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About Harry Partch
Harry Partch (1901-1974) was one of the first modern composers to work with microtonal scales and is known for his numerous custom made instruments. This exhibit includes copies of Partch music manuscripts, recordings of Partch’s works, and related materials from the Music & Performing Arts Library’s collections.
This exhibit is in conjunction with a related exhibit by the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music that will be on display in the Music Building Lobby from September 13-16. The exhibit "Scrapbook Gems: Harry Partch Inside Out" will focus on a personal view of Partch's life via two scrapbooks in the Archives’ collections.
Please see the links in the left column for more information about the MPAL Harry Partch Collection (1914-2007) and the Sousa Archives Harry Partch Estate Archive (1918-1991), both located at the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music.
Pictures from the Harry Partch Exhibit
Items in collection
Enclosure Three by
Call Number: ML134 .B48 G67 1988
Publication Date: 1997-08-01
A full-length portrait of an unconventional life: a 528-page, lavishly-illustrated, hardcover art-, bio-, scrapbook of Partch (1910-74). The first biography of one of America's most original & influential artists (a gay hobo, instrument-builder, microtonal theorist who composed a Corporeal, integrated theater), told through facsimile documents in his own words. 330+ photos; essays; sketches; scores; correspondence with Anais Nin, W.B. Yeats, John Cage, Lou Harrison, Martha Graham, Alwin Nikolais, et al. Includes bonus frameable artwork & comes in presentation box. For Partch fans & neophytes alike, ENCLOSURE THREE contains essential source material for all future Partch studies, at home library or on the coffee table. Part of a 5-part series including 7 CDs & 2 videos. Complements Partch's own standard text, GENESIS OF A MUSIC, perennially in demand. "...one of the most important releases of the year."--San Francisco Examiner. "...a welcome slew... a treasure trove. Aside from Partch... does American music exist at all?"--Village Voice. "Essential to any Partch collector."-- American Record Guide. "...this recording is a must."--Schwann Opus. Order from American Composers Forum, 332 Minnesota St., No. E145, Saint Paul, MN 55101-1300. 612-228-1407, 800-263-2259, FAX: 612-291-7978.
Harry Partch by
Call Number: CDISC M25 W36T8
Publication Date: 1998-06-16
Visionary composer, theorist, and creator of musical instruments, Harry Partch (1901-1974) was a leading figure in the development of an indigenously American contemporary music. A pioneer in his explorations of new instruments and new tunings, Partch created multimedia theater works that combine sight and sound in a compelling synthesis. He is acknowledged as a major inspiration to postwar experimental composers as diverse as György Ligeti, Lou Harrison, Philip Glass, and Laurie Anderson, and his book Genesis of a Music, first published in 1949, is now considered a classic. This book is the first to tell the complete story of Partch's life and work. Drawing on interviews with many of Partch's associates and on the complete archives of the Harry Partch Estate, Bob Gilmore provides a full and sympathetic portrait of this extraordinary creative artist. He describes Partch's complicated relationships with friends, patrons, the musical establishment, and the world at large. He traces Partch's upbringing in the remote desert towns of the Southwest, his explosive encounter with formal music education in Los Angeles, and his revolutionary course as a composer that began with an interest in the musicality of speech patterns. After immersing himself in hobo subculture during the Depression, Partch came to occupy a lonely and uncompromising position as a cultural outsider. Richly fascinating in themselves, Partch's compositions, writings, and life also have much to reveal about American society and the creative impulses of the artistic avant-garde.
Harry Partch, Hobo Composer by
Call Number: GV1785.N8 N87
Publication Date: 2014-10-01
Harry Partch (1901-74) was one of the most distinctive and influential American composers of the mid-twentieth century. During the Great Depression, Partch rode the railways, following the fruit harvest across the country. Although he is renowned for his immense stage works, such as Delusion of the Fury, and his use of highly sophisticated instruments of his own creation, Partch is still regularly called a "hobo composer." Yet few have questioned this label's impact on his musical output, compositional life, and reception. Focusing on Partch the person alongside the cultural icon he represented, this study examines Partch from historical, cultural, political, and musical perspectives. It outlines the cultural history of the hobo from the mid-1800s through the 1960s, as well as those figures associated with the hobo's image. It explores how Partch's music, which chronicled a disappearing subculture, was received, and how the composer ultimately engaged and frustrated popular conceptions of the hobo. And it follows Partch's later years to question his response to the hobo label and the ways in which others used it to define and contain him for over thirty years S. Andrew Granade is Associate Professor of Musicology in the Conservatory of Music and Dance, University of Missouri-Kansas City.