From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Gestures of silence
Visual representation of silence
Music inherently depends on silence in some form or another to distinguish other periods of sound and allow dynamics, melodies and rhythms to have greater impact. For example, most music scores feature rests denoting periods of silence.
Some composers take the use of silence in music to an extreme. 4′33″ is an experimental musical work by avant-garde composer John Cage. Though first performed on the piano, the piece was composed for any instrument or instruments and is structured in three movements. The length of each movement is not fixed by the composer, but the total length of the combination of three movements is.
In Western cultures, it is sometimes difficult to interpret the meaning of a person who is silent (not speaking). It can mean anger, hostility, disinterest, or other emotions. Because of this, many in some Western cultures feel uneasy when one party is silent, and usually try their best to fill up the silence with small talk.
- What can be said at all can be said clearly; and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence
- Background noise
- Code of silence
- Monastic silence
- Pinter pause
- Retreat for the religious meaning of silence.
- Silent film
- Vow of silence