Modern music: Scelsi

Scelsi continues to be a modern composer of intense interest to me. Partly this is because he uses ideas from other stimulating music: Medieval, Indian, etc. Mostly, however, it is because he was able to invent a coherent and compelling microtonal technique. To make matters more amazing, he did this virtually from scratch, after an early period of composition in which he used the idioms of his era. The result is music of great depth, power & intimacy.

A new survey, continuities & reflections (2021)

or... Selected Recordings discussion (2011)...

And these reference lists have existed here since the early 1990s:

They did not begin in HTML format, nor with the knowledge that they'd be maintained for 20+ years. Hopefully they are still of value, but I am certain there are many gaps.

Around ten years ago, I also wrote some articles on Scelsi for the San Francisco Symphony, and (perhaps) these can still make good introductions:

The first two articles were written for North American premieres.

Finally, here are some even older essays on Scelsi, which might still prove helpful to someone:

By way of disclaimer, I feel compelled to note that my ideas have progressed considerably since.

To Fondazione Isabella Scelsi

Back to Modern music page.

Todd M. McComb <>
Rewritten: 17 November 2011