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Denny Genovese's First Justly Intoned Instruments

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Built in Honolulu Hawaii 1978

These instruments were built in response to my having read Harry Partch's book, GENESIS OF A MUSIC. In the book, Partch said that the only way to really understand what he was trying to convey, was to build and tune your own instruments. So that is what I did. I had previously built some Electric guitars, Amplifiers and Effects units as well as some custom Analog Synthesizers, but this was my first time to build acoustic instruments. The construction is a bit rough, as they were essentially prototypes for the second group of instruments that I built in Florida about ten years later.

Left to Right: 1- Melodic Kannon, Wooden Xylophone, Bass Marimba; 2- Melodic Kannon, Xylophone; 3 - Melodic Kannon, Wooden Xylophone, Bass Marimba, JI Tuned Electronic Organ;

The instruments were initially tuned Just Diatonic, while I found my way through the maize of possible tunings. They were eventually retuned to the Natural Harmonic Series, once I realized that it was to be my basic scale for advanced exploration. I learned this fact in stages, as it had been prominent in my earlier electronic music via sweeping resonant filters over rich waveforms and through combinational tones derived from ring modulation. The final deciding factor was my discovery of the Fipple Pipe, whose de facto scale is the Natural Harmonic series.

Left: Bass Marimba, Fipple Pipe, Conch Shell, Adapted Autoharp, Reed Horn, Chorus Slide Strings;
Right: Bass Hammer Harp, Harmonic Kannon, Luminum, Organ, Analog Synthesizer;

 

Left: Luminum (Tubalong); Center: Xylophone; Right: Electronic Organ and Analog Synthesizer;

 

Left: Denny Genovese playing Fipple Pipe (Bell Tree in Background);
Center: Harp of Neptune;  Right: Denny playing Melodic Kannon;

 

 


 

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