constructed image prepared piano. lithophone.
prepared piano. john cage in providing a dance piece at the cornish school in seattle, he used a ‘prepared piano’ he first heard used by henry cowell. this took the form of imposing small foreign objects – nails, screws, feathers, hardware of various sorts – between the strings of a piano thus producing a hazy pichless percussive sound. from this he went on to produce his first significant prepared piano piece – another dance creation, bacchanale.
lithophones, so called because they are believed to be early prehistoric ‘instruments’ for producing percussive sounds struck to produce musical notes leaving tell-tale cup marks. the most common is in the form of individual rocks that have good acoustic properties. these rock gongs are found around the world most frequently in africa, asia and north america but also in scotland and parts of europe, thought to be the residue of ceremonial activity, maybe in the form of dance where the production of percussive sound from hammering or drumming was required.
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