anthroposophy ("human wisdom"): The name given by Austrian philosopher and educator Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) to his esoteric teachings. Steiner claimed to have developed a scientific system of meditation or "intuitive thinking" that permitted the initiate to develop supersensory perception. David Tudor was formally acknowledged as a member of the Anthroposophical Society in 1957.

assemblage: A sculptural work of art consisting of the combination of disparate materials, often everyday objects found by the artist.

bandoneon: A square-built, double-bellowed accordian, or concertina, commonly used in South American tango orchestras.

chance procedures: See indeterminacy.

concrete poetry: A type of poetry in which the words are arranged according to their visual properties in addition to or to the exclusion of their semantic properties.

Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.): A nonprofit organization devoted to promoting the interaction between art and technology. Founded in 1966 by Billy Kluver, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Whitman, and Fred Waldhauer after the landmark event 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering, E.A.T. sought to continue the artist/engineer relationship forged during those performances by giving artists access to new technologies including video, electronics, and computers.

Fluxus: International group of avant-garde artists active in a wide range of media, from the early 1960s to the late 1970s. Fluxus artists disseminated their work through public concerts and festivals, multiples and publications incorporating original typography and design, and word scores comprising instructions for theatrical and sound events based on ordinary, ephemeral actions and occurrences (water dripping, polishing a musical instrument). Fluxus works sometimes required the participation of a spectator in order to be completed. The name Fluxus, taken from the Latin for "flow," was originally conceived by the American writer, performance artist, and composer George Maciunas (1931–1978) in 1961 as the title for a projected series of anthologies profiling the work of experimental artists, composers, and poets such as La Monte Young (b. 1935), George Brecht (b. 1926), Yoko Ono (b. 1933), Dick Higgins (1938–1998), BEN (b. 1935), and Nam June Paik (b. 1932).

graphic notation/score: A type of musical notation in which unconventional visual stimuli are created by the composer to be interpreted by the performer.

happening: A term first used by the American performance artist Allan Kaprow in a 1959 issue of the Rutgers College literary journal, Anthologist, to designate "something to take place." A happening is a theatrical event scripted by the artist, in which the actors play themselves and the actions derive from everyday experience. Kaprow's first happenings took place at the Reuben Gallery in New York in 1959 (Happening Intermission Piece and 18 Happenings in 6 Parts). The prescribed actions were stylizations and juxtapositions of mundane activities that were often performed over extended periods of time. An excerpt from the script of 18 Happenings in 6 Parts reads: "An artist dressed in white duck sneakers and dress shirt sits on a red stool in the center of the enclosure and lights NINETEEN WOODEN MATCHES blowing them out in turn slowly without great movement." The American artists Claes Oldenburg, Jim Dine, Dick Higgins, George Brecht, Robert Whitman, and Al Hansen also created happenings during the early 1960s.

indeterminacy or chance procedures: The intentional use of some degree of chance in composition and/or performance. Most widely practiced from the 1950s on, indeterminacy was pioneered by the American composer John Cage, whose graphic scores contained notational symbols that guided rather than specified how and what one performed. Cage and his colleagues Morton Feldman, Earle Brown, and Christian Wolff sought to remove the composer's ability to select and prescribe sounds in advance. Their visually suggestive notations, often invented afresh for each piece, made room for interpretations by a new kind of performer-artist.

intermedia: A term introduced by the American poet and painter Dick Higgins to describe works of the 1960s that occupied, in Higgins's words, "uncharted land" between collage, music, theater, and poetry. In his essay "Intermedia," which his Something Else Press published in its first Newsletter in 1965, Higgins explained that intermedia work creates its own rules rather than follow those of any one medium, so that words can become abstract calligraphy and visual poetry a text to be performed. Allan Kaprow's happening developed, in Higgins's view, as an "intermedium."

just intonation: Any system of tuning in which all of the intervals can be represented by ratios of whole numbers, as opposed to conventional "equal temperament" in which the octave is evenly divided into twelve equally "out-of-tune" units. American composers Lou Harrison, Pauline Oliveros, Harry Partch, Terry Riley, and La Monte Young have experimented extensively with just intonation systems.

live electronic music: Beginning in the 1960s, the use in live performance of sound-processing equipment such as filters, modulators, amplifiers, processors, and home-built electronics, as an alternative to the playback of tape.

minimalism: A style of music that emerged in the United States in the 1960s. It is typically characterized by extreme repetition of short melodic figures, static harmonies, and consistency of texture over extended periods of time. Many minimalist composers were strongly influenced by the musical and spiritual traditions of non-Western cultures, particularly those of India. Notable proponents of minimalism include the American composers La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass.

nomograph: A graphic representation that consists of several lines marked off to scale and arranged in such a way that by using a straightedge to connect known values on two lines, an unknown value can be read at the point of intersection with another line. David Tudor used the term "nomograph" to refer to the notations he designed for the realization of John Cage's Variations II (1961).

