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Primary Creator: Partch, Harry (1901-1974)
Extent: 23.1 cubic feet
Series 1: BMI Collection consists of the complete contents of their publicity file about Partch; given in December 1987.
Series 2: Jean Cutler Collection consists of a group of materials documenting Jean Cutler's association with Partch from 1962 to 1970; collection purchased from Jean Cutler in June 1996.
Series 3: Oliver Daniel Collection consists of photocopies (and some originals) of correspondence and articles between and about Partch and Daniel; obtained ca. 1988.
Series 4: Betty Freeman Collection consists of recordings of rehearsals, performances, and interviews, correspondence, transcripts, and publications; the bulk of the collection was donated in January 1979, with supplements in later years, especially 1999.
Series 5: John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Collection consists of photocopies of materials in the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation files.
Series 6: Barnard Hewitt Collection consists of original materials from Barnard Hewitt ; given in 1978.
Series 7: Robert Kostak Collection consists of original materials; purchased from Kostka in November 1987.
Series 8: Lynn Ludlow Collection consists of original and photocopies of brochures, programs, announcements, newspaper and magazine clippings; given in April 1989.
Series 9: Lauriston C. Marshall Collection consists of materials relating to Harry Partch; given to the University of Illinois Music Library by Larry and Lucie Marshall between 1976 and 1980.
Series 10: Danlee Mitchell Harry Partch Collection consists of personal materials relating to Partch; Donated in 1991 on the occasion of a commemorative concert to honor the retirement of Jack McKenzie as Dean of Fine and Applied Arts at UIUC.
Series 11: Stephen Pouliot Harry Partch Collection consists of materials given to the Archive by Stephen Pouliot, in 1990 and 1998.
Series 12: Peter Yates Harry Partch Collection consists of photocopies of materials available in the University of California, San Diego's Mandeville Special Collections Library's Peter Yates Collection.
Series 13: Subject Files consists of original materials collected or created for the Archive, not part of individual collections above.
Series 14: Musical Scores consists of blue-line original or photocopies of Partch autograph scores; assembled from various sources.
Series 15: Photographs consists of photographic material (slides, prints, and negatives transferred from various collections and/or folders.
Series 16: Bibliography Project files consists of originals or photocopies of articles (or sections in books) published about Partch.
Series 17: Oral History Tapes consists of recordings of interviews with or about Partch.
Series 18: Performance Tapes consists of recordings of performances and lectures.
Series 19: Microfilms, slide strips, video tapes and films consists of items in the titular formats.
Series 20: Philip Blackburn Harry Partch Collection consists of materials collected and created by Philip Blackburn in relation to his INNOVA and Enclosures products devoted to publishing materials about Partch under the auspices of the American Composers Forum, Minneapolis.
Series 21: Kenneth Gaburo Papers consist of materials related to The Bewitched and had been in the possession of Philip Blackburn, as part of his INNOVA and Enclosures publication project; transferred to the archive in April 2008.
Series 22: Oversize Materials consists of photograph and posters of Harry Partch and his instruments.
Series 23: Madeline Tourtelot Harry Partch Collection consists of Madeline Tourtelot's own cassettes, tapes, and a book that had been given to Philip Blackburn in relation to his Enclosures publishing project; transferred to the Partch Archive in April 2008 as part of Blackburn's donation of his Enclosures material.
Series 24: Duplicate Tapes consists of 15 1/4" audio tapes made as listening copies by the Music and Performing Arts Library's Special Collections department. These tapes were transferred from MPAL Special Collections in April, 2015, and correspond to the tapes listed on pages 87 to 93 of the 2005 Harry Partch Guide to the Collection linked in Administrative Information.
Date Acquired: 00/00/1975. More info below under Accruals.
Consists of books, music, films, personal papers, artifacts and sound recordings collected by the staff of the Music and Performing Arts Library and the University of Illinois School of Music documenting the life and career of Harry Partch, and those associated with him, throughout his career as a composer and writer.
See also record series number 35/3/68.
Born in Oakland, CA in 1901, Harry Partch was an American composer, theorist, instrument designer and performer. He is best known for the work he did with just temperment: developing a 43 tone octave scale, writing pieces to showcase it, and building instruments upon which it could be played. His musical knowledge was largely self-taught and his interest in intonation emerged out of microtonal experimentation conducted on string instruments. Many of his thoughts on the matter are outlined in his 1947 treatise, Genesis of a Music.
By the early 1950s, he had established the Gate 5 Ensemble and record label and begun a musical partnership with fellow composer Ben Johnston that would take him to the University of Illinois in 1956, where Johnston was then teaching. While at Illinois, Partch premiered his large stage work, The Bewitched, as part of the Festival of Contemporary Arts and also composed and had performed the stage works Revelation in the Courthouse Park and Water! Water! He returned to California in 1962 where he completed his last project, the text and music for a film, The Dreamer that Remains before his death in 1974.
Acquisition Source: Donation and acquisition
Acquisition Method: In 1975 the Music and Performing Arts Library acquired a set of scores reproduced from Partch's vellum masters through Irv Wilson. The Music and Performing Arts Library Harry Partch Collection was created in 1978 by Professor Ben Johnston and Thomas McGeary for the purpose of collecting relevant material documenting the life and musical work of Harry Partch. The impetus for the Collection was a donation by Lauriston C. Marshall of a group of tapes, recordings, documents, and letters. Over the following decade, many more accretions were added to the archive. Much of the work of collecting, organizing, and cataloging the material has been make possible through a generous grant to the Archive made by Betty Freeman in 1986.