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There are four measures in each line and twelve lines in each Ifnit of the rhythmic structure. There are forty-eight such units, each having forty-eight measures. The whole is divided into five large parts, in the proportion 7, 6, 14, 14, 7. The forty-eight measures of each unit are likewise so divided. The text is pr,inted in four columns to facilitate a rhythmic reading. Each line is to be read across the page from left to right, not down the cO~tlmn8in sequence. This should not be done in an artificial manner (which might result from an atte~pt to be too strictly faithful to the position of the words on the page), but with the rubato which one tlSes in everyday speech,
I am here
and there is nothing to say
If among you are
those who wish to get any moment silence is
let them leave at What we re-quire is but what silence requires that I go on talking Give anyone thought a push it falls down easily but the pusher and the pushed that enterpro-duce a dis-cussion called Shall we have one later ?
Or cussion now words silences
we could simply de-cide What ever you like . there are silences help make
not to have a disBut and the the
and I am saying it poetry This space of time as I need it
I have nothing to say and that is
We need not fear these
silences, ON NOTHINGj109
for a New-Yorker Now he knows he Kansas is like very refreshing. gam it though as something seen momentarily while traveling then. Heas Kansas is more interesting. and whenever one wishes one may return to it Or you may leave it forever and never return to it Our poetry llQW for we 'pos-sess nothing is the reali-zation Anything (since we do not at any moment. owned it. is it com Kansas ? has this about it: in spite of himself the Kansas in him especially in everything. and be the present Only if we thought we and so are we pos-sess it) We need not destroy the it might reappear and Would it be a but since we don't. l1l' or ? one may leave it. . 11.we may love them This is a composed talk just as I make of milk and we need the milk empty glass anything moment As we go along for I am making it a piece of music. If one does.~ '. 110/SILENCE that we possess therefore and thus past: seem to be repetition? it is free nothing is a delight need not fear its loss it is gone.1' at any an i-dea may occur in this whether one will let it. from a window Arizona If across Kansas almost too interesting being interested needs nothing on earth It is like an empty glass . It is like a glass glass We need the it is like an Or again into which may be poured> (who knows?) talk I have no idea or not. . who is and fora New Yorker nothing but wheat Does it matter which at any instant. of course.
figured out. rare moments train us comes from one's willingness to aoofstructurs. we carry our homes 11F to fly to enjoy breathtakingly the telephone vacant lot each. own one's own home) within us. Simpler. that is that I write music 11F l1J' That music is cept simple measured accepted. themes (which is the belief the climax. and secondary themes. pos-sessing anything is often called it form Continuity is a demonstration it is a proof content. Structure is the limitations it can be thought out. the recapitulation But actually. How could I to make what we make simple to make LECTURE ON NOTHING/11' . that one may unlike the snail which enables us that which is come down in a or a sunset each acts Hearing of disthat our delight Each moment How different which is bound up with from that their struggle. of ecstasy. It is a discipline which. different because it happens possessing neither and the continuity Nothing more than nothing in music or making this is not than living this way only simpler for me. which. lies in not presents what happens this form sense is memory: their development. It is the contitoday. That is. beautiful.Most anybody knows a-bout the future and how un-certain it is 11F What I am calling I myself nuity when it is necessary mterestedness. poetry have called of a piece of music. may ring or to stay But beware of for at any moment or the airplane A piece of'string happens can be said. accepts whatever even those in return as sugar loaves train horses.
now. I can say anything It makes very little difference what I say or even At this par-ticular moment. is the end of that l1l' parts. within long is this talk a space of time ? 111' than simply to which is approximately That forty minutes has been divided into five large is divided likewise. and talk macrocosmic in the second discussion of continuity from a . the fourth second large passing through Kansas second unit Now begins the second part of that third unit third unit Now its third part of the second part Now the part length (which.¥ better tell tell contained forty minutes what structure about this. each unit volving a square root is the only possible permits this micro-macrocosmic rhythmic structure which I find so acceptable and accepting AB you see. Subdivision subdivision which and in- how I say it. as the third part) Now the fifth and last part l1l' Now its fourth is just the same You have just microcosmic point of view large part. nothing 112/SILENCE ex-perienced the structure of this point of view From a we are just passing the halfway point The first part was a rather rambling of form. by the way. we are passing through part of a unit which is the second unit in the part of this talk It is a little bit like This.
