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Ezra Sims

From Academic Kids

Ezra Sims (born January 16, 1928 in Birmingham, Alabama) is one of the pioneers in the field of microtonal composition. He invented a system of notation which was adopted by many microtonal composers after him, including Joseph Maneri.

His first microtonal composition was written in 1960, his last composition in quarter tones (his sixth microtonal one) was his Third Quartet (1962) after which he began to also use sixth tones, and he has worked in 72 tone equal temperament since 1970. "I seem finally to have identified and made transcribable what my ear was after all along: a set of pitches ordered in an asymmetrical scale of 18 (or 19) notes, some of them acoustically more important than others, transposable through a chromatic of 72 pitches in the octave." (1978)

He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Koussevitsky commission, and an American Academy of Arts & Letters Award. He is the cofounder of the Dinosaur-Annex New Music Ensemble.

Discography

  • Ezra Sims (1998). CRI American Masters CD 784. Originally released on CRIS SD 223 and CRI SD 377.
    • String Quartet No. 2 (1962) Boston Musica Viva
    • Elegie - nach Rilke (1976) Elsa Charlston & Boston Musica Viva
    • Third Quartet (1962) The Lenox Quartet
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