Sterling Morrison. Three albums of his early experimental work from this period were released in 2001. Belying his background in art music and the avant-garde, Cale had enjoyed and followed rock music from a young age. Early that year, he co-founded the Velvet Underground with Lou Reed, recruiting his flatmate Angus MacLise and Reed's college friend Sterling Morrison to complete the initial line-up.
Cale left the band in September 1968, owing in part to creative disagreements with Reed. Just before the band's first paying gig for $75 USD at Summit High School in New Jersey, MacLise abruptly quit the band because he viewed accepting money for art as selling out. Hired to play that one show, she soon became a permanent member and her tribal pounding style became an integral part of the band's music, despite the initial objections of Cale to the band having a female drummer. On his aforementioned visit to Britain in the summer of 1965, Cale shopped a crudely-recorded, acoustic-based Velvet Underground demo reel to several luminaries in the British rock scene with the intention of securing a record deal. Although this failed to manifest, the tape was disseminated throughout the UK underground over the following eighteen months by such figures as producer Joe Boyd and Mick Farren of the Deviants; as a result, the Deviants, the Yardbirds and David Bowie had all covered Velvet Underground songs prior to the release of their debut album in 1967.
The first commercially available recording of the Velvet Underground, an instrumental track called "Loop" given away with Aspen Magazine, was a feedback experiment written and conducted by Cale. His creative relationship with Reed was integral to the sound of the Velvet Underground's first two albums, The Velvet Underground & Nico and White Light/White Heat. On these albums he plays viola, bass guitar and piano, sings occasional backing vocals. White Light/White Heat features Cale on organ as well as two vocal turns: "Lady Godiva's Operation", an experimental song where he shares lead vocal duties with Reed, "The Gift", a long spoken word piece written by Reed. Though Cale co-wrote the music to several songs, his most distinctive contribution is the electrically-amplified viola, he played celesta on "Sunday Morning". Cale played on Nico's 1967 debut album, Chelsea Girl, which includes songs co-written by Velvet Underground members Cale and Morrison, who appear as musicians. Cale makes his debut as lyricist on "Winter Song" and "Little Sister".
Apart from appearing on the Ve
The tanpura is a long-necked plucked string instrument, originating from India, found in various forms in Indian music. It does not play melody but rather supports and sustains the melody of another instrument or singer by providing a continuous harmonic bourdon or drone. A tanpura is not played in rhythm with the soloist or percussionist: as the precise timing of plucking a cycle of four strings in a continuous loop is a determinant factor in the resultant sound, it is played unchangingly during the complete performance; the repeated cycle of plucking all strings creates the sonic canvas on which the melody of the raga is drawn. The combined sound of all strings, each string a fundamental tone with its own spectrum of overtones and blend with the external tones sung or played by the soloist; the name of the instrument derives from Persian تنبور where it designates a group of long necked lutes. Hindustani musicians favour the term'tanpura' whereas Carnatic musicians say'tambura'. Tanpuras form the root of the ensemble and indeed of the music itself, as the tanpura creates an acoustic dynamic reference chord from which the ragas derive their distinctive character and flavour.
Stephen Slawek notes that by the end of the 16th century, the tanpura had "fully developed in its modern form", was seen in the miniature paintings of the Mughals. Slawek further suggests that due to structural similarity the sitar and tanpura share a related history. An electronic tanpura, a small box that imitates the sound of a tanpura, is sometimes used in contemporary Indian classical music performances instead of a tanpura, though this practice is controversial. A 2006 article in the performing arts magazine Sruti notes: "Any model electronic tanpura produces a sound, artificial, the opposite of artistic; the electronic substitute has no artistic value and has nothing to teach us but repetitive unnatural boredom." The Mirajkar family of Miraj is regarded as the finest producers of tanpuras in the world. The family has been making tanpuras for over seven generations; the body shape of the tanpura somewhat resembles that of the sitar, but it has no frets – as the strings are always plucked at their full lengths.
One or more tanpuras may be used to accompany instrumentalists. It has four or five metal strings, which are plucked one after another in a regular pattern to create a harmonic resonance on the basic notes of a key; the overtone-rich sound and the audible movement in the inner resonances of tone is achieved by applying the principle of jivari which creates a sustained "buzzing" sound in which particular harmonics will resonate with focused clarity. To achieve this effect, the strings pass over a table-shaped, curved-top bridge, the front of which slopes away from the surface of the strings; when a string is plucked, it has an intermittent periodical grazing contact with the bridge. When the string moves up and down, the downward wave will touch a far point on the curve of the bridge, as the energy of motion of the string diminishes, these points of contact of the string on the bridge will shift as well, being a compound function of amplitude, the curvature of the bridge, string tension and time.
