Partch: Barstow

Series: American Music  Publisher: A-R Editions, American Musicological Society
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Harry Partch
Eight Hitchhiker Inscriptions from a Highway Railing at Barstow, California (1968 Version)

Edited by Richard Kassel

MU09/A039 Partch: Barstow
978-0-89579-468-0 9x12, lxxix + 62 pp. + Facs. 32 pp.
In stock
Composer, theorist, instrument builder, and performer, Harry Partch stands with Henry Cowell and John Cage among the great experimenters in American music.  Constrained by conventional scales and tuning, Partch devised his own instruments to capture the sounds he imagined.  Barstow, composed in 1941 and revised many times afterward through 1968, ranks among Partch's best-known and most accessible works.  A setting for voices and instruments of eight hitchhikers' inscriptions near Barstow, California, the work immortalizes the dying world of the American hobo.  Its intimate, honest view of Depression-era America provides a foil to the nostalgic Americana of the period.  This edition presents Partch's final version of the work with a transcription based on Ben Johnston's system of notating just intonation, and it also includes a facsimile reproduction of the 1968 holograph score.
Kyle Gann, "Songs of the Open Road: Richard Kassel Opens an Avenue to Harry Partch's Brain," Village Voice (Jan. 24-30, 2001)