By Tom McGeary, Noah Lenstra, Elizabeth Surles and Scott Schwartz
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Title: Harry Partch Estate Archive, 1918-1991
Primary Creator: Partch, Harry (1901-1974)
Extent: 6.5 cubic feet
Arrangement: Organized into four series: 1.) Writings. 2.) Personal Papers. 3.) Music Score Manuscripts. Whenever possible an identification of the format of the music for each title (i.e., full score, condensed score, piano score, and parts) has been noted with the following corresponding abbreviations: FS, CS, PS, P. 4.) Films, Tapes, Photographs. Each series, except for 3, is arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Date Acquired: 04/01/2008. More info below under Accruals.
Subjects: Films, Instrumental music, Manuscripts, Music Composition, Photographs
Scope and Contents of the Materials
Consists of Harry Partch's personal papers, musical scores, films, tapes and photographs documenting his career as a composer, writer, and producer. Of special note are the scrapbooks in series 2 that contain newspaper and magazine articles about Partch and his music.
See also record series 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.
The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music
First donation came in December 29, 1992 directly from Danlee Mitchell. Second accrual in April 2008 came from Mitchell as well.
All usage permissions for materials from the Partch Estate archives that fall outside of U.S. fair use statutes must be approved in writing by Danlee Mitchell, executor of the Partch Estate. (August 4, 2017)
Danlee Mitchell, Harry Partch Foundation, San Diego
Jaen Cutler Theatrical Films, Audio Recordings and Papers, Sousa Archives and Center for American Music
Kenneth Gaburo Papers, University of Illinois Archives
2005 Harry Partch Guide to the Collection, Music and Performing Arts Library.Ã??Ã?Â This collection finding aid's content has been updated and included in the Harry Partch Archive and Music Library Harry Partch Collection.
Photographic Subject File 39/2/20, Col 3-5.
Box and Folder Listing Browse by Series:
[Series 1: Writings
[Series 2: Personal Papers
[Series 3: Music Score Manuscripts],
[Series 4: Films, Tapes, Photographs
Browse by Series:
- Series 3: Music Score Manuscripts
- Consists of autograph (pencil or ink) scores, drafts, and blue-line (ozalid) copies of Partch's musical compositions. The designation "( = HPCat )" indicates those items that are the final score for a version of a composition, and that are catalogued and described in The Music of Harry Partch: A Descriptive Bibliography. See this publication for further information about the compositions and their versions.
- Box 11
- Folder 1: "U.S. Highball" (FS, P), 1943-44
- Ink-on-paper score (and chromelodeon part) of "U.S. Highball" (second version, HPCat 35B). Score with numerous pencil additions, cuts, comments, paste-overs, etc. Score on 70 pages, chromelodeon part (also with additions, cuts) on 45 pages
- Folder 2: "Y.D. Fantasy" (FS, P), 1944
- Full score and parts for "Y. D. Fantasy" (HPCat 40) plus second flute part to "Two Settings from Finnegan's Wake". Ink score with various pencil and ink corrections and revisions. Presumably the performing material used for the 1944 Carnegie Hall concert. 22 pp. in ink and pencil
- Folder 3: "Polyphonic Recidivism on a Japanese Theme" (FS), 1945
- Full score for "Polyphonic Recidivism on a Japanese Theme" (HPCat 21). Ink score. 3pp
- Folder 4: "Two Psalms" (Version B) (FS, P), 1943-1955
- "Two Psalms": (1) full score to "The Lord Is My Shepherd" (HPCat 16B), (2) full score and two (of four) parts to "By the Rivers of Babylon" ( HPCat 5B), plus fragment in pencil of "Harmonic Canon" part to "U.S. Highball" (1955 version). 13pp, score in ink and pencil
- Folder 5: "Two Settings from Finnegans Wake" (FS, P), 1944