open form: A type of structure that is not conceived as fixed, but is subject to transformation during performance, either through chance or indeterminate procedures. In Earle Brown's Available Forms I (1961), influenced by the mobile sculptures of Alexander Calder, the conductor freely selects from a number of separate musical events indicated in the score.

prepared piano: A piano that has been altered by the placing of foreign objects (screws, bolts, erasers, etc.) between the strings, resulting in an exotic, percussive sound. John Cage invented the prepared piano in 1938 to accompany dancers, but soon he adapted it to concert works, most notably his Sonatas and Interludes (1946–1948), for which he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and an award from the National Academy of Arts and Letters for having extended the boundaries of music.

time notation: A type of musical notation in which pitch and dynamics are specified, but durations, to be determined by their proportional position on the score, remain relatively undefined. The identification of musical time with visual space (largely influenced by composers' working with magnetic tape in electronic music studios) greatly facilitates the manner in which performers interpret graphic notation (see above). Earle Brown developed time notation in such works as Folio (1952–1953) and 25 Pages (1953).

transducer: A contact loudspeaker attached to an object. Performers in David Tudor's Rainforest IV (1973) attach transducers to found objects installed in a performance space. Contact microphones pick up the sounds transmitted by the transducers, as well as the resonant frequencies of the objects, and release these sounds into the space.

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Books, Dissertations and Articles

Adams, John D. S. and Erin Donovan. "Still Listening: Pauline Oliveros Reflects on the Life and Music of David Tudor." Musicworks 70 (1998): 34–37. (Library Catalog Record)

Adams, John D. S. "Giant Oscillations: The Birth of Toneburst." Musicworks 69 (1997): 14–17. (Library Catalog Record)

Barker-Mill, Adam. "David Tudor's Sound Table." Musicworks 73 (1999): 24–25. (Library Catalog Record)

Beal, Amy. "David Tudor in Darmstadt." Contemporary Music Review 26, no. 1 (2007): 77–88. (Online edition)

Behrman, David. "Private Person, Public Figure: David Tudor in the '60s and '70s." Musicworks 71 (1998): 44–46. (Library Catalog Record)

Behrman, David. "What Indeterminate Notation Determines." In Perspectives on Notation and Performance. New York: W. W. Norton, 1976 [originally published 1965], 74–89.

Chadabe, Joel. Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1997. (Library Catalog Record)

Clarkson, Austin. "A Creative Collaboration: Stefan Wolpe's and David Tudor's Battle Piece." Musicworks 73 (1999): 32–35. (Library Catalog Record)

Clarkson, Austin. "David Tudor's Apprenticeship: The Years with Irma and Stefan Wolpe." Leonardo Music Journal 14 (2004): 5–10. (PDF)

Cross, Lowell. "Audio/Video/Laser." Source 4, no. 2 (1970): 26–36. (Online edition, 2005)

Crow, Thomas. Modern Art in the Common Culture. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1996. (Library Catalog Record)

Crow, Thomas. The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent, 1955–1969. London: George Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1996. (Library Catalog Record)

Duckworth, William. Talking Music: Conversations with John Cage, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, and Five Generations of American Experimental Composers. New York: Da Capo Press, 1999. (Library Catalog Record)

Experiments in Art and Technology, Pavilion, ed. Billy Klüver, Julie Martin, and Barbara Rose. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1972. (Library Catalog Record)

Frank, Peter. "New York Fluxus." In Rene Block, New York, downtown Manhattan, SoHo: Ausstellungen, Theater, Musik, performance, video, film, 150–179. Berlin: Akademie der Künste der DDR, 1976. (Library Catalog Record)

Freund, David. "David Tudor: Four Davis Concerts." Source 1, no. 2 (1967): 70–75.

Gray, Philip D'arcy. "The Art of the Impossible." Musicworks 69 (1997): 18–21. (Library Catalog Record)

Harris, Mary Emma. The Arts at Black Mountain College. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1987. (Library Catalog Record)

Hilberg, Frank. "David Tudors Konzept des Elektrifizerten Klaviers and sein Interpretation von John Cages Variations II (1961)." In Stefan Fricke, ed., Fragmen: Beiträge, Meinungen und Analysen zur neuen Musik 13 (1996): 3–41. (Library Catalog Record)

Hilberg, Frank. "Die Elektronische Poesie Des David Tudor"="The Electronic Poetry of David Tudor." Neue Zeitschrift Für Musik 157, no. 6 (1996): 40–43.

Historisches Archiv der Köln, Intermedial, Kontrovers, Experimentell: Das Atelier Mary Bauermeister in Köln 1960-1962=Intermedial, Controversial, Experimental: Mary Bauermeister's Studio in Cologne, 1960–1962. Cologne: Emons, 1993. (Library Catalog Record)

Holzaepfel, John. "Cage and Tudor." In David Nicholls, ed., The Cambridge Companion to John Cage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. (Library Catalog Record)

Holzaepfel, John. "David Tudor and the Performance of American Experimental Music, 1950–1959." Ph.D. Dissertation. City University of New York, 1994. (Library Catalog Record)

Holzaepfel, John. "Der Tudor Faktor/The Tudor Factor." John Cage—Anarchic Harmony: Ein Festival Zum 80. Geburtstag, 43–56. Mainz, Germany: Schott, 1992.

