Among the few truly experimental composers in our cultural history, Harry Partch’s life (–) and music embody most completely the quintessential . Original preface to “Genesis of a Music” Harry Partch Foundation To promote a youthful vitality in music we must have students who will question every idea. Genesis of a music: an account of a creative work, its roots and its fulfillments. Front Cover. Harry Partch. Da Capo Press, – Music – pages.
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Genesis of a music : an account of a creative work, its roots and its fulfillments
Return to Book Page. Preview — Genesis of a Music by Harry Partch. Genesis of a Music by Harry Partch. Among the few truly experimental composers in our cultural history, Harry Partch’s life — and music embody most completely the quintessential American rootlessness, isolation, pre-civilized cult of experience, and dichotomy of practical invention and transcendental visions.
Having lived mostly in the remote deserts of Arizona and New Mexico with no access to form Among the few truly experimental composers in our cultural history, Harry Partch’s life — and music embody most completely the quintessential American rootlessness, isolation, pre-civilized cult of experience, and dichotomy of practical invention and transcendental visions.
Having lived mostly in the remote deserts of Arizona and New Mexico with no access to formal training, Partch naturally created theatrical ritualistic works incorporating Indian chants, Japanese kabuki and Noh, Polynesian microtones, Balinese gamelan, Greek tragedy, dance, mime, and sardonic commentary on Hollywood and commercial pop music of modern civilization. First published inGenesis of a Music is the manifesto of Partch’s radical compositional practice and instruments which owe nothing to the year-old European tradition of Western music.
He contrasts Abstract and Corporeal music, proclaiming the latter as the vital, emotionally tactile form derived from the spoken word like Greek, Chinese, Arabic, and Indian musics and surveys the history of world music at length from this perspective.
Parts II, III, and IV explain Partch’s theories of scales, intonation, and instrument construction with copious acoustical and mathematical documentation.
Genesis of a Music by Harry Partch
Anyone with a musically creative attitude, whether or not familiar with traditional music theory, will find this book revelatory. Paperbackpages. Published August 22nd by Da Capo Press first published Genesis of a Music: To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Genesis of a Musicplease sign up.
Has any of my friends read this Harry Partch classic? If so, want to discuss? Readings in Modern Music. I’ve just ordered a copy of Partch’s book and would enjoy a discussion once I’ve marked it as ‘read’.
See 1 question about Genesis of a Music…. Lists with This Book. Sep 24, Frank Elliott rated it really liked it. As a young classical music student, I read this book cover-to-cover with real interest.
I’ve also musci and built instruments for many years. Harry Partch, who grew up in small-town Arizona before World War II, is a genuine part of Americana and earthly music history, at least for insiders In this, his magnum opus, Harry answers far more questions than he poses, a refreshing trait among authors and inventors. To those of us fascinated with such things, it’s a real page-turner. The more one gets to know him, the more one realizes Harry had some very good ideas. I’ve listened to most of his commercial recordings, and while not all thrill me, the entirety of his output is to say the least interesting.
In that sense this book doesn’t disappoint. Still it has its merits for the initiated. Partch’s partial use of found objects for building musical instruments had antecedents in many climes, however his overall scheme of emulating Greek musical theater to a visceral extent he used the term “corporeal” for hzrry all-encompassing stage partcg combining visual and aural components seems to me very unique, at least among American composers.
He would “fit in” better today, when “recycling” is so popular for energy conservation, IMHO. Digital methods to madness like his would be both easier and cheaper and hence perhaps less corporeal in modern times.
But modernity itself held no joy for him. In his own time, he was, like it or not, very much an outlier. How “odd” then, that he ended up getting so much of his work performed and recorded!
Nevertheless when it comes to American composers, Partch’s work remains arguably well within the labels “obscure” and “quirky,” but I would argue, at times certainly also joyful and occasionally rather transcendent, like this book.
Jan 25, Mick Bordet rated it really liked it. A fascinating read, providing a general and historic introduction into the reasoning behind Partch’s investigations into and refinement of a more natural tuning system than the current standard equal temperament that we have been stuck to pretty much since the invention of the keyboard. The composer’s written style is very similar to his natural speech, almost musical itself and a delight to read, at least in the earlier chapters.
The descriptions of the tuning system itself can become quite com A fascinating read, providing a general and historic introduction into the reasoning behind Partch’s investigations into and refinement of a more natural tuning system than the current standard equal temperament that we have been stuck to pretty much since the invention of the keyboard.
The descriptions of the tuning system itself parch become quite complex with numerous ratios, though the idea is clear enough that most of these sections are just trying to place the maths into a context that fits within contemporary music e.
A highlight, for me, were the detailed descriptions of the various instruments he has built over the years in order to be able to play the music. The only low point in the book was the chapter describing all the alternative attempts paftch break free of equal temperament using microtonal scales of various sorts.
Genesis of a Music
As this come straight after he has described his own means of dealing with the issue, it seems rather redundant. Jul 28, Phillip rated it it was amazing Shelves: Mar 16, Jesse rated it liked it. There’s a lot of math here.
S’ppose that’s to be expected in a book about microtonality, sound frequencies, etc. And while that’s cool, that’s kind of like a painter spending a book writing about how he gets his pigments. Even fast-forwarding through the math, it’s pretty dry. Bob Gilmore’s bio is way better. Fascinating stuff reading about his thoughts on music, and the instruments he constructed to play his unique compositions. However, though I’m well-versed in mathematics, my grasp of formal music theory– or maybe my lack of imagination– was not enough for me to connect the dots and figure out how his math was used in creating new scales and such.
I ended up skimming over a lot of the middle chapters. Still, the book is a valuable tool in trying to understand is music, and aids in Microreview: Still, the book is a valuable tool in trying to understand is music, and aids in appreciating it above and beyond the enjoyment of simply hearing it. May 27, David Toub genwsis it it was amazing.
Not an easy read in many chapters, but a book I turn to again and again over the years by one of the few original composers and freethinkers. Mar 31, Lane Wilkinson rated it it was ok Recommends it for: Two stars only because I didn’t understand what the hell was going on.
Genesis of a Music – Wikipedia
Then again, I guess my Philistine ears can’t appreciate the beauty of the tone scale and the limit just intonation. Spencer Hargiss rated hagry it was amazing Dec 30, Chadwick rated it it was amazing Aug 17, Darren rated it really liked it Aug 09, Herb rated it really liked it Jul 31, Steve rated it really liked it Aug 31, Eric rated it it was ok Sep 18, Koven rated it really liked it Jan 17, Jose Luna rated it it was amazing Jun 19, Matt rated it really liked it Jan 24, Duncan A rated it it parcth amazing Mar 15, Joshua rated it really liked it Mar 10, Jon Roy rated it it was amazing Feb 08, Allan Cronin rated it it was amazing May 27, David Keffer rated it it was amazing May 13, Bob rated it really liked it Jun 07, Mark rated it it was amazing May 17, Andy rated it it was amazing Jun 27, William Bajzek rated it it was amazing Nov 04, Thurman rated it liked it Nov 02, genesus Jason rated it it was amazing Jun 20, Omoi Augustine rated it it was amazing May 18, Franklin rated it really liked it Sep 06, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
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