- Full score and parts to "Two Settings from Finnegans Wake" ( HPCat 31). 17pp. in ink
- Folder 6: "San Francisco" and "Letter from Hobo Pablo" (FS), 1943-1955
- Original ink-on-paper score, with later pencil additions made in 1955 for enlarged instrumentation. 6 leaves. San Francisco ( HPCat 26A), Letter ( HPCat 15A)
- Folder 7: "Dark Brother" (FS, P), 1942-1943
- Ink-on-paper score (HPCat 8B) with parts for voice, viola, and kithara, with pencil addition for Bass Marimba part. 8 leaves of parts, score on 13 pages
- Folder 8: "U. S. Highball" (FS), 1943
- Full score of first version of "U.S. Highball" (Feb. - March 1943) ( HPCat 35A). 64pp in pencil
- Folder 9: "14 Intrusions" (FS, P), 1946-1955
- Complete ink-on-paper manuscript score as described in (HPCat 13), version A. 56 pages. Also separately, bass marimba parts for "Soldier", "War", "Another War", "Cloud-Chamber Music", and "Lover", (three leaves), soprano part for "Lover" (one leaf), guitar II part for "Vanity" (one leaf), Guitar III part for "Cloud-Chamber Music", and "Soldier", "War", "Another War" (two leaves), kithara and deer hooves rattle part for "Cloud-Chamber Music" (one leaf), diamond marimba & bowls part for "Cloud-Chamber Music" (three pages on two leaves)
- Folder 10: "Seventeen Lyrics of Li Po" (FS), undated
- Li Po settings (version E) as notated in ratios and Chromelodian notation, (as described in The Music of Harry Partch, A Descriptive Bibliography, pp. 86-89).: nos. 1-9 (p.  contains fragment of pencil Bowls solo from "Even Wild Horses", Act 3, scene 2 (information provided by Danlee Mitchell, 12-31-1993); nos. 11-17. Note: "A Dream" (no. 10), original india-ink-on paper score, notated all in ratios on blank paper, originally in folder 10, is now in box 15, folder 4.
- Folder 11: "Mock Turtle Song" (draft), 1954
- Pencil draft for full score of "Mock Turtle Song" from "Two Settings from Lewis Carroll" (HPCat 32/1). 15pp. in pencil (torn from 8 1/2 x 7 spiral-bound music notebook)
- Folder 12: "Potion Scene" (draft), 1931-1955
- "'Potion Scene' from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet", 16 pages of draft in black and red pencil, numerous performance and interpretive directions, inscribed; rewritten at Gate 5, 10 July 1955, draft for score of second version (cat. no. 22, version b)
- Folder 13: "U.S. Highball" (FS), 1955
- Pencil draft of full score of enlarged instrumentation for "U.S. Highball" (HPCat 35C), plus three sheets of instrument tunings. 50 pp. in pencil
- Folder 14: "Ulysses Departs from the Edge of the World" (draft), 1955, 1958
- Pencil draft of score of original, first version (Cat. no. 34, version a), with numerous interpretive notes, inscribed Harry Partch, Gate 5. July 20, 1955 (12 pages); pencil parts for "Ulysses" as recorded in Evanston, IL, in 1958, for alto and baritone sax. Two parts on four pages, nineteen numbered, braced systems for chromelodeon, alto and baritone sax, and diamond marimba parts and on two pages (numbered 4 & 5), braced systems numbered 18-33, for diamond marimba and boo parts; (information provided by Danlee Mitchell, 12-31-93)
- Box 12
- Folder 1: "Windsong" (draft), undated
- Small music notebook containing pencil drafts for musical scenes, each scene with title, cues to film, instrument tunings, indications of performers, tape speed, from front (inscribed percussion beginning here) pages numbered 32-47 [including inside front cover], from back (inscribed strings beginning here) [not including inside cover pages numbered 1-31]; 47 pages of draft score
- Folder 2: "Bless This Home" (draft), 1961
- Pencil sketch of full score. 3pp in pencil
- Folder 3: "Water! Water!" (FS), 1961
- Pencil draft of full score for "Water! Water!" 117pp.
- Folder 4: "And on the Seventh Day Petals Fell in Petaluma" (FS), 1964
- Pencil draft of full score. 40pp. in pencil.
