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The Harry Partch institute at Montclair State University in New Jersey, New York.

May 29, 30, 31.2007

A three day seminar in the Harry Partch instrumental collection with graduate student Charles Corey. The Harry Partch institute is run by Professor Dean Drummond who also is the leader of New Band located in New York. Mr Drummond inherited the instruments from Harry Partch and has restored and maintained the instrumental collection as well as developed it further with Zoomusaphones, Juststrokerods and tuned bottles, all in the just intonation systems.

Harry Partch developed instruments and composed music in the 40 and 50 on the west coast of the United States. You can get more information about the system and the instruments from the Harry Partch book " The Geneses of music" from or visit the web sites of NewBand and Harry Partch Institute.


The video contains Kjell Tore Innervik playing with the instruments, some improvisations and a fragment of the piece verse 10 from "...and on the Seventh Day Petals Fell in Petaluma" together with Charles Corey. Duration 4 minutes.

The Just Intonation system: Ratio based tunig in perfect consonant intervals based on Pythagoras perfect fifth system. JUST INTONATION is any system of tuning in which all of the intervals can be represented by ratios of whole numbers.

Composers like Harry Partch, John Cage,, George Crumb, David Lang and Lasse Thoresen has all written music for the instruments, and Newband regularly perform these pieces and commission new pieces.

The Diamond Marimba, built in 1946.

Tuned into a 43-note scale system.
Overtones 1,3,5,7,9,11, left to right upwards.
Overtones 1,3,5,7,9,11, left to right downwards and from them 1,3,5,7,9,11, left to right upwards.

Have a look at Dean Drummond`s web page for more detailed info

Notates from descant clef starting at F bellow the system (only one bar)
second row notates A, third C and so on, every bar number on left side and right side.

The middle row only contain 6 G's


The Boo II (Bamboo Marimba), bamboo tubes open in bout ends.

Picture of Kjell Tore rehearsing the verse 10 from "...and on the Seventh Day Petals Fell in Petaluma" Diamond Marimba and Boo


Bass Marimba:

A large marimba built in 1950.Notated in G-clef round red dots indicate c,e,g, and so on.

The Marimba Heroica :

Sounding Hz 22, 35, XX, XX.
Chuck playing with the big beaters.He also played with skin gloves with padding.

Cloud Chamber Bowls:

Made out of 12 gallons Pyrex carboys.

The Spoils of War:

A percussion instrument kit of shell casing, wood blocks, guiro, bass marimba bar, glass bolls, bamboo blocks and flexatones controlled by pedals. Built in 1950 by Partch

Gourd tree.

Made of Japanese temple bells mounted on gourds attached to a Eucalyptus branch.

The Quadrangularis Reversum.

(extended diamond marimba) Built in 1965 and built as an mirror of the Diamond Marimba, and on the flanks there are extra bars in alto range.

Cone Gongs:

made from airplane gasoline noses


The Mazda Marimba:

24 tunes light bulls   

The scores of Harry Partch "verse 10 from "...and on the Seventh Day Petals Fell in Petaluma" Diamond Marimba and Boo" I play a section of the piece in the end of the video.

The director of Newband and the Harry Partch institute Dean Drummond developed the Zoomoozaphone in just intonation system.


The Zoomoozaphone made by Dean Drummond.

Current version made in 1980: A tuned aluminum bar instrument with 31 tones an octave. Made in 3 and a half octave.
Scored with a / (slash) for a note under the system (C) the dots as the tones on the lines (E,G,B) two octaves.

This is the notation John Cage used for his piece for the instrument and flute. (Below)



Instruments like these are still made to compliment the instrument collection

Juststrokerods: 13 solid aluminum rods converting one octave. Played with firm handgrip dragging down the rods with raisin on the rods. Bottles filled with water also tuned in just intonation, made by Dean Drummond.

The Hydronica, bottles tuned in the Just Intonation system made by Trish Galvez.


Copyright: Kjell Tore Innervik | February 6, 2008