and the same day heard a woodpecker.when it is the way we part now what it is need it. A pupil once said to me: I Beethoven what you say about and I think understand very serious question I agree but I have a to How do you feel about Bach ask you: to the end of the Now we havecome ? part about structure 1U' 1U' to me to say more However. it oc-curs about structure this: Weare Specifically of the third part and that part the be-ginning now at LECTURE ON NOTHINGj113 .l' to of Structure structure expresses itself nificant. alive and sigrise from a field making com-pare be-yond I heard them of an arts which limitations to hear the blackbirds There was a social but one day I saw a a I ac-cepted because the limitations in a Virginia conference girls' finishing school. But Life Pure life without and through structure within is absolute. Why shouldn't she? I also had the Let her. college president America's youngest and people say she is going into politics she has resigned. quite by accident allowed me overhead as they flew up and and hours for breakfast calendar 1U' cardinal I also met However. its limitations. This second is about structure: how simple it is and why we should be willing accept ideas. Most speeches are full any doesn't have to have This one may come along But at any moment an idea Then we may enjoy it 11. BOund without life is un-seen Each moment Blackbirds de-licious is dead. music critic ex-claim pleasure of hearing an eminent e-nough that he hoped he would live long to see the end of this craze for Bach.
and.) The other day a after trying to compose a melody pupil said. what structure Unless some other i-dea crops up to say about structure material: isn't 111 is it interesting a-bout it that is . he which is that was The as a a ? But one thing is If one is making something which is to be nothing the one making must love and be patient with chooses.E con-cerned herself she would not T\i' since materials with the three toneshave felt limited are without feeling. any limitation. he calls attention to the Otherwise precisely something whereas it was or being made. about structure. on the sense level on the rational level discipline is of experiencing nothing means sound 111 before I ever took a music lesson lives And so we make our by what we love (Last year when r talked here I made a short talk. using only "I felt limited three tones. Clearly we are be- no point either... he calls attention to nothing is anonymous whereas technique of handling materials is. nothing himself. It was all in her been . clear from that as we have seen. r all I have Now about It is and it certain. has vIt's the part It must be no point.is not the part about material. ginning to get devoted to But rill still talking that structure form has nowhere structure. the material material. " I remember loving Had she her materials and there would not have 1 1 4 / 5 I LEN C. about something That was because I was talking but about nothing this year' I am talking and for a long time of course will go on talking ..
the but I What I admired in together that I never why I never really ON NOTHING/115 . the tritone. went Bach was the way many things I see AB I keep on re-membering. a time all the sounds I liked them for one hand was Later on I AB I look back I accepted the of all the intervals. I liked these thirds least Grieg. sevenths. I became passionately Perhaps. really liked the and this explains thirds. like a duck seconds. it would have been in the It became something nothing by being Should one use the ? somewhere lectnal question and characteristic I shall answer it autobiographically of one's time that ought to get us It is an intelslowly 11l' I remember especially fullofbeauty gradually liked as a child even the unprepared when there was one at A five-finger exercise all the intervals loving ones.mind materials by not being something materials Now there's a question whereas it be-longed nothing. Through the music of of the fifth I realize that I be-gan liking the octave major and minor thirds. liked Brahms LECTURE it made me want to demodern music. fond 1lI' Or perhaps you could call it puppy-dog love for the fifth did not make me want to write music: vote my life to playing the works of Grieg When later I heard to water. and the fourth I liked Bach too a-bout this time didn't like the sound of the thirds and sixths.modern intervals: the I took. to all the .