When the string is plucked, it has a large amplitude. As the energy of the string's movement diminishes, the contact point of the string with the bridge creeps up the slope of the bridge. Depending on scale and pitch, this can take between three and ten seconds; this dynamic process can be fine-tuned using a cotton thread between string and bridge: by shifting the thread, the grazing contact sequence is shifted to a different position on the bridge, changing the harmonic content. Every single string produces its own cascading range of harmonics and, at the same time, builds up a particular resonance. According to this principle, tanpuras are attentively tuned to achieve a particular tonal shade relative to the tonal characteristics of the raga; these more delicate aspects of tuning are directly related to what Indian musicians call raga svaroop, about how characteristic intonations are important defining aspects of a particular raga. The tanpura's particular setup, with the cotton thread as a variable focus-point, made it possible to explore a multitude of harmonic relations produced by the subtle harmonic interplay in time of its four strings.
Tanpuras come in different sizes and pitches: larger "males", smaller "females" for vocalists, a yet smaller version is used for accompanying sitar or sarod, called tanpuri. These play at the octave. Male vocalists use the biggest instruments and pitch their tonic note at D, C♯ or lower, some go down to B-flat. One female singer may take her'sa' at F, another at A, sitariyas tune around C♯, sarodiyas around C, sarangiyas vary more between D and F♯, bansuriyas play from E; the male tanpura has an open string length of one metre. The standard tuning is 5-8-8-1 or, in Indian sargam, Pa-sa-sa-Sa. For ragas that omit the fifth tone, pa, the first string is tuned down to the natural fourth: 4-8-8-1 or Ma-sa-sa-Sa; some ragas require a less common tuning with shuddh or komal NI, NI-sa-sa-SA or 7-8-8-1, or with the 6th, Dha-s-s-S, major or minor. With a five-string instrument, the seventh or N
Great American Music Hall
The Great American Music Hall is a concert hall in San Francisco, California. It is located on O'Farrell Street in the Tenderloin neighborhood on the same block as the Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theatre, it is known for its decorative balconies and frescoes and for its history of unique entertainment, which has included burlesque dancing as well as jazz, folk music, rock and roll concerts. The capacity of the hall is 470 people; the hall was established in 1907 during the period of rebuilding. Its interior was designed by a French architect, it was called Blanco's, after a notorious Barbary Coast house of prostitution. In 1936, Sally Rand, known for her fan dance and bubble dance acts, acquired the property and branded it the Music Box, it closed with the end of World War II, reopened in 1948 as a jazz club that reused the name Blanco's, in the 1950s the building was used by members of the Loyal Order of the Moose. The venue went into a long decline. In 1972 the venue was purchased by Tom Bradshaw.
Newly refurbished and painted, the building was renamed the Great American Music Hall. In 1973-1974 the Stuart Little Band became the house band and served as opening act for many GAMH headliners: Cal Tjader, Sarah Vaughn, Carmen McRae, Marcel Marceau, Stan Getz, Mongo Santamaria, Dizzy Gillespie, Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders, Joe Pass, Cleo Laine, Herbie Mann, Buddy Rich, The Tubes, etc. In 1974, the new line-up of Journey debuted there Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead debuted and recorded a live album with Legion of Mary, his jazz influenced rock band in 1974, again with the Jerry Garcia Band as well as The Grateful Dead's album One from the Vault. In 1982, Robin Williams filmed his HBO special, "An Evening with Robin Williams". In the early'90s, radio station KKSF 103.7FM hosted several large "Music Without Borders Listener Appreciation Concerts", with performances by Opafire as well as other Contemporary Jazz groups. In May 2000, during the dot-com boom, the venue was acquired for a seven-figure sum by music website Riffage.com, went to Diablo Management Group when Riffage.com ceased operations in December 2000.
