||John Cage （1912-1992）, American composer who received most attention on|
the development of 20th century music. His new concepts of music transformation
gave tremendous influence to the 20th century music development. In 1940, Cage was
invited to compose for dance, in the process, he applied the experience of studing with
Henry Cowell; completed the first prepared piano work, Bacchanale. The apex of
composing prepared piano works was from 1942 to 1952. Cage all together composed
twenty pieces for prepared piano. Prepared piano is a concept that changes the timbre
and pitches of traditional piano by insert some preparations, like bolts, screws,
rubbers or woods into the strings. According to the material quality, these preparations
that Cage used including five types, hardware, woods, rubbers, plastics and clothes.
We can make piano to produce timbre like percussions through these preparations.
Besides introduction and conclusion, this research consists of three parts. Part
one discusses the development of avant-garde and non-traditional piano techniques in
America in 20th century. Part two discusses Cage’s life to realize the multiformity of
his composition ideas. Part three discusses the origination of prepared piano, and
takes Mysterious Adventure as example to explore the type materials of preparation
and the similarities with gamelan music.