in their progressions teacher. putting the mind on it takes the ear off it However. there was a fifth. After several years of working alone I began to feel lonely. They had not been had spoiled was necessary." in-tellectualized. then What is being but the mind intervals the mind had fixed it pro-gressions that would to the ear ap-peal to me mind and ear that a clean slate . but "avant-garde. There were so many intervals in modern music that it fascinated me rather than that I loved it. for instance: intervals but they imply present to the ear have The idea is this: of a tone not actually land somewhere else. always. and the fourth and every now and then. I'll Modem music sevenths. Writing it at :first is difficult: that is. the tritone. and that pleased me Sometimes there were single tones.fascinated me with all its modem intervals: the the seconds. Not the ear ? The whole question is very intellectual modem music still fascinated me But I never-had any prothere are some progress in such a way present. that a high sound I was free to hear is different from a low sound even when both are called by the same letter. 'f' Studying with a meaning. doing it alone. as to imply the presence fool everyone by not landing on it fooled However with all its modern have them void having not actually present did not that the separation of not only contemporary directly 116/SILENCE I learned that the sounds not actually I never liked tonality Studied it. they are not just a sound Tonality. not intervals at all. I worked at it feeling for it gressions called de-ceptive cadences. and being fascinated by it I de-cided to write it. and that was a delight. make one think of But in order to so that one had to asounds that were Avoiding I began to see the sounds This made me I used noises the ear could hear them a-bout them and didn't have to go through any abstraction .
ghost wore them out this question nowhere " where we are J have a story: LECTURE "There was once a man ON NOTHING/l17 . thunderous Half really shocking. for noises. Coca-Cola I begin to hear the ones I had thought I begin to hear not worn out independent but something else is worn out. TO' "If you think intellectualizationthough they are Rot worn out new sounds. the old sounds They are just as worn them out them. . when the war came a-long. pickup arm and. Time and I still feel this way were like loneliness or friendship values. I found that I I liked noises liked noises just as much as I had TO' even more than I liked single sounds had been dis-criminated against to be sentimental. I liked being The most amazing noise attached to the It was shocking. 11l' Noises. I fought Mving been trained underdog on the side of the per-mission to play sirens. or Permanent.too and being American. I decided to half sentimentally quiet sounds only no good. in anything big to be no truth. I got police was that produced by means of a coil of wire I ever found of a phonograph and then amplified.liked intervals. Thinking had And if one stops thinking about fresh you will become a worn out where we were: if you like and new. they are audible suddenly they are you are a ghost Thinking the sounds So you see brings us back or. as the But quiet sounds love Life. intellectually and use There seemed to me in society. I thought at least from I must say happening the old sounds worn out by as Obviously.
I have not lost any Have you not lost your friend I have not lost my friend The third man asked: Are you not enjoying No. music. you're fifty years old and of the fourth large part More and more nowhere. how he wrote there are. One of them said: He must have lost his favorite No. then for to all our The man on high said 11]' later?) went on until questions I just stand no questions. leave out the ones I Satie said Y ou'lI see when I've seen nothing 111' than the answers bussy I take all the tones use all the others When I was young. A company of several men who noticed from the distance the man standing on the high place this man. A third one said: a-gree and the dis- cussion place where the man asked: lost your pet animal ? either the fresh breeze I am not (Shall we have one was 0. I have the feeling that we are getting as the talk goes on nowhere and that is a pleasure . 118/SILENCE Slowly we . sir What.. friend ? The second man asked No. makes the final answer whereas the questions. are you standing up there if you say no ? . Now I'm fifty Here we are now hut the seem absurd seem more intelligent Somebody asked DeHe said: dOft want. it must be his friend whom he is He is just enjoying the cool air up there. of course. people told me: li1' If there are questions there are answers questions up until then. sir. The three could not Ttl' happened tri be walking on the road and talked among themselves about animal. If there are there are no answers then.standing on a high elevation. sir . Another man said looking for. up there? they reached the high One of the three standing up there have you not No.are gettin~ at the beginning of this talk.
