List of silent musical compositions
This is a list of musical works which consist mostly or entirely of silence.
Some composers have discussed the significance of silence or a silent composition without ever composing such a work. In his 1907 manifesto, Sketch of a New Esthetic of Music, Ferruccio Busoni described its significance:
That which, within our present-day music, most nearly approaches the essential of the art, is the Rest and the Hold (Pause). Consummate players, improvisers, know how to employ these instruments of expression in loftier and ampler measure. The tense silence between two movements—in itself music, in this environment—leaves wider scope for divination than the more determinate, but therefore less elastic, sound.
- Funeral March for the Obsequies of a Deaf Man (1897) by Alphonse Allais, a French humorist (1854-1905)
Nine blank measures. Earlier title: "Great sorrows are mute: incoherent funeral march". The composer instructed: "Great sorrows being mute, the performers should occupy themselves with the sole task of counting the bars, instead of indulging in the kind of indecent row that destroys the august character of the best obsequies."
silent; notated in great rhythmic detail, employing bizarre time signatures and intricate rhythmic patterns.
- Monotone-Silence Symphony (1949), by Yves Klein
in two movements, a single 20-minute sustained chord followed by a 20-minute silence
silent; in three movements lasting a total of four minutes and 33 seconds, for any instrument or combination of instruments
- 4'33" No. 2 (1962) by John Cage
also known as 0'00"; the performer determines the extent to which the piece is silent, mostly silent, noisy, or raucous.
The composer instructed: "In a situation provided with maximum amplification, perform a disciplined action. The performer should allow any interruptions of the action, the action should fulfill an obligation to others, the same action should not be used in more than one performance, and should not be the performance of a musical composition."
- "12:97:24:99" by Mudvayne
- "15 Minutes" by Télépopmusik
- "18 sekúndur fyrir sólarupprás"(18 seconds before sunrise) by Sigur Rós
- "23 Seconds of Silence" by Wilco
- "42 Minutes of Silence" by Milosh on Quiet Time, with Milosh (2002)
- "9-11-01" by Soulfly
- "Absolute Elsewhere" by Coil
- "Ad Interim" by E.S.T on Leucocyte (2008)
- "Anniversary Of World War III" by The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band on Volume 3: A Child's Guide to Good and Evil (1968)
- "Are We Here? (Criminal Justice Bill? Mix)" by Orbital
- "The Ballad of Richard Nixon" by John Denver
- "The Best of Marcel Marceau" by Michael Viner
- "Beware! The Funk is Everywhere" by Afrika Bambaataa
- "Birthdeath Experience" by Whitehouse
- "(Blank)" by The All-American Rejects
- "Le chant des carpes" by Ludwig von 88 on Houlala II "la mission" (1987)
- "In Remembrance" by Pan.Thy.Monium on Khaooohs and Kon-Fus-Ion (1996)
- "Intentionally Left Blank" by James Holden (in The Idiots Are Winning (2006))
- "A Lot of Nothing" by Coheed and Cambria (Split into 11 sections ranging from 5–15 seconds in length)
- "Magic Window" by Boards of Canada
- "The Misinterpretation of Silence and its Disastrous Consequences" by Type O Negative on Slow, Deep and Hard (1991)
- "The Most Important Track On the Album" by Astronautalis (2008)
- "(nothing)" by The Microphones
- "The Nutopian International Anthem" by John Lennon (1973)
- "Two Minutes Silence" by John Lennon and Yoko Ono
- "Omitted for Clarity" by Karnivool on Themata (2005)
- "One Minute of Silence" by Soundgarden
- "A One Minute Silence" by Mike Batt
- "Page 13" by Fantômas
- "Path XII Inlustra Nigror" by Vesania
- "Pause" by Rob Dougan
- "Pregnant Pause... Intermission" by Leila Bela
- "Pure Digital Silence" by The Melvins
- "Pending Silence" by Magnus "SoulEye" Pålsson
- "Rwanda" by Radio Boy (2001).
- "Schweigenminute" by VNV Nation on Praise the Fallen (1999)
- "Silence" by Karl Bartos (2013)
- "(Silence)" by Ciccone Youth
- "[Silence]" by Korn
- "[Silence]" ("A suitable place for those with tired ears to pause and resume listening later") by Robert Wyatt
- "Silence" by Brian Eno on Drums Between The Bells (2011)
- "Silence" by Knife Party
- "Silencio sepulcral" (Sepulchral Silence) by Soziedad Alkoholika
- "Song of the Deaf Girl" by Cloud Cult on The Meaning of 8 (2007)
- "Štrajk" by Hladno pivo on Šamar (2003)
- "The Sound of Free speech" by Crass
- "There's a Riot Goin' On" by Sly Stone
- "Thirty-second Silence" by Guster
- "Three Bagatelles for David Tudor" by György Ligeti
- "The Ten Coolest Things About New Jersey" by The Bloodhound Gang
- "Tunnel of Goats XVII" by Coil
- "You Can Make Your Own Music" by Covenant (a 4 minute and 33 second silent track, in reference to John Cage's composition 4′33)
- "Leave On" by Blackmail
- Busoni, Ferruccio (1911). Sketch of a New Esthetic of Music. NY: G. Schirmer. p. 23.
- da Fonseca-Wollheim, Corinna (21 April 2013). "Slyly Pricking the Wagnerian Balloon". New York Times. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
- Whiting, Steven Moore (1999). Satie the Bohemian: From Cabaret to Concert Hall. NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 81n.
- Betz, Marianne (1999). ""In futurum" - von Schulhoff zu Cage". Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 56 (4): 331ff. includes one facsimile, p. 335
- Yves Klein, Overcoming the Problematics of Art: The Writings of Yves Klein (Spring Publications, 2007)
- Silverman, Kenneth (2010). Begin Again: A Biography of John Cage. NY: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 184.