Surprise Me With Beauty: the Music of Human Systems

Surprise Me With Beauty: the Music of Human Systems
Surprise Me With Beauty: the Music of Human Systems

Originally published 2001 by Metatron Press of New Jersey

Download an interim version here [PDF].

The complete, searchable book via Google Books.

Principles of Human Systems Composing:

Is the music

open to silence?

Musical scores and writings on structured improvisation. Poetry, games, mathematics, unusual and familiar sounds, and texts and concepts from varied spiritual traditions combine in multifaceted and entertaining works that invite both musicians and non-musicians to listen, create, perform, and enjoy.

“A wonderful invitation to participate in making music for musicians, interested people and educators. These scores will encourage you to sound the silenced self.”

Pauline Oliveros

“Joe Zitt’s writings and compositions are a fascinating and intensely personal synthesis of such diverse disciplines as computers and mathematics, linguistics, and Jewish mysticism. His works are fun without being mindless or ostentatious.”


Katherine Setar, Chabot College
Author, An Evolution in Listening

“Joseph Zitt’s scores lead participants into the processes of community. The thoughtfully constructed architecture of instructions invoke contributions that simultaneously challenge and support creativity. In the traditions of Pauline Oliveros, John Cage, Fluxus, and the human potential movement, Joe’s work welcomes us all into musicmaking with people.”

Thomas Bickley
Director, The Cornelius Cardew Choir

“Joe Zitt’s work is inventive, playful, and profound. I found it accessible to people of various performance and musical backgrounds, stimulating for my own work, and good fun to perform! I’d recommend it to anyone who’s wanting to facilitate zany, joy-filled, and/or meditative collaborations.”

Nancy Beckman
Gusty Winds May Exist

“A rich and continual delight: human (systems), (humane) ticklings of the Gray Code cells (oui, Hercule) shaping sounds from texts (unexpected, the is always upon us.) Zounds.”

Norman Lowrey
Drew University