Country:   USA
URL:   http://www.harrypartch.com/
9 nodes
Sound Object
One of the greatest and most individualistic composers of all time, was not only a great composer, but an innovative theorist who broke through the shackles of many centuries of one tuning system for all of Western music, a music instrument inventor who created dozens of incredible instruments for the performance of his music, and a musical dramatist who created his own texts and dance/theatre extravaganzas based on everything from Greek mythology to his own experiences as a hobo. Between 1930 and 1972, he created one of the most amazing bodies of sensually alluring and emotionally powerful music of the 20th century: music dramas, dance theater, multi-media extravaganzas, vocal music and chamber music---mostly all performed on the instruments he built himself. With parents who were former missionaries to China, living in isolated areas of the American southwest, Partch, as a child, was exposed to a variety of influences from Asian to Native American. After dropping out of the University of Southern California, he began to study on his own and to question the tuning and philosophical foundations of Western music. During and after the Great Depression, he was a hobo and itinerant worker and rode the trains, keeping a musical notebook of his experiences, which he later set to music. In 1930 Partch broke with Western European tradition and forged a new music based on a more primal, corporeal integration of the elements of speech with music, using principles of natural acoustic resonance (just intobnation) and expanded melodic and harmonic possibilities. He began to first adapt guitars and violas to play his music, and then began to build new instruments in a new microtonal tuning system. He built over 25 instruments, plus numerous small hand instruments, and became a brilliant spokesman for his ideas. Largely ignored by the standard musical institutions during his lifetime, he criticized concert traditions, the roles of the performer and composer, the role of music in society, the 12-tone equal-temperament scale and the concept of pure or abstract music. To explain his philosophical and intonational ideas, he wrote a treatise, Genesis of a Music, which has served as a primary source of information and inspiration to many musicians for the last half century. Accessed 31.05.2007 from http://www.harrypartch.com/aboutpartch.htm
22 Selected Statements
      Worktype Info Year Country Admin
Adapted Viola Instrument - 1930 USA Edit
Adapted Guitar Instrument - 1941 USA Edit
Harmonic Canon I Instrument University of Wisconsin. Rebuilt at the University of Illinois. 1945 USA Edit
Diamond Marimba Instrument Madison, Wisconsin 1946 USA Edit
Bass Marimba Instrument Gualala, California 1950 USA Edit
Cloud Chamber Bowls Instrument Gualala, and at Mills College, California. 1950 USA Edit
Spoils of War Instrument Gualala, and at Gate 5, Sausalito, California. 1950 USA Edit
Marimba Eroica Instrument Mills College and at Gate 5, Sausalito, California. 1951 USA Edit
Adapted Guitar I - - 1952 USA Edit
Chromelodeon Instrument University of Wisconsin. 1953 USA Edit
Surrogate Kithara Instrument Gate 5, Sausalito, California 1953 USA Edit
Kithara Instrument Begun in Los Angeles, and finished in Ithaca, New York. Rebuilt at the University of Illinois. 1954 USA Edit
The Boo (Bamboo Marimba) Instrument Gate 5, Sausalito, California. 1955 USA Edit
San Francisco-A Setting Of The Cries Of Two Newsboys On A Foggy Night In The Twenties Composition 1958 USA Edit
Mazda marimba Instrument - 1963 USA Edit
Zymo-Xyl Instrument - 1963 USA Edit
Gourd Tree Instrument - 1964 USA Edit
Cone Gongs Instrument - 1965 USA Edit
Harmonic Canon II Instrument University of Wisconsin. Rebuilt at the University of Illinois 1965 USA Edit
Quadrangularis Reversum Instrument - 1965 USA Edit
Eucal Blossom Instrument - 1967 USA Edit
The Letter Composition 1972 USA Edit