Published works of Colin McPhee
McPhee’s A House in Bali, the chronicle of his life there, is still considered a valuable introduction to Balinese culture. His posthumously published Music in Bali was the first comprehensive analysis of Balinese music published in English.
His best-known musical work is Tabuh-Tabuhan: Toccata for Orchestra, composed and premiered in Mexico in 1936. Its title translates as “collection of percussion instruments,” and it combines Balinese and traditional Western musical elements. It is scored for Western orchestra but, in McPhee’s description, the core of the ensemble is a “‘nuclear gamelan’ composed of two pianos, celesta, xylophone, marimba, and glockenspiel,” giving it a highly percussive balance of sound. The orchestra is augmented by two Balinese gongs and cymbals. The work is in three movements: “Ostinatos,” a flute-inspired “Nocturne,” and a syncopated “Finale.” Some of the themes in it derive from Balinese folk sources.
Angkloeng gamelans in Bali. (1937?)
Balinese wajang koelit and its music. (1936?, 1981) ISBN 0404167659
Children and music in Bali. (1938?)
Club of small men : a children’s tale from Bali. (2002) ISBN 0794600743
House in Bali. (1980) ISBN 0404167667
Music in Bali: a study in form and instrumental organization in Balinese orchestral music. (1966, 1976) ISBN 0306707780
Transitions for orchestra. (1954)
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