Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Draw a Straight Line and Follow ItThe Music and Mysticism of La Monte Young$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jeremy Grimshaw

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199740208

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199740208.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 25 March 2019

Space Exploration, Part 2

Space Exploration, Part 2

Mormon Cosmology and The Well-Tuned Piano

5 Space Exploration, Part 2
Draw a Straight Line and Follow It

Jeremy Grimshaw

Oxford University Press

This chapter uses one of Young’s most important formative influences, namely, the Mormon faith in which he was raised, to explore one of his most important works, The Well-Tuned Piano. This examination draws on observations by Erich Robert Paul, James Faulconer, and others, about the “scientistic” culture that emerges from Mormonism’s materialist cosmology; the analysis of The Well-Tuned Piano views Young’s unique tuning system, and its performative unfolding, through the narrative lens of the esoteric Mormon soteriological idea of Kolob. This chapter also considers the rhetorical tropes Young uses to describe his tuning theories—tropes emphasizing the “truth” of ratio-based intervals vs. the acoustical inferiority of equal temperament—as manifestations of the pervasive Mormon themes of apostasy and restoration. It even finds those themes in music by other composers who both work in just intonation and come from Mormon backgrounds, including James Tenney, Ervin Wilson, and others.

Keywords:   Ervin Wilson, just intonation, Mormonism, Mormon materialism, Kolob, James Tenney

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .