Merry Synthmas: Before John Cage, There Was Raymond Scott

Here’s a bit of Raymond Scott holiday trivia:

Summit, New Jersey, Christmas 1942: The “famous Raymond Scott Quintet, featuring Dorothy Collins,” performs for a “Holiday Assembly” at the Masonic Hall. Scott performed his composition Silent Music.

This “unrecorded” work has long been part of Scott lore—a “composition” consisting of no notes, a silent performance in which the musicians go through the motions of playing without making any sounds. This was a decade before John Cage’s legendary noteless work 4’33”, which caused such a ruckus when it was introduced in concert by David Tudor in 1952.

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