- Folder 5: "Revelation in the Courthouse Park" (FS), undated
- Pencil draft of full score, pencil voice parts, pencil sketch of "Deep Inside", and original pencil manuscript of "Rotate the Body". approx. 250 leaves for full score, part 1 of 2, plus additional ca. 35 leaves
- Folder 6: "Revelation in the Courthouse Park" (FS), undated
- Pencil draft of full score, pencil voice parts, pencil sketch of "Deep Inside", and original pencil manuscript of "Rotate the Body". Part 2 of 2, approx. 250 leaves for full score, plus additional ca. 35 leaves
- Box 13
- Folder 1: "Delusion of the Fury", 1965-1966
- Pencil draft of full score (HPCAt 10), plus related 20pp of sketches. 188pp. in pencil
- Folder 2: "Oedipus", 1951-1954
- Blue-line copy of full score of second version of Oedipus with numerous pencil and ink corrections and typed paste-overs (especially of spoken texts). Altered score presumably similar to or prepatory to final (third) version of "Oedipus". 131pp.
- Folder 3: "Windsong", 1958
- Blue-line copy of final score for "Windsong", with Partch's pencil notes for later instrumental "concert version" ["Daphne of the Dunes"], 19 pages
- Folder 4: "Ulysses Departs from the Edge of the World" (FS, P), 1955
- Blue-line copy of first-version score, except for Partch's manuscript title on first page, no manuscript additions. 11 pages. Also, Bb trumpet part prepared by Jack Logan
- Folder 5: "Ulysses Departs from the Edge of the World," 2nd version (FS), 1955
- Blue-line copy of score, second version, title page and 7 pages. No manuscript additions
- Folder 6: "Ulysses at the Edge of the World," 3rd version (FS, P), undated
- Two blue-line copies of score, third version, (second copy with system numbers in red pencil) with parts for Eb baritone sax and Eb alto sax. No other manuscript additions. 9 pages (for each score) and two parts in Partch manuscript comprising 6 pages. Also, parts (4 pages) for Eb baritone sax prepared by Jack Logan, 1974
- Folder 7: "Eleven Intrusions" (FS), 1950
- Blue-line copy of score with numerous pencil or ink markings, annotations, revisions, corrections, especially for nos. 1-2. 22 pages
- Box 14
- Folder 1: "Monophonic Cycle" cover, undated
- Cover only
- Folder 2: "Oedipus" (FS), 1951, 1954
- Blue-line copy of full score of second version of Oedipus with Partch's pencil corrections, additions, revisions, type-script paste-overs (carbon copy), prepatory to preparing final (third) version of composition. 131 pages plus five leaves of Jocasta part and leaf marked "Pre-Introduction". Pencil annotations suggest this copy was used for performance and recording purposes
- Folder 3: "Delusion of the Fury" (FS), 1965-1966
- Blue-line score made from original set of vellum masters, with many annotations, corrections, and additions made by Partch in pencil or as paste-overs. According to Danlee Mitchell, these were not transferred to the set of vellum masters. Comments provided by Danlee Mitchell about this score: "This score is one of three sets of the complete score with covers made by Betty Richards [wife of Emil Richards] in Los Angeles, shortly after vellum score was finished, for Harry's personal use. I have the second copy, which was the score I used to conduct the work in 1969 at UCLA, and I am keeping it." Pasted onto inside front cover Corrections and additions to data on instruments. Cover plus 250 pages. Systems numbered in red-orange pencil
- Box 15
- Folder 1: Images from Bitter Music, undated
- Labelled as "Oversize folder"
- Folder 2: Study for Harmonic Canon I and Kithara I (FS), undated
- Pencil draft on one bifolium (t.p. and 3 pp. score); one loose sheet, part for Kithara I in pencil, bass marimba part for "Castor and Pollux" in ink
- Folder 3: "Seventeen Lyrics by Li Po" (version A), undated
- Li Po settings as notated on 5-line staffs with added ratios: "On the City Street"; "An Encounter in the Field"; "The Intruder" (as described in The Music of Harry Partch, A Descriptive Bibliography, p. 79); Pencil drafts for "Before the Cask of Wine" and "By the Great Wall" on one leaf; Incomplete draft of "A Dream", ink and pencil, one leaf; Incomplete draft of "On Hearing the Flute in the Yellow Crane House", one leaf (without added ratios)
- Folder 4: "Seventeen Lyrics by Li Po" (version B), 1930-1932
