Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Silence is a relative or total lack of sound.
Silence as a Mark of Respect
Since its inception, silence has been a part of the rituals surrounding Armistice Day. A two-minute silence is held at 11am, "the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" (the time that the armistice became effective), both on Armistice Day itself and on Remembrance Sunday. In the early years of the century the two minutes were very fully observed, even to the extent of traffic stopping in the streets. The practice declined somewhat (except as part of the Remembrance Sunday ritual itself) but regained popularity in the 1990s, partly through the agency of the then prime minister John Major. The two-minute silence was first observed in Cape Town, South Africa in 1916 following the publication of South Africa's first casualty list of World War I. Sir Harry Hands, the Mayor of Cape Town, ordered a two-minute silent pause, to follow the firing of the Noon gun, in commemoration of those lost.
Such silences, of between one and three minutes, are now quite often observed wherever large numbers of people are gathered, to commemorate the deaths of people who have died tragically or after a distinguished life, such as the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the murdered toddler James Bulger, or the football manager Sir Matt Busby.
Silence in Music
One famous example of silence in, or even as, music is the avant garde composer John Cage's 1952 work 4'33". Cage had this to say about silence, "Until I die there will be sounds. And they will continue following my death. One need not fear about the future of music."
- Ralph Lichtensteiger on Silence & Music
- Ralph Lichtensteiger: Try to Make a Silence (poem)
- Silence/Stories Participants/Contributors: Lowell Cross, AP Crumlish, Karlheinz Essl, Raymond Federman, August Highland, George Koehler (coming soon), Richard Kostelanetz, Ian S. Macdonald, Beat Streuli, Dan Waber, Sigi Waters (coming soon), John Whiting ...
- Site of Silence
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