we nowhere. to think one would like a little bit after the beginning More and more that I am getting Slowly of this talk we have the feeling nowhere It is Here we are now of the as the talk goes on 111" slowly we are getting which will continue it is not a pleasure pleasure if one is irritated . and then more and more (and then more and more Originally and now. only irritating fourth large part at the beginning of the of this talk. let him go to sleep 111' If anybody Here we are now third unit of the fourth large part More and more nowhere. I have the feeling that we are getting Slowly as the talk goes on nowhere and that is a pleasure we are getting to be where one is It is It is not irritating to think one would like te be somewhere else.It is not irritating only irritating fourth large part to be where one is to be somewhere else. Here we are now beginning of the third unit of the a little bit after the of this talk More and more that I am getting Slowly slowly we are getting nowhere. again the pleasure nowhere. lECTURE we have the feeling nowhere as the talk goes on we have the feeling That is a pleasure ON NOTHING/119 . have the feeling That is a pleasure If we are irritated Nothing is not but suddenly a of being is sleepy it is a pleasure it is not irritating and slowly we were nowhere we are having slowly ).
let him go to sleep nr at the Here we are now fifth unit of the fourth large part of this I have the feeling More and more Slowly nowhere. nowhere we are getting It is not irritating to be where one is only irritating tobe somewhere else. again If anyoody of being is sleepy the pleasure nowhere. and then more and more (and then more and more Originally and now. that we are getting as the talk goes on and that is a pleasure It is Here we are now fifth unit of the as the talk goes on we have the feeling That is a pleasure If we are irritated Nothing is not but suddenly pleasure slowly we are getting which will continue it is not a pleasure if one is irritated it is a pleasure it is not irritating and slowly we were nowhere we are having slowly nowhere. and then more and more (and then more and more Originally and now. again If anybody of being is sleepy 120/SILENCE the pleasure nowhere.pleasure which will continue it is not a pleasure if one is irritated it is a pleasure it is not irritating and slowly we were nowhere we are having slowly 'ttf we are irritated Nothing is not but suddenly a ). let bini go to sleep 111' ' I I . to think one would like beginning of the a Jittle bit after the fourth large part of this talk we have the feeling More and more that I am getting nowhere Slowly llI' beginning of the talk. a ).
irritating to be somewhere else. I have the feeling Slowly we are getting at the middle of this talk. and that is a pleasure It is Here we are now of the of the ninth unit beginning of this talk we have the feeling LECTURE ON NOTHING/l21 . that we are getting as the talk goes on and that is a pleasure It is Here we are now of the only irritating fourth large part nowhere to be where one is It is not. to think one would like a little bit after the middle of this talk we have the feeling More and more nowhere that I am getting Slowly slowly we are getting which will continue it is not a pleasure as the talk goes on we have the feeling That is a pleasure If we are irritated Nothing is not a but suddenly and then more and more (and then more and more Originally and now. let him go to sleep TIl' Here we are now ninth unit of the fourth large part More and more nowhere. again If anybody nowhere. of being is sleepy the pleasure nowhere.Here we are now of the fourth large part More and more nowhere. pleasure if one is irritated it is a pleasure it is not irritating and slowly we were nowhere we are having slowly ). Slowly we are getting It is not irritating only irritating fourth large part More and more to think one would like a little bit after the at the beginning of the of this talk. that we are getting I have the feeling as the talk goes on nowhere to be where one is to be somewhere else.
of being is sleepy the pleasure nowhere. only irritating to think one would lili:e beginning of the a little bit after the of this talk fourth large part we have the feeling More and more nowhere that I am getting Slowly slowly we are getting which will continue beginning of the talk. pleasure ). .that I am getting Slowly slowly we are getting which will continue it is not a pleasure if one is irritated it is a pleasure it is not irritating and slowly we were nowhere we are having slowly nowhere as the talk goes on we have the feeling That is a pleasure If we are irritated Nothing is not a but suddenly and then more and more (and then more and more Originally and now. again If anybody nowhere. that we are getting as the talk goes on and that is a pleasure It is Here we are now eleventh unit of the as the talk goes on we have the feeling That is a pleasure If we are irritated Nothing is not a but suddenly and then more and more (and then more and more nowhere.l' at the Here we are now of this eleventh unit of the fourth large part I have the feeling More and more Slowly nowhere. let him go to sleep 1l. nowhere we are getting to be where one is It is not irritating to be somewhere else.it is not a pleasure pleasure if one is irritated it is a pleasure it is not irritating 122/ SIL ENCE .
