Since my book for Yale is part of a series (first in the series: The Hamburger: A History), I didn’t think I would have any choice over the title, but it turns out they wanted me to come up with one, and so it’s going to be No Such Thing as Silence: John Cage’s 4’33″. I’m not much of a fan of colons in titles, considering them an academic affectation, but I don’t think this one was avoidable. I had been worrying about how I was going to finesse being “the author of 4’33″,” or “the author of John Cage’s 4’33″.” Colons in titles of musicology papers are so ubiquitous that when I was in grad school, my teacher Peter Gena and I used to joke about the paper we were going to submit to the AMS: “The Colon in American Musicology: an Overview.” Someone recently told me about a grad student she overheard saying, “I’ve finished everything about my dissertation except for the part of the title that goes after the colon.” Seems to me that if it’s not bleedin’ obvious what goes after the colon, you don’t need anything. Moby Dick: The Search for a White Whale. Bleak House: The Tale of a Long Legal Case. Colons in titles: Blech.