Partch with his first Adapted Guitar
Anderson Creek, CA 1941

This picture apparently shows Partch with the original Adapted Guitar, possibly playing the first version of Barstow -- Eight Hitchhikers’ Inscriptions from a Highway Railing at Barstow, California. The guitar, which Partch had purchased in New York seven years earlier, was transformed in 1940 while he was living on the California coast south of Big Sur. To enable performance in just intonation, Partch attached a brass fingerboard, into which stainless steel raised frets were inserted. While Barstow is the only composition to come from Partch’s Big Sur years, it is, in it’s many versions, one of his most well known.

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