Traditional burlesque was brought back to the Great American Music Hall when the Velvet Hammer Burlesque troupe performed in 2003 and 2004. In 2013, the Great American Music Hall was named the sixth-best rock club in America in a Rolling Stone poll of artists and managers; the Grateful Dead's album One from the Vault, the first of its "From the Vault" series, was recorded at the Great American Music Hall in August 1975. David Bromberg recorded portions of How Late'll Ya Play'Til? at the Great American Music Hall in June 1976. McCoy Tyner recorded The Greeting on March 17 & 18, 1978. Sonny Rollins recorded Don't Stop the Carnival on April 13, 14 & 15, 1978. Doc and Merle Watson recorded "Live and Pickin' " on October 11-13, 1978. At the Grammy Awards of 1980 "Big Sandy/Leather Britches" won the Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance. Betty Carter recorded her live vocal jazz album The Audience with Betty Carter at the Great American Music Hall in 1979. Herbie Mann made a direct-to-disc recording, All Blues/Forest Rain, in 1980.
Carla Bley recorded Live! on August 19–21, 1981. Robin Williams filmed his 1982 HBO special, "An Evening with Robin Williams" at the Great American Music Hall; the Radiators Live at the "Great American Music Hall" in 1998. Boz Scaggs recorded his CD/DVD Greatest Hits Live in 2004 The Secret Chiefs 3 recorded their DVD Live at the Great American Music Hall in 2007. Jonathan Coulton recorded his album Best. Concert. Ever. in February 2008. Richard Thompson recorded portions of his album Dream Attic in February 2010. Ry Cooder recorded his 2011 concert with Corridos Famosos at the Great American Music Hall Sally Rand and The Music Box at Virtual Museum of SF Great American Music homepage on the website of Slim's Presents
Stephen Michael Reich is an American composer who, along with La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Philip Glass, pioneered minimal music in the mid to late 1960s. Reich's style of composition influenced many groups, his innovations include using tape loops to create phasing patterns, the use of simple, audible processes to explore musical concepts. These compositions, marked by their use of repetitive figures, slow harmonic rhythm and canons, have influenced contemporary music in the US. Reich's work took on a darker character in the 1980s with the introduction of historical themes as well as themes from his Jewish heritage, notably Different Trains. Writing in The Guardian, music critic Andrew Clements suggested that Reich is one of "a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history"; the American composer and critic Kyle Gann has said that Reich "may... be considered, by general acclamation, America's greatest living composer". Reich was born in New York City to the Broadway lyricist June Leonard Reich.
When he was one year old, his parents divorced, Reich divided his time between New York and California. He is the half-brother of writer Jonathan Carroll, he was given piano lessons as a child and describes growing up with the "middle-class favorites", having no exposure to music written before 1750 or after 1900. At the age of 14 he began to study music in earnest, after hearing music from the Baroque period and earlier, as well as music of the 20th century. Reich studied drums with Roland Kohloff. While attending Cornell University, he minored in music and graduated in 1957 with a B. A. in Philosophy. Reich's B. A. thesis was on Ludwig Wittgenstein. For a year following graduation, Reich studied composition with Hall Overton before he enrolled at Juilliard to work with William Bergsma and Vincent Persichetti. Subsequently, he attended Mills College in Oakland, where he studied with Luciano Berio and Darius Milhaud and earned a master's degree in composition. At Mills, Reich composed Melodica for melodica and tape, which appeared in 1986 on the three-LP release Music from Mills.
Reich worked with the San Francisco Tape Music Center along with Pauline Oliveros, Ramon Sender, Morton Subotnick, Phil Lesh and Terry Riley. He was involved with the premiere of Riley's In C and suggested the use of the eighth note pulse, now standard in performance of the piece. Reich's early forays into composition involved experimentation with twelve-tone composition, but he found the rhythmic aspects of the number twelve more interesting than the pitch aspects. Reich composed film soundtracks for Plastic Haircut, Oh Dem Watermelons, Thick Pucker, three films by Robert Nelson; the soundtrack of Plastic Haircut, composed in 1963, was a short tape collage Reich's first. The Watermelons soundtrack used two 19th-century minstrel tunes as its basis, used repeated phrasing together in a large five-part canon; the music for Thick Pucker arose from street recordings Reich made walking around San Francisco with Nelson, who filmed in black and white 16mm. This film no longer survives. A fourth film from 1965, about 25 minutes long and tentatively entitled "Thick Pucker II", was assembled by Nelson from outtakes of that shoot and more of the raw audio Reich had recorded.
Nelson never showed it. Reich was influenced by fellow minimalist Terry Riley, whose work In C combines simple musical patterns, offset in time, to create a shifting, cohesive whole. Reich adopted this approach to compose his first major work, It's Gonna Rain. Composed in 1965, the piece used a fragment of a sermon about the end of the world given by a black Pentecostal street-preacher known as Brother Walter. Reich built on his early tape work, transferring the last three words of the fragment, "it's gonna rain!", to multiple tape loops which move out of phase with one another. The 13-minute Come Out uses manipulated recordings of a single spoken line given by Daniel Hamm, one of the falsely accused Harlem Six, injured by police; the survivor, beaten, punctured a bruise on his own body to convince police about his beating. The spoken line includes the phrase "to let the bruise’s blood come out to show them." Reich rerecorded the fragment "come out to show them" on two channels, which are played in unison.
