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Harry  Partch

Born: June 24th, 1901
Died: September 3rd, 1974
Country of origin: United States of America

Harry Partch was born in Oakland, California as son of missionary parents on 24 June 1901. Largely self-taught, he enhanced his skills as instrument maker and developed during the 1920s and 1930s his own theory of music. Taking his authority from the Greeks, he argued for music as a ’corporeal’ rather than an intellectual art. He used the natural intervals of just intonation and built his own percussion and wind instruments for this purpose in a 43-note scale.

His own major works were dramatic, their drama enhanced by the striking presence of his instruments.  Largely ignored by standard musical institutions, he criticised concert traditions, the roles of performer and composer, the role of music in society, the twelve-tone equal-temperament scale and the concept of pure or abstract music. To explain his ideas, he wrote "Genesis of a music".

Between 1930 and 1972, Partch, who held no teaching appointments, but had research posts at the universities of Wisconsin, Illinois, and California, created music dramas, dance theatre, vocal music and chamber music - mostly performed on instruments he built himself.

His compositions combine American folklore, African and Oriental literature, and mystical and pre-Christian magical thoughts, laced with parody, satire, studied naivety, and irony.

His works received wide attention only late in his life, largely as a result of a performance of Delusion of the Fury in 1969. The influence of his music, however, on other composers has been profound and unabating, as is evident in the works of composers experimenting with just intonation, in mixed-media works since the 1960s, and in the percussive motor-rhythmic music of the minimalists.

Harry Partch died in San Diego on 3 September 1974.

For further information please visit the Harry Partch website www.corporeal.com

per page
  1. Summer 1955

    Summer 1955

    A Collection of Small Compositions Written or Rewritten in Summer 1955
    Composer: Partch, Harry
    Instrumentation: bass, low female voice, 2 high sopranos and ensemble
    Edition: study score, Facsimile-Edition
    Language: English
    Order No.: ED 9353
    €22.00  *
  2. Castor & Pollux

    Castor & Pollux

    A Dance for the Twin Rhythms of Gemini (1st Version 1952))
    Composer: Partch, Harry
    Instrumentation: 6 dancers and instrumental ensemble
    Edition: study score, Facsimile-edition
    Order No.: ED 9352
    €12.00  *
  3. And on the Seventh Day Petals fell in Petaluma (1966) in preparation

    And on the Seventh Day Petals fell in Petaluma (1966)

    Composer: Partch, Harry
    Instrumentation: Zymo-Xyl, Crychord, Surrogate Kithara, Kithara II, Bass Marimba, Harmonic Canon I, Blue Rainbow, Chromelodeon II, Koto, Mazda Marimba, Boo, Cloud Chamber Bowls, Diamond Marimba, Marimba Eroica, Bloboy, Spoils of War, Castor & Pollux, Adapted Guitar II, Drone Devils, Gubagubi, Gourd Tree and Cone Gongs
    Edition: study score, Faksimile-Edition
    Order No.: ED 9351
    €0.00  *

    Out of stock

  4. Y. D. Fantasy (Yankee Doodle Fantasy)

    Y. D. Fantasy (Yankee Doodle Fantasy)

    On the Words of an Early American Tune
    Composer: Partch, Harry
    Instrumentation: soprano, Zinnflutes, Zinnoboe, Chromelodeon and Flexaton
    Edition: study score, Facsimile-Edition
    Language: English
    Order No.: ED 9350
    €8.50  *
  5. Two Studies on Ancient Greek Scales

    Two Studies on Ancient Greek Scales

    Composer: Partch, Harry
    Instrumentation: Harmonic Canon II and bass Marimba
    Edition: performance score, Faksimile-Edition
    Order No.: ED 9347
    €5.00  *
  6. Water! Water!

    Water! Water!

    An Intermission with Prologues and Epilogues
    Composer: Partch, Harry
    Instrumentation: Orchestra
    Edition: study score, Facsimile Edition
    Language: English
    Order No.: ED 9348
    €59.00  *
  7. Rotate the Body in All Its Planes

    Rotate the Body in All Its Planes

    Ballad for Gymnasts
    Composer: Partch, Harry
    Instrumentation: soprano, choir and chamber orchestra
    Edition: study score, Faksimile-Edition
    Order No.: ED 9341
    €19.00  *
  8. Oedipus in preparation

    Oedipus

    Music-Dance-Drama
    Composer: Partch, Harry
    Instrumentation: orchestra
    Edition: study score, Faksimile-Edition
    Order No.: ED 9338
    €78.00  *

    Out of stock

  9. Ring around the Moon

    Ring around the Moon

    A Dance Fantasm for Here and Now
    Composer: Partch, Harry
    Instrumentation: spoken voice and ensemble
    Edition: study score, Facsimile-Edition
    Language: English
    Order No.: ED 9340
    €16.00  *
  10. Eleven Intrusions

    Eleven Intrusions

    for voices, choir and ensemble
    Composer: Partch, Harry
    Instrumentation: Solo Parts, Choir and Instruments
    Edition: study score, Faksimile-Edition
    Language: English
    Order No.: ED 9335
    €16.00  *

per page
Profile

Harry Partch was born in Oakland, California as son of missionary parents on 24 June 1901. Largely self-taught, he enhanced his skills as instrument maker and developed during the 1920s and 1930s his own theory of music. Taking his authority from the Greeks, he argued for music as a ’corporeal’ rather than an intellectual art. He used the natural intervals of just intonation and built his own percussion and wind instruments for this purpose in a 43-note scale.

