John Cage about the ideal size of the team

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The most influential American composer explains, what size should be the ideal working group.

“I have an India friend, who owns a textile factory in Ahmedabad. His name is Gautam Sharabati. Maybe you have heard about printed cotton fabrics. A magnificent exhibition of Indian textiles at the Museum of modern art organized just family Sharabati. Paris has long suffered from deadens the action of the technology, and this textile factory in India only now decided to abandon the ancient practice of creating a piece of fabric from beginning to end alone. It took some effort for collaboration — well that one man did with a piece of cloth one thing, and one another. And the result is that this piece of cloth was not the author. It was produced by a team, not even a group of individuals. The result was stunning: all felt deeply unhappy. And before that was happy.

Gautam Sharabati is a good man. He decided to deal with the problem by increasing labor productivity (ideal fix of the twentieth century): to earn money to pay my workers more and thereby make them happy. First invited Japanese experts who have studied the specificity of factory labor, but they achieved nothing. Eventually, someone appeared from the United States. This man was constantly experimenting and came to the conclusion that the two work together is difficult: the two tend to assert themselves at the expense of each other. It turns out to be a reason for divorce. Three tend to exist with two against one: two well because the third was bad. Four divided by two on two and can’t work together. As it turned out, work well together five. As well as six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven and even twelve people. They have team spirit, mutual assistance, and it is not at the expense of non-identity. Thirteen, as experience has shown, is impossible. Number thirteen fatal to the Christians, as Christ had twelve apostles.

It’s funny that the music works well with the number four. As a proof of the many string quartets. However, the Indian experience shows that the wind quintet is rallying better than the string Quartet. In the forties we have in the United States was a great “New music string Quartet.” But he quickly broke up.”

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