Back to Works Index
Work Title
Double Music
Alt. Title
Double Music (in collaboration with Lou Harrison)
Composed in 1941. Premiered in San Francisco, May 14, 1941.
Ensemble Type
Percussion Quartet
Work Length
6 minutes
For percussion quartet.
This work was composed in collaboration with Lou Harrison, each composer working independently from the other: Cage composed parts 1 and 3 (soprano and tenor), Harrison parts 2 and 4 (alto and bass). Dynamics are scarcely indicated, but the instrumentation is specific (although substitutions are allowed). Both composers basically agreed to compose 200 measures each. Cage's parts have a rhythmic structure of 14 x 14 measures (plus a coda of 4 measures), using the number series 4, 3, 2, 5. The instruments employed are bells, brake drums, sistra, gongs, tam-tams, and thunder sheet. Lacking dynamic progression, Double Music is just a continuous, festive whole.
Peters Edition EP 6296 (score), EP 6296a (set of parts)