Ivan Wyschnegradsky

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Microtonal composer Ivan Wyschnegradsky was a pioneer in quarter-tone music. He studied music under Nicolas Sokolov and stopped studying law around the same time he began composing. Although his first…
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Microtonal composer Ivan Wyschnegradsky was a pioneer in quarter-tone music. He studied music under Nicolas Sokolov and stopped studying law around the same time he began composing. Although his first compositions were written in the normal chromatic system, within three years he adopted the quarter-tone system and was notating 1/12-tones in 1919. The following year, he and his family emigrated from St. Petersburg to France. During the early '20s, he travelled from France to Germany a number of times, meeting Alois Hába, among others. He and Hába commissioned the building of a quarter-tone piano which was built by the decades' end. In addition to his compositions, Wyschnegradsky published a book, Manuel d'harmonie à quarts de ton, in 1932. He met up with Olivier Messiaen a few years later and continued to compose in the quarter-tone and 1/6-tone systems for decades to come. Ivan Wyschnegradsky died at the age of 86 in 1979.