Originally and now. ). again If anybody the pleasure nowhere. we have the feeling That is a pleasure If we are irritated Nothing is not a but suddenly and then more and more (and then more and more Originally and now. Here we are now to think one would like of the beginning of the thir-teenth unit a little bit after the fourth large part of this talk More and more we have the feeling that I am getting nowhere as the talk goes on Slowly slowly we are getting which will continue it is not a pleasure pleasure if one is irritated it is a pleasure it is not irritating and slowly we were nowhere we are having slowly nowhere.and slowly we were nowhere we are having slowly ). let him go to sleep 11l' of being is sleepy at the beginning of the thirHere we are now teenth unit of the fourth large part of this talk. Slowly as the talk goes on and that is a pleasure we are getting nowhere It is not irritating It is to be where one is only irritating to be somewhere else. let him go to sleep 11l' 11l' LECTURE ON NOTHING/123 . again If anybody of being is sleepy the pleasure nowhere. More and more I have the feeling that we are getting nowhere.
There is not enough of nothing in it like a bridge from nowhere to anyone may go on it corn or wheat I thought there were eighty--eight tones ? You can quarter them too That is finished If it were feet ? 124jSILENCE this is a pleasure. . is a method. And now "l¥ad me that part a-gain where I disin-herit everybody The twelve-tone row method is a control of each There is too much there there note. single " a A structure is and nowhere noises or tones Does it matter which Or can we fly from here would it be a two-tone row to where .Ttl' It was a pleasure now.
leads to nothing ? Anyone joining To join records any piece of music and even There is no point a long-playing not a musical whereas a instrument musical instrument Capitalists Inc.) at least one hundred one sound mirror own the whole point is nothing. The phonograph is a thing. Communists. A thing. Would you like to join a society called (Just so no one would think we were automatically becomes president you've destroyed you must show tape.) listen forever or the Navajo Or I could sit or Full Moon how I love them But those beauties tend to stir up and I know near Richard Lippold's which others the need to possess I pOSgeSB nothing .? but it is a I have nothing method. or. in the case of To imagine you is to miss or the point record LECTURE ON NOTHING/125 . Record collections that is not music have made. I love it I love it (My own music does that And it seems to me to Japanese shakuhachi music Yeibitchai stand any length of time Chinese bronzes we can see Much of the music I for no reason for suddenly quickly for me I could love but that is not why I I-am nowhere . leads to other things. is a thing. so We really do need a structure we are nowhere uses the twelve-tone row love it. against the not a structure twelve-tone row.
3.spoil it with an answer. regardless of what they were. when the lecture was first delivered (at the Artist. 6. I should not want to . That is a very good question. The reason they're no music in Texas is because they have recordings in Texas. My head wants to ache. it is quite clear that I know nothing. 126/SILENCE . refrained from asking anything more. the audience got the point after two questions and. Please repeat the question .s' Club as described in the Foreword). 4. I have no more answers.s delivered for the second time. In 1960. but when I am working. 5.I live in Texas in Texas.• And again ..shing to be entertained. houieoer. A lady from Texas said: We have no music TO' 1U' Afternote to LECTURE ON NOTHING In keeping with the thought expressed above that a discussion is nothing more than an entertainment. And again . there were six questions. The answers are: 1. According to the Farme~s' Almanac this is False Spring. Remove the records from Texas and someone will learn to sing Everybody has a song song at all : which is no it is a process of singing and when you sing you are where you are All I know about method is that when I am not working I sometimes think I know something. when the speech wa. I prepared six answers for the first six questions asked. I doubt whether you would fUlk that question. In 1949 or '50. 2. Had you heard Marya Freund last April in Palermo singillg Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire. fUlt wi.
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