am 2. November 1999
As a steel guitarist, I find the entire subject of Just Intonation (JI) fascinating. It's a beautiful sound, perfectly aligned with the laws of physics. Partch's book includes tables of all of the JI ratios, translated into cents. This is the ultimate reference book for anyone experimenting with tunings.
Partch's music may not be your cup of tea, but the logic behind it is top notch. With this book and his home-made instuments (there are pictures and descriptions), Partch kicked open the door for the modern micro-tonal movement. The musical universe will never be the same.
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am 21. April 1999
I read this quite a few years ago, and my memory is a little vague, but I can give you some idea what we it is. Harry Partch was a musical maverick who invented a forty-three-(or forty-something)-note scale (forty-three notes to the octave, that is) based on the eleventh partial (partial, not harmonic: Harry is fussy about the distinction). Here he explains his scale, the instruments he invented to play it, his aesthetic of "corporeality" (not "corpulence"--don't be confused), and rants and raves a bit. Fascinating. By the bye, some equally--or even more--fascinating musical ramifications of acoustical theory are to be found in PENTATONIC SCALES FOR THE JAZZ-ROCK KEYBOARDIST by Jeff Burns.