They slip out of sync. The two voices split into four, looped continuously eight, continues splitting until the actual words are unintelligible, leaving the listener with only the speech's rhythmic and tonal patterns. In 1999, Rolling Stone magazine dubbed Reich "The Father of Sampling" and compared his work with the parallel evolution of hip-hop culture by DJs such as Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash. Melodica applies it to instrumental music. Steve Reich took a simple melody, which he played on a melodica recorded it, he sets the melody to two separate channels, moves them out of phase, creating an intricate interlocking melody. This piece is similar to Come Out in rhythmic structure, are an example of how one rhythmic process can be realized in different sounds to create two different pieces of music. Reich was inspired to compose this piece from a dream he had on May 22, 1966, put the piece
Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend is an English musician and songwriter best known as the lead guitarist, second vocalist, principal songwriter for the rock band the Who. His career with the Who spans over 50 years, during which time the band grew to be one of the most important and influential rock bands of the 20th century. Pete Townshend is the main songwriter for the Who, having written well over 100 songs for the band's 11 studio albums, including concept albums and the rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia, plus popular rock radio staples such as Who's Next, dozens more that appeared as non-album singles, bonus tracks on reissues, tracks on rarities compilations such as Odds & Sods, he has written more than 100 songs that have appeared on his solo albums, as well as radio jingles and television theme songs. Although known as a guitarist, he plays keyboards, accordion, ukulele, violin, bass guitar, drums, on his own solo albums, several Who albums and as a guest contributor to an array of other artists' recordings.
He is self-taught on all of the instruments he has never had any formal training. Townshend has contributed to and authored many newspaper and magazine articles, book reviews, essays and scripts, he has collaborated as a lyricist and composer for many other musical acts. Due to his aggressive playing style and innovative songwriting techniques, Townshend's works with the Who and in other projects have earned him critical acclaim, he was ranked No. 3 in Dave Marsh's list of Best Guitarists in The New Book of Rock Lists, No. 10 in Gibson.com's list of the top 50 guitarists, No. 10 again in Rolling Stone's updated 2011 list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. In 1983, Townshend received the Brit Award for Lifetime Achievement, he and Roger Daltrey received The George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement at UCLA on 21 May 2016. Townshend was born on 19 May 1945, at Middlesex, he came from a musical family: his father, Cliff Townshend, was a professional alto saxophonist in the Royal Air Force's dance band the Squadronaires and his mother, was a singer with the Sydney Torch and Les Douglass Orchestras.
The Townshends had a volatile marriage, as both drank and possessed fiery tempers. Cliff Townshend was away from his family touring with his band while Betty carried on affairs with other men; the two split when Townshend was a toddler and he was sent to live with his maternal grandmother Emma Dennis, whom Pete described as "clinically insane". The two-year separation ended when Cliff and Betty purchased a house together on Woodgrange Avenue in middle-class Acton, the young Pete was reunited with his parents. Townshend says he did not have many friends growing up, so he spent much of his boyhood reading adventure novels like Gulliver's Travels and Treasure Island, he enjoyed his family's frequent excursions to the Isle of Man. It was on one of these trips in the summer of 1956 that he watched the 1956 film Rock Around the Clock, sparking his fascination with American rock and roll. Not long thereafter, he went to see Bill Haley perform in Townshend's first concert. At the time, he did not see himself pursuing a career as a professional musician.
Upon passing the eleven-plus exam, Townshend was enrolled at Acton County Grammar School. At Acton County, he was bullied because he had a large nose, an experience that profoundly affected him, his grandmother Emma purchased his first guitar for Christmas in an inexpensive Spanish model. Though his father taught him a couple of chords, Townshend was self-taught on the instrument and never learned to read music. Townshend and school friend John Entwistle formed a short-lived trad jazz group, the Confederates, featuring Townshend on banjo and Entwistle on horns; the Confederates played gigs at the Congo Club, a youth club run by the Acton Congregational Church, covered Acker Bilk, Kenny Ball, Lonnie Donegan. However, both became influenced by the increasing popularity of rock'n' roll, with Townshend admiring Cliff Richard's debut single, "Move It". Townshend left the Confederates after getting into a fight with the group's drummer, Chris Sherwin, purchased a "reasonably good Czechoslovakian guitar" at his mother's antique shop.
