Shhhh . . . you know who!
I have for a long time been interested in silent records. I wrote an article on the subject for the New Statesman in 2012 and more recently completed a chapter for Samantha Bennett and Eliot Bates’ collection Critical Approaches to the Production of Music and Sound (Bloomsbury, 2018).
In this book I enumerate six types of musical silence: notated silence (which is dominated by John Cage’s 4’33”); phonographic Cageian silence (which pays homage to Cage’s work but regularly misunderstands his intentions); political silence (where muteness signifies oppression); memorial silence (paying homage to the dead); technical silence (which highlights the ‘silence’ of different types of recording formats); and economic silence (where silent songs illustrate issues of authorship, ownership and recompense).
I’m sure there are more types of silence, though, and there must be silent records that I have overlooked in the chapter.
Do let me know.