Bitter Music: Collected Journals, Essays, Introductions, and Librettos

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University of Illinois Press, 2000 - Music - 487 pages
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Now in paper for the first time, Bitter Music is a generous volume of writings by one of the twentieth century's great musical iconoclasts. Rejecting the equal temperament and concert traditions that have dominated western music, Harry Partch adopted the pure intervals of just intonation and devised a 43-tone-to-the-octave scale, which in turn forced him into inventing numerous musical instruments. His compositions realize his ideal of a corporeal music that unites music, dance, and theater.
Winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award, Bitter Music includes two journals kept by Partch, one while wandering the West Coast during the Depression and the other while hiking the rugged northern California coastline. It also includes essays and discussions by Partch of his own compositions, as well as librettos and scenarios for six major narrative/dramatic compositions.

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User Review  - librarianbryan - LibraryThing

Bitter Music music itself gets five stars. If you read between the lines you get one of the most revealing artist bios ever.The other essays fluctuate between two and three stars. Read full review

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About the author (2000)

Harry Partch (1901-1974) was a largely self-taught composer, music theorist, and musical instrument maker. He is a member of the Hall of Fame of the Percussive Arts Society and the author of Genesis of a Music.Thomas McGeary is the compiler of The Music of Harry Partch: A Descriptive Catalog and a contributor to The Blackwell History of Music in Great Britain. He also received an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for his translation and edition of Arnold Schoenberg's "Brahms the Progressive" for the Journal of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute.

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