Townshend's brothers Simon were born in 1957 and 1960, respectively. Lacking the requisite test scores to attend university, Pete was faced with the decision of art school, music school, or getting a job, he chose to study graphic design at Ealing Art College, enrolling in 1961. At Ealing, Townshend studied alongside future Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood. Notable artists and designers gave lectures at the college such as auto-destructive art pioneer Gustav Metzger. Townshend dropped out in 1964 to focus on music full-time. In late 1961, Entwistle joined a skiffle/rock and roll band, led by Roger Daltrey; the new bass player suggested Townshend to join as an additional guitarist. In the early days of the Detours, the band's repertoire consisted of instrumentals by the Shadows and the Ventures, as well as pop and trad jazz covers, their lineup coalesced around Roger Daltrey on lead guitar, Townshend on rhythm guitar, Entwistle on bass, Doug Sandom on drums and Colin Dawson as vocalist. Daltrey was considered the leader of the grou
John Milton Cage Jr. was an American composer, music theorist and philosopher. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde. Critics have lauded him as one of the most influential composers of the 20th century, he was instrumental in the development of modern dance through his association with choreographer Merce Cunningham, Cage's romantic partner for most of their lives. Cage is best known for his 1952 composition 4′33″, performed in the absence of deliberate sound; the content of the composition is not "four minutes and 33 seconds of silence," as is assumed, but rather the sounds of the environment heard by the audience during performance. The work's challenge to assumed definitions about musicianship and musical experience made it a popular and controversial topic both in musicology and the broader aesthetics of art and performance. Cage was a pioneer of the prepared piano, for which he wrote numerous dance-related works and a few concert pieces.
The best known of these is Interludes. His teachers included Henry Cowell and Arnold Schoenberg, both known for their radical innovations in music, but Cage's major influences lay in various East and South Asian cultures. Through his studies of Indian philosophy and Zen Buddhism in the late 1940s, Cage came to the idea of aleatoric or chance-controlled music, which he started composing in 1951; the I Ching, an ancient Chinese classic text on changing events, became Cage's standard composition tool for the rest of his life. In a 1957 lecture, Experimental Music, he described music as "a purposeless play", "an affirmation of life – not an attempt to bring order out of chaos nor to suggest improvements in creation, but a way of waking up to the life we're living". Cage was born September 1912, at Good Samaritan Hospital in downtown Los Angeles, his father, John Milton Cage Sr. was an inventor, his mother, Lucretia Harvey, worked intermittently as a journalist for the Los Angeles Times. The family's roots were American: in a 1976 interview, Cage mentioned that George Washington was assisted by an ancestor named John Cage in the task of surveying the Colony of Virginia.
Cage described his mother as a woman with "a sense of society", "never happy", while his father is best characterized by his inventions: sometimes idealistic, such as a diesel-fueled submarine that gave off exhaust bubbles, the senior Cage being uninterested in an undetectable submarine. John Milton Sr. taught his son that "if someone says'can't' that shows you what to do." In 1944 -- 45 Cage wrote two small character pieces dedicated to his parents: Dad. The latter is a short lively piece that ends abruptly, while "Crete" is a longer melodic contrapuntal work. Cage's first experiences with music were from private piano teachers in the Greater Los Angeles area and several relatives his aunt Phoebe Harvey James who introduced him to the piano music of the 19th century, he received first piano lessons when he was in the fourth grade at school, but although he liked music, he expressed more interest in sight reading than in developing virtuoso piano technique, was not thinking of composition. During high school, one of his music teachers was Fannie Charles Dillon.
By 1928, Cage was convinced that he wanted to be a writer. He graduated that year from Los Angeles High School as a valedictorian, having in the spring given a prize-winning speech at the Hollywood Bowl proposing a day of quiet for all Americans. "By being hushed and silent, he said,'we should have the opportunity to hear what other people think'," anticipating 4′33″ by more than thirty years. Cage enrolled at Pomona College in Claremont as a theology major in 1928. Crossing disciplines again, though, he encountered at Pomona the work of artist Marcel Duchamp via professor José Pijoan, of writer James Joyce via Don Sample, of philosopher Ananda Coomaraswamy and of Cowell. In 1930 he dropped out, having come to believe that "college was of no use to a writer" after an incident described in the 1991 autobiographical statement: I was shocked at college to see one hundred of my classmates in the library all reading copies of the same book. Instead of doing as they did, I went into the stacks and read the first book written by an author whose name began with Z.
