The “music” of silence

Is John Cage’s 4’33” music? If not, what about the silences (“rests”) in the middle of a song? Here’s an interview with Cage in which he challenges common assumptions about music.  An interesting contrast to the definition I proposed–“music is the art of organizing sound in time”–is made by him here: “If music is the “enjoyment” of “sound”, then it must center on not just the side making the sound, but the side listening. In fact, really it is listening that is music. As we savor the sound of rain, music is being created within us.”
–“In this time,”

Tāla in Carnatic Classical Music

Carnatic classical music from south India uses a collection of rhythmic structures called tālas.  Each tāla is cyclic and organizes time in a particular way, including the number of beats per cycle.  In this video, the performer’s hand gestures indicate the tāla. These same gestures could accompany any piece using this tāla. Compare also the hand gestures used in the American tradition of shape-note singing and this over-the-top classical conductor.