Concept

Harry Partch

Summary
Harry Partch (June 24, 1901 – September 3, 1974) was an American composer, music theorist, and creator of unique musical instruments. He composed using scales of unequal intervals in just intonation, and was one of the first 20th-century composers in the West to work systematically with microtonal scales, alongside Lou Harrison. He built his own instruments in these tunings on which to play his compositions, and described the method behind his theory and practice in his book Genesis of a Music (1947). Partch composed with scales dividing the octave into 43 unequal tones derived from the natural harmonic series; these scales allowed for more tones of smaller intervals than in standard Western tuning, which uses twelve equal intervals to the octave. To play his music, Partch built many unique instruments, with such names as the Chromelodeon, the Quadrangularis Reversum, and the Zymo-Xyl. Partch described his music as corporeal, and distinguished it from abstract music, which he per
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