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“This book illustrates a collection of music manuscripts which was made in recent years to benefit the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts. The collection was determined by circumstances rather than any process of selection. Thus it shows the many directions in which music notation is now going. The manuscripts are not arranged according to kinds of music, but alphabetically according to the composer’s name. No explanatory information is given.
The text for the book is the result of a process employing the I-Ching chance operations. These determined how many words regarding his work were to be written by or about which of two hundred and sixty nine composers. Where these passages (never more than sixty-four words, sometimes only one) have been especially written for this book, they are preceded by a paragraph sign and followed by the author’s name.” (from the Preface)
Editors John Cage, Alison Knowles
Publisher Something Else Press, New York, 1969
Review: Virgil Thomson (New York Review of Books, 1970).
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