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Harry Partch
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    (June 24, 1901-September 3, 1974)
    Born in Oakland, California
    Composer and instrument creator
    Compositions include 'Barstow,' 'US Highball,' 'Revelation in the Courthouse Park,' 'Delusion of the Fury,' 'Daphne of the Dunes' and 'And on the Seventh Day Petals Fell on Petaluma'
    Instruments that he built include the monophone, the diamond marimba, the mazda marimba, cloud chamber bowls, cone gongs, the gourd tree and the zymo-xyl
    Wrote 'Genesis of a Music' (1949)
    He rode the rails as a hobo.
    He threw out the twelve-tone scale, good enough for everyone from Bach to Gershwin, in favor of his own 43-note octave.
    He called the traditional scale 'a wholly irrational, oppressive lid on musical expression.'
    His 'The Bewitched' called for the musicians to play basketball during the performance.
    He was John Cage's main competition for the tile of America's most eccentric composer.
    His music is rarely performed, if only because few orchestras have a quadrangularis reversum lying around.
    His 43-tone scale was intended to reflect the musicality of speech.
    William Butler Yeats was enthusiastic about his plans to compose an opera using the 43-tone scale based on Yeats' translation of 'Oedipus the King.'
    He founded his own record label, Gate 5, to release his music.
    The National Recording Preservation Board of the Library of Congress selected 'US Highball' as a work of 'cultural, historical or aesthetic significance.' (2004)
    Beck wrote a tribute song about him using his 43-tone scale.
    He said, 'The extent to which an individual can resist being blindly led by tradition is a good measure of his vitality.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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