Sunday, March 29, 2009

Harry Partch – Seventeen Lyrics of Li Po (1995)

Partch based this, one of his earliest extant works, on the texts of the 8th-century Chinese poet Li Po. Written between 1931 and 1933, The Seventeen Lyrics were composed for Intoning Voice and Partch's creation the Adapted Viola, a hybrid consisting of a cello neck grafted onto a viola's body, its open strings tuned one octave below a violin. Performing the work on this 1995 recording are tenor violinist Ted Mook and intoning voice Stephen Kalm. (allmusic)

“The Lyrics by Li Po are set to music in the manner of the most ancient of cultured musical forms. In this art, the vitality of spoken inflection is retained in the music, every syllable and inflection of the spoken expression being harmonized by the accompanying instrument. The music accompaniment, or, more properly, complement, in addition to being a harmonization, is an enhancement of the text-mood and frequently a musical elaboration of ideas expressed” (


  1. Seventh Lyrics of Lipo by the Harry Partch. He is great musician. Every time he give the grate music or this time this Seventh lipo music is great music.


  2. Li PO is one of my favorite poets. This is a real find . Thank you!