I received the highest grade in the class. That convinced me. I left. Cage persuaded his parents that a trip to Europe would be more beneficial to a future writer than college studies, he subsequently sailed to Le Havre, where he took a train to Paris. Cage stayed in Europe for some 18 months. First he studied Gothic and Greek architecture, but decided he was not interested enough in architecture to dedicate his life to it, he took up painting and music. It was in Europe that, encouraged by his teacher Lazare Lévy, he first heard the music of contemporary composers and got to know the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, which he had not experienced before. After several months in Paris, Cage's enthusiasm for America was revived after he read Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass – he wante
A string quartet is a musical ensemble consisting of four string players – two violin players, a viola player and a cellist – or a piece written to be performed by such a group. The string quartet is one of the most prominent chamber ensembles in classical music, with most major composers, from the mid 18th century onwards, writing string quartets; the string quartet was developed into its current form by the Austrian composer Joseph Haydn, with his works in the 1750s establishing the genre. Since Haydn's day the string quartet has been considered a prestigious form and represents one of the true tests of the composer's art. With four parts to play with, a composer working in anything like the classical key system has enough lines to fashion a full argument, but none to spare for padding; the related characters of the four instruments, while they cover in combination an ample compass of pitch, do not lend themselves to indulgence in purely colouristic effects. Thus, where the composer of symphonies commands the means for textural enrichment beyond the call of his harmonic discourse, where the concerto medium offers the further resource of personal characterization and drama in the individual-pitted-against-the-mass vein, the writer of string quartets must perforce concentrate on the bare bones of musical logic.
Thus, in many ways the string quartet is pre-eminently the dialectical form of instrumental music, the one most suited to the activity of logical disputation and philosophical enquiry. Quartet composition flourished in the Classical era, with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert following Haydn in each writing a number of quartets. A slight slackening in the pace of quartet composition occurred in the 19th century, in part due to a movement away from classical forms by composers such as Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss, it received a resurgence in the 20th Century with the Second Viennese School, Béla Bartók, Dmitri Shostakovich and Elliott Carter producing regarded examples of the genre. In the 21st century it remains an refined musical form; the standard structure for a string quartet as established in the Classical era is four movements, with the first movement in Sonata form, Allegro, in the tonic key. Some quartets play together for many years in ensembles which may be named after the first violinist, a composer or a location.
Some have fanciful names such as the JACK Quartet. Well-known string quartets can be found in the list of string quartet ensembles; the early history of the string quartet is in many ways the history of Haydn's journey with the genre. Not that he composed the first quartet of all: before Haydn alighted on the genre there had been several spasmodic examples of divertimenti for two solo violins and cello by Viennese composers such as Georg Christoph Wagenseil and Ignaz Holzbauer. David Wyn Jones cites the widespread practice of playing works written for string orchestra, such as divertimenti and serenades, with just four players, one to a part, there being no separate contrabass part in string scoring before the 19th century. However, these composers showed no interest in exploring the development of the string quartet as a medium; the origins of the string quartet can be further traced back to the Baroque trio sonata, in which two solo instruments performed with a continuo section consisting of a bass instrument and keyboard.
A early example is a four-part sonata for string ensemble by Gregorio Allegri that might be considered an important prototype. By the early 18th century, composers were adding a third soloist, thus when Alessandro Scarlatti wrote a set of six works entitled "Sonata à Quattro per due Violini, Violetta, e Violoncello senza Cembalo", this was a natural evolution from the existing tradition. The string quartet in its now accepted form came about with Haydn. If the combination of two violins and cello was not unknown before Haydn, when it occurred in chamber music it was more through circumstance than conscious design; the composition of Haydn's earliest string quartets owed more to chance than artistic imperative. During the 1750s, when the young composer was still working as a teacher and violinist in Vienna, he would be invited to spend time at the nearby castle at Weinzierl of the music-loving Austrian nobleman Karl Joseph Weber, Edler von Fürnberg. There he would play chamber music in an ad hoc ensemble consisting of Fürnberg's steward, a priest and a local cellist, when the Baron asked for some new music for the group to play, Haydn's first string quartets were born.
It is not clear whether any of these works ended up in the two sets published in the mid-1760s and known as Haydn's Opp.1 and 2, but it seems reasonable to assume that they were at least similar in character. Haydn's early biographer Georg August Griesinger tells the story thus: The following purely