Holzaepfel, John. "The Roles of David Tudor in the Early Repertory of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company." Choreography and Dance—An International Journal 4, no. 3 (1997): 45–49.

Johnson, Steven. The New York Schools of Music and Visual Arts: John Cage, Morton Feldman, Edgard Varèse, Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg. New York: Routledge, 2002. (Library Catalog Record)

Kahn, Douglas. Noise Water Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1999. (Library Catalog Record)

Kahn, Douglas. "The Latest: Fluxus and Music." In Janet Jenkins, ed., In the Spirit of Fluxus: Published on the Occasion of the Exhibition "In the Spirit of Fluxus." Organized by Elizabeth Armstrong and Joan Rothfuss. Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 1993. (Library Catalog Record)

Kostelanetz, Richard, ed. Merce Cunningham: Dancing in Space and Time. Chicago: A Capella Books, 1992.

Leonardo Music Journal 14 (2004). Special issue: "Composers Inside Electronics: Music After David Tudor." (Table of Contents)

Mingei International Museum. Art that Soars: Kites and Tails by Jackie Matisse. La Jolla, California: Mingei International, 2000. (Library Catalog Record)

Mumma, Gordon. "Electronic Music for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company." Choreography and Dance 4, no. 3 (1997): 51–58.

Mumma, Gordon. "Live-Electronic Music." In Jon H. Appleton and Ronald C Pereara, ed., The Development and Practice of Electronic Music. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1975.

MusikTexte: Zeitschrift Für Neue Musik 69/70 (April 1997). Special focus on David Tudor, with new and previously published texts by John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Ron Kuivila, Hans Otte, Daniel Charles, and others. (Library Catalog Record)

Nyman, Michael. Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. (Library Catalog Record)

Perloff, Nancy. "The Eye and the Ear: New Directions in Twentieth-Century Musical Notation." Exhibition brochure. Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 1995.

Perloff, Nancy. "Hearing Spaces: David Tudor's Collaboration on Sea Tails." Leonardo Music Journal 14 (2004): 31–39. (PDF)

Pritchett, James. The Music of John Cage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Pritchett, James. "David Tudor's realization of John Cage's Variations II." James Pritchett Web site, 2000.

Pritchett, James. "From Choice to Chance: John Cage's Concerto for Prepared Piano." Perspectives on New Music 26 (1988): 50–81.

Rogalsky, Matt. "David Tudor's Virtual Focus." Musicworks 73 (1999): 20–23. (Library Catalog Record)

Rogalsky, Matt. "Creation and Conservation of Live Electronic Music Practice in the Merce Cunningham Dance Company." Ph.D. Dissertation, Wesleyan University, 1995.

Schonberg, Harold C. "The Far-Out Pianist." Harper's Magazine (1960): 49–54. (PDF)

Snyder, Ellsworth. "John Cage Discusses Fluxus" (interview). Visible Language 26 (1992–1993): 59–68. (Library Catalog Record)

Viola, Bill. Reasons for Knocking at an Empty House: Writings 1973–1994. London: Anthony d'Offay Gallery, 1995. (Library Catalog Record)

Window on the Work: David Tudor's Rainforest IV, Realized by Composers Inside Electronics. New York: Lincoln Center Institute, 1998. Published in conjunction with the Lincoln Center installation in July 1998.

Zaparinuk, Peter. "David Tudor's Performance Composition." Musicworks 71 (1998): 47–51. (Library Catalog Record)

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Interviews with David Tudor

Clarkson, Austin. "Composing the Performer: David Tudor Remembers Stefan Wolpe." Musicworks 73 (1999): 26–32. (Library Catalog Record)

Holzaepfel, John. "Reminiscences of a Twentieth-Century Pianist: An Interview With David Tudor." The Musical Quarterly (1994): 626–636. (Online edition)

Tudor, David. "From Piano to Electronics." Music and Musicians 20 (1972): 24–26. (Library Catalog Record)


Web Resources

Art Flying In & Out of Space (A project by Jacqueline Matisse Monnier presented by the Mountain Lake Workshop)

Black Mountain College Project

Cunningham Dance Foundation

David Tudor, Bandoneon! (a combine). Performance presented as part of 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering, The 69th Regiment Armory, New York, N.Y., United States, October 14–18, 1966. Excerpt of 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering / produced by Experiments in Art and Technology; shot and edited by Alfons Schilling, 1967, 1 film reel (24 min., 30 sec.): original, b&w, sound; 16 mm. Film produced from the factual footage shot by Alfons Schilling in 1966. Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology.

John Cage, "Variations V" (1965)

Lovely Music, Ltd.

MELA Foundation

Morton Feldman Page



Paul Sacher Foundation

Pauline Oliveros

Performing Artservices, Inc.

Peters Music Publishers

Sonic Memorial for David Tudor

The Stefan Wolpe Society

Ubu Web: Visual, Concrete and Sound Poetry