- Seven Li Po settings (A - G ) notated using ratios on unlined paper, (as described in The Music of Harry Partch, A Descriptive Bibliography, pp. 80-81): "The Long-Departed Love"; "On Ascending the Sin-Ping Tower"; "In the Springtime on the South Side of the Yangtze Kiang"; "The Night of Sorrow"; "On Hearing the Flute in the Yellow Crane House"; "On Hearing the Flute at Lo-cheng One Spring Night"; "A Dream". Note: "A Dream", formerly in box 11, folder 10, and grouped with "Seventeen Lyrics by Li Po" (version E), and described as incomplete, is now properly placed in Folder 4 (manuscript is now complete). On p.  of "A Dream" is a pencil transcription by Partch of text of "Christopher Columbus" by Filson Young (pub. Grant Richards, London)
- Folder 5: "Seventeen Lyrics by Li Po" (version C) (FS), 1931-1933
- Li Po settings notated on double-lined staffs, (as described in The Music of Harry Partch, A Descriptive Bibliography, p. 82): "A Midnight Farewell" and "On Seeing Off Meng Hao-jan", 3 pp of score on three oversize leaves (two leaves are glued back-to-back); "On the Ship of Spice-wood" and "With a Man of Leisure", 6 pp of score on six oversize leaves (all leaves are glued back-to-back)
- Folder 6: "Seventeen Lyrics by Li Po" (version D) (FS), 1933
- Li Po settings as notated using note heads with diacritical marks: "By the Great Wall", ink-on-paper score, (as described in The Music of Harry Partch, A Descriptive Bibliography, p. 85). Examination of the original manuscript provides a corrected description (now reflecting pages that were not microfilmed). Contents: p. [i], dedication to Richard Buhlig, [1:2], dedication and score, , key to diacritical notation and ratio.; Pencil drafts for "Before the Cask of Wine" and "By the Great Wall", on one and one-half leaves.; Pencil draft for "I am a Peach Tree", one-half leaf
- Folder 7: "Two Psalms", 1932
- Notated in ratios on unlined paper: "By the Rivers of Babylon" (version A), (as described in The Music of Harry Partch, A Descriptive Bibliography, p. 33.); "The Lord Is My Shepherd" (version A), (as described in The Music of Harry Partch, A Descriptive Bibliography, pp. 66-67)
- Folder 8: "The 'Potion Scene'" from Romeo and Juliet, undated
- Notated in ratios on blank paper: "The Potion Scene" from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (version A), (as described in The Music of Harry Partch, A Descriptive Bibliography, p. 95)
- Folder 9: Southwest Indian music transcriptions, ca. 1933
- Partch's working draft transcriptions of southwest Indian and Mexican songs, some from recordings at the Southwest Museum, Pasadena. (See Richard Kassel, "Harry Partch in the Field, Native American Influences on his Music", Music Works 51, Autumn 1991, 6-15): (1) Pencil transcriptions on double-lined staffs: "Luiseno War Dance", pencil introduction by Partch about the transcriptions [continued on next item]; "Hoopa War Song"; "Cahuilla Bird Dance Song"; "Hoopa Brush Dance Song"; "Hoopa Stick Game"; (2) Pencil draft transcriptions on five-lined staffs (with no indications of microtonal inflections), three leaves of drafts and notes for numerous Indian and Mexican melodies, sources of most are identified, one leaf is dated April 13, 1933); (3) One page (of bifolium) of Lou Harrison's ink copy of Partch transcriptions (From Harry Partch / Indian musics), on five-line staffs (with no indications of microtonal inflections): Hoopa Stick Game, Cahuilla Bird Dance Song, Cahuilla Feather dance, Cahuilla General Dance. With envelope mailed to Partch from G. Herzog, New York, 1936
- Folder 10: Intonation Examples, 1967
- Two sets of numbered, short extracts (from identified compositions or theoretic sources) illustrating examples of intonation
- Folder 11: "Dreamer that Remains" (FS), 1972
- Blue-line copy (1 of 2) of first version of score with Partch's pencil annotations, corrections and revisions preliminary to the second (and final) version of the score (labeled by Partch "Last Dreamer"). Cover and 37 pages
- Folder 12: "Dreamer that Remains" (FS), undated
- Blue-line score (2 of 2, with systems numbered in red), score incorporates revisions as called for on previous score. Partch's label "Last Dreamer". Cover and 37 pages
[Series 1: Writings
[Series 2: Personal Papers
[Series 3: Music Score Manuscripts],
[Series 4: Films, Tapes, Photographs