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Partch-work: Microtonal Music from Harry Partch




John Schneider, of Partch, playing the Bass Marimba.
John Schneider, of Partch, playing the Bass Marimba.
Kevin Ferguson

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Ever heard of an adapted viola? What about a chromalodeon? Or a harmonic canon? They're all instruments invented by avante-garde composer Harry Partch. Partch was a California native who threw out traditional keys and patterns in favor of strange and complex 43+ note microtonal scales. Off-Ramp's Kevin Ferguson headed to a rehearsal studio on Mount Washington to talk to John Schneider, a music professor and a member of Partch, a musical tribute to the late composer. Click through to see a video of John Schneider performing Harry Partch's "The Letter" on the harmonic canon! Partch—the band—will be performing at Disney's REDCAT in Downtown LA on Wednesday, June 2 and again Thursday, June 3. More photos of Partch's bizarre instruments: