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47 Seconds of Silence

Text Source



John Cage, arranged by Don "Orfeo" Rechtman


Piano, four hands


Sheet Music

(To copy the score to your computer, right-click the link and select "Save target as... ".)

Piano Score A4 PDF

Piano Score Sibelius SIB (You will need Sibelius or the free Sibelius Scorchreader to read this file.) To save the file, right-click "Sibelius" and select "Save Target As..." and save it to your computer. The file suffix is ... .SIB.TXT   Delete the .TXT ; it may warn you about changing the suffix; click YES. The file is then ready for a Sibelius program.








Practice Tracks


Lyrics Printout


Suggestions for Performance

   The piece can be performed entirely conventionally, or may include all or part of the following presentation ideas.


   The score has four pages, so it is suggested you provide a page turner to sit on the left of the two pianists. The piano should be closed and the lid down. There is one piano bench and a chair for the page turner.

   As in any formal concert, the two pianists come onstage, the one who sits left is carrying the music; they are followed by the page turner. They turn for their bow to the welcoming applause as the page turner sits down.

   They in turn sit down and adjust the piano bench to a comfortable height. They silently communicate to the page turner to open the piano; he raises the lid and sits back down.

   The left pianist with the music places it on the rack upside down; the other pianist looks at it a moment, then turns it right side up.

   The first pianist opens the piano desk; the second looks at his watch, and on his signal, they indicate the start of the piece by a slight mutual bounce of the hands over the keys.

   As they "perform," keeping their hands over the keys and moving around, they stare at the music, counting the seconds and moving their gaze according to the time of the music.

   When it is time for the page turn, the page turner stands up, and cued by a nod, turns the page and then sits down.

   A few more seconds in, the right pianist feigns a facial expression of making an error, and is stared at angrily by the left pianist.

   A few seconds before the end (watching the watch), they begin a mutual body bounce in rhythm, and finish at the end with one big bounce.

   The right pianist closes the desk. They get up and bow, step aside and invite the page turner to also have a bow. As they exit, the page turner takes the music with them.



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Last modified: 02/23/22