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

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University of Illinois Press, 1991 - Music - 487 pages

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

Contents

The Journal of a Hiking Trip
133
Patterns of Music 1940
159
W B Yeats 1941
165
Show Horses in the Concert Ring 1948
174
No Barriers 1952
181
A Somewhat Spoof 1960
188
Monoliths in Music 1966
193
A QuarterSaw Section of Motivations
196
U S Highball A Musical Account of
208
Oedipus 1954
218
Plectra and Percussion Dances 1953
228
A Soul Tormented by Contemporary Music
239
Observations on Water Water 1962
247
Water Water An Intermission with Prologues
377
Sources and Notes
465
Index
481

Barstow 1941
201
Copyright

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