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Hundreds assemble as music changes chord for the first time in 7 years


Sept. 5 (UPI) — Hundreds of people flocked to a German church Saturday to hear an organ change chords for the first time in nearly seven years.

The St. Burchardi church in Halberstadt is performing John Cage’s Organ/ASLSP (As Slow As Possible) on a special organ.

The experimental piece, which consists of eight pages of music meant to be played very slowly, is intended to last for an entirety of 639 years — meaning it will end in 2640 if all goes according to plan.

The organ had been playing the same chord for six years and 11 months before Saturday’s chord change.

The piece officially started playing Sept. 5, 2001 but began without any sound — until Feb. 5, 2003, when the first chord change happened.

Cage was born in 1912 and died in 1992 at 79 after a decades-long career as a composer and music theorist that drew both praise and scorn from critics and the public.

Best known for a composition called 4’33” — which is just four minutes and 33 seconds of silence — Cage wrote Organ/ASLSP in the 1980s.

Typically the piece’s chord changes draw thousands of visitors. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the church limited the size of the audience.


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