Earle Brown  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Earle Brown (Lunenburg, Massachusetts, December 26, 1926Rye, New York, July 2, 2002) was an American composer. Among his many innovations, he near-singlehandedly re-invigorated classical music with improvisation by establishing his own formal and notational systems. It is important to note that he did this at a time when his peer John Cage was actively dismissing improvisation as the regurgitation of one's habits, a position incompatible with Cage's Zen leanings (although Cage was never a monk or practicing Buddhist, best as anyone can tell).

Brown was the creator of open form, a style of musical construction that has influenced many waves of composers since—notably the downtown New York scene of the 1980s (see John Zorn) and generations of younger composers who seek to discover their own way through the axis of choice vs. chance vs. determinacy and the way notation and form play a role in these balances.

Among his most famous works are December 1952 with its use of a 'radical' (entirely graphic) score, the open form pieces Available Forms I & II, Centering, and Cross Sections and Color Fields.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Earle Brown" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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