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Harry Partch

Harry Partch (1901-1974), 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.

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Harry Partch is an American visionary and stubborn individualist. . . . He has built his own musical world out of microtones, hobo speech, elastic octaves and percussion instruments made from hubcaps and nuclear cloud chambers. Recently, an army of young music lovers stormed New York’s Whitney Museum to hear Harry Partch and his thirteen disciples produce a music that was totally personal and eclectic in the best sense. African polyrhythms, and ancient Greek modes, bits of Babylonia and the pulse of the American diesel engine all gathered into a richly erotic, primitive, fresh and stirring drama of sound
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