His own major works were dramatic, their drama enhanced by the striking presence of his instruments.  Largely ignored by standard musical institutions, he criticised concert traditions, the roles of performer and composer, the role of music in society, the twelve-tone equal-temperament scale and the concept of pure or abstract music. To explain his ideas, he wrote "Genesis of a music".

Between 1930 and 1972, Partch, who held no teaching appointments, but had research posts at the universities of Wisconsin, Illinois, and California, created music dramas, dance theatre, vocal music and chamber music - mostly performed on instruments he built himself.

His compositions combine American folklore, African and Oriental literature, and mystical and pre-Christian magical thoughts, laced with parody, satire, studied naivety, and irony.

His works received wide attention only late in his life, largely as a result of a performance of Delusion of the Fury in 1969. The influence of his music, however, on other composers has been profound and unabating, as is evident in the works of composers experimenting with just intonation, in mixed-media works since the 1960s, and in the percussive motor-rhythmic music of the minimalists.

Harry Partch died in San Diego on 3 September 1974.

For further information please visit the Harry Partch website www.corporeal.com

Works
Products

per page
  1. Summer 1955

    Summer 1955

    A Collection of Small Compositions Written or Rewritten in Summer 1955
    Composer: Partch, Harry
    Instrumentation: bass, low female voice, 2 high sopranos and ensemble
    Edition: study score, Facsimile-Edition
    Language: English
    Order No.: ED 9353
    €22.00  *
  2. Castor & Pollux

    Castor & Pollux

    A Dance for the Twin Rhythms of Gemini (1st Version 1952))
    Composer: Partch, Harry
    Instrumentation: 6 dancers and instrumental ensemble
    Edition: study score, Facsimile-edition
    Order No.: ED 9352
    €12.00  *
  3. And on the Seventh Day Petals fell in Petaluma (1966) in preparation

    And on the Seventh Day Petals fell in Petaluma (1966)

    Composer: Partch, Harry
    Instrumentation: Zymo-Xyl, Crychord, Surrogate Kithara, Kithara II, Bass Marimba, Harmonic Canon I, Blue Rainbow, Chromelodeon II, Koto, Mazda Marimba, Boo, Cloud Chamber Bowls, Diamond Marimba, Marimba Eroica, Bloboy, Spoils of War, Castor & Pollux, Adapted Guitar II, Drone Devils, Gubagubi, Gourd Tree and Cone Gongs
    Edition: study score, Faksimile-Edition
    Order No.: ED 9351
    €0.00  *

    Out of stock

  4. Y. D. Fantasy (Yankee Doodle Fantasy)

    Y. D. Fantasy (Yankee Doodle Fantasy)

    On the Words of an Early American Tune
    Composer: Partch, Harry
    Instrumentation: soprano, Zinnflutes, Zinnoboe, Chromelodeon and Flexaton
    Edition: study score, Facsimile-Edition
    Language: English
    Order No.: ED 9350
    €8.50  *
  5. Two Studies on Ancient Greek Scales

    Two Studies on Ancient Greek Scales

    Composer: Partch, Harry
    Instrumentation: Harmonic Canon II and bass Marimba
    Edition: performance score, Faksimile-Edition
    Order No.: ED 9347
    €5.00  *
  6. Water! Water!

    Water! Water!

    An Intermission with Prologues and Epilogues
    Composer: Partch, Harry
    Instrumentation: Orchestra
    Edition: study score, Facsimile Edition
    Language: English
    Order No.: ED 9348
    €59.00  *
  7. Rotate the Body in All Its Planes

    Rotate the Body in All Its Planes

    Ballad for Gymnasts
    Composer: Partch, Harry
    Instrumentation: soprano, choir and chamber orchestra
    Edition: study score, Faksimile-Edition
    Order No.: ED 9341
    €19.00  *
  8. Oedipus in preparation

    Oedipus

    Music-Dance-Drama
    Composer: Partch, Harry
    Instrumentation: orchestra
    Edition: study score, Faksimile-Edition
    Order No.: ED 9338
    €78.00  *

    Out of stock

  9. Ring around the Moon

    Ring around the Moon

    A Dance Fantasm for Here and Now
    Composer: Partch, Harry
    Instrumentation: spoken voice and ensemble
    Edition: study score, Facsimile-Edition
    Language: English
    Order No.: ED 9340
    €16.00  *
  10. Eleven Intrusions

    Eleven Intrusions

    for voices, choir and ensemble
    Composer: Partch, Harry
    Instrumentation: Solo Parts, Choir and Instruments
    Edition: study score, Faksimile-Edition
    Language: English
    Order No.: ED 9335
    €16.00  *

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