The Sound of Silence

The German philosopher Immanuel Kant once said, “There are two things that don’t have to mean anything in order to give us very deep pleasure: one is music and the other is laughter”

But what is music? Can silence be music? Can the sound of traffic be music?

John Cage said: “The sound experience I prefer to all others is the experience of silence… If you listen to Bethoven or Mozart you see that it’s always the same, but if you listen to traffic you see that it’s always different”

With his composition 4’33” Cage proved that there’s no such thing as silence and he put forward the theory that all silence is music.

Play this video and listen to the sounds around you for four minutes and thirty-three seconds. Repeat as many times as you want, you will hear a different song each time.

I hear: a faraway sound of a cooing pigeon, the wind, the phone ringing in the flat upstairs, a car speeding past, a gate closing downstairs, another gate slamming, a crashing sound (what is that?), a bird singing, voices coming from downstairs, a car screeching, and the pigeon is still cooing… This is the music of a Thursday morning in Tarragona.

What do you hear?

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One Comment on “The Sound of Silence”

  1. […] from my tree house at night (Trinidad). Listen to the sound of “silence”. Musicians: frogs, crickets, geckos, beetles, […]


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