Six Melodies for Violin and Keyboard (1950)

John Cage

keyboard, and violin

Program Notes

This is another of Cage’s compositions comprising melodic lines without accompaniment, using single tones. Intervals are played requiring one or both of the work’s instruments for their production. The music is very simple and its atmosphere similar to that of Cage’s String Quartet in four parts. In fact, in one of his letters to Pierre Boulez, Cage calls the Six Melodies a “postscript to the Quartet,” and he makes use of the same gamut of sounds. The rhythmic structure is 3 1/2, 3 1/2, 4, 4, 3, 4.