When Not In Rome…

I am in receipt of a book by Luca Conti entitled, Suoni di Una Terra Incognita: Il Microtonalismo in Nord America (1900-1940). It’s published by Libreria Musicale Italiana. As you may have surmised, it’s in Italian. There is much discussion of Ives, Cowell, Chavez, and Partch. I am mentioned, and several of my articles are listed in the bibliography. There are diagrams with lots of numbers and strangely configured keyboards. It looks interesting.


  1. mclaren says

    Xenharmonic texts are popping up like wildflowers after spring rain. The redoubtable Gennadiy Koguts just authored the tome Mikrotonal Muzika, put out by the Kiev Naukova Dumka press in late 2005.

    Since it draws heavily on my scholarship in the field, you are prominently mentioned: “Kyle Gann, `Custer’s Ghost'” on page 231. (A masterpiece if I ever heard one. Why Gann didn’t win the Pulitzer for that piece, I don’t get. But that’s about par for the Pulitzers, ain’t it? William Schottstaedt, Kyle Gann, Elodie Lauten, Bill Wesley, William Duckworth, Barbara Benary…a great long seemingly-endless roll call of the superb composers who should have won a Pulitzer — but haven’t, and probably never will.)

    I supplied Gennadiy with tons ‘n tons ‘o xenharmonic CDs as well as my xenharmonic bibliography and so forth and so on, and he translated into Russian my 1996 article “Microtonal Music in the United States,” pp. 193-213, so Kyle and most of the other xenharmonists doing significant work in America are pretty well covered. Alas, Gennadiy currently battles liver cancer, and it’s not certain how long he’ll be with us. Withal, Gennadiy has done a tremendous service for Russian xenahrmonists, and this book is reportedly being distributed through the republics of the former Soviet Union to make up for the chronic lack of internet access in the former Russian -“stan” republics.

    Gann: e-mail me & I’ll trade you a xerox of mine for a xerox ‘o yourn. A vast tome, by the way, remains to be written on the remarkable Russian microtonalists of the early 20th century, who divided into mutually opposed camps of JI vs ET…eerily akin to the situation today. Even more eerie: the degree to which Russian acoustician Nikolai Garbuzov anticipated during the teens and 1920s many of the musical innovations of Henry Cowell’s New Musical Resources of 1929(!)

    We now return to the regularly scheduled lies and character assassination aimed at me by the usual horde of know-nothing do-nothing no-talents…