Born on this date in 1901, American composer Harry Partch (Wikipedia) made music he wrote himself, in a tonal system he designed himself, on instruments he designed, and built, himself. He is largely responsible for the build-your-own-instruments craze that began in the 70s and continues to influence modern performers like The Blue Man Group and, oh, what’s his name…that cigar-box guitar guy…Mark something? Partch died in 1974, aged 73. American Public Media has a great online gallery of Partch’s instruments, including “virtual” versions you can play yourself in a Flash application.
- Diego Stocco’s “Bassoforte”
- Maker Profile – Music Machines on Make: television
- “Maker music” with Micachu and the Shapes
- Instruments of Invention