eBook for Kindle reader or iPad $2.99 or paperback $6.99

162 pages + glossary of Hawaiian words used

available at


– a heroic fantasy for young adults based in Hawaiian mythology

Imagine an all-ocean world where there are no continents, only occasional widely-spaced islands. Imagine demigods creating these places from the murky depths, destined to then aimlessly float in the oceanic void where experimental scenarios unfold for the demigods' amusement. And think of a small child, naked and asleep, abandoned in a misty upland tropical forest, dreaming of a hero’s quest but caught in the deities’ caprice. Such is the fate of our hero, the Boy of the title. Of course, he is awakened and finds himself among friend and foe, the golden fish, dreaded dragons, hosts of mythical creatures on an island perhaps like modern-day Hawai‘i. And what is our hero’s fate? Well, one must take the journey with him to find out.

Volume 2:


Coming soon - currently in pre-publication.

Books on which composer Tanner is currently working -

Jerré is well into the writing of three distinctly different books, tapping sources of knowledge he has gleaned from a lifetime in music and in collaborations with artist John Paul Thomas and poet/lyricist Harvey Hess. The three books, to be published as e-books, are described below.

Meanwhile, Jerré has exhausted his life-savings and is existing on a small monthly Social Security check. He is having to scrounge around for part-time jobs to meet monthly expenses. Your support at this time would give him precious time to work on these books, and other projects he has undertaken. Please go to Participate where contributions can be made. In the Comments block please let us know if you would like to receive a copy of a book-in-progress and/or if you would like occasional progress reports.

THANK YOU for your support.


On the Symphony in the 20th. Century


80% complete – currently over 200 pages; 110,000 word-count; 250 composers and their symphonies, approximately 65 composers left to cover

 Blurb from the back cover:

Were the avant-garde and Modernists successful, as they vowed to do, in killing off the symphony in the 20th century? They certainly made it hard for a large number of composers; but, no, they were not successful. In fact, the symphony thrived throughout the entire century and has entered the 21st century with more practitioners across the world than ever before. Did you know there was an impressive tradition of French symphonists stretching from Cesare Franck across the entire century composing glorious symphonies that are now largely forgotten, unperformed and unheard? Were you aware the English of the 1930s created a decade-long inflorescence of great symphonies, in sheer numbers written, unequaled before or since? What Asian country was the first to embrace symphony-composing and create the first Asian masterpieces, including works with settings of Buddhist texts? Well, that question’s pretty obvious. Here’s a toughie: the Turks are now listening to the symphonies of what generation of Turkish composers? The answers to these questions, and more, are to be found in this book. Want to listen to the symphonies covered? Most are available free on YouTube.

Excerpts from the book are appearing monthly in the Blogs section of this website. You are welcome to visit and post your comments.

Special thanks to Linda Hess for her financial support of this book project without which numerous rare recordings would not have been available for inclusion.


Hawaiianizing Opera


Written, compiled and annotated by Jerre Tanner in collaboration with Harvey Hess

In two volumes: Volume 1 – 272 pages; 66,865 words

Volume 2 – 340 pages; 85,700 words

100% complete - awaiting publication

The two volumes set the goal of composer Jerre Tanner and poet/lyricist/librettist Harvey Hess to create a new genre of opera based on Hawaiian/Polynesian culture. Beginning with the antecedents building up to the two creative artists formulating the concept, the volumes trace the efforts of this collaborative team in attempting to reach their goal. Included are opera scenarios, librettos and fragments of text of fourteen lyric theatre works they created over a thirty-year period. Included, too, are letters to and from the duo relating to the various works they were attempting to develop. Even though they were largely unsuccessful in achieving their lifetime vision, they succeeded in creating a weighty body of work, reinforcing their argument in favor of Hawaiian Opera.


On My Life in Music


Reflections on people and events in my lifetime and Reviews of concerts and recordings

75% completed (?? open-ended at this point); 215 pages, 65,000 word-count

This book is a collection of writings on the general subject of music and on the composer’s life. They range from reviews of concerts and recordings, autobiographical pieces ranging from short to long, to monographs on great musical monuments, several of which were written for presentation at the Hawaii Choral Society’s annual Hawaii International Choral Festival in Honolulu. The autobiographical pieces give an intimate glimpse into the composer’s life. Some – especially those relating to childhood experiences that led him to music – are particularly poignant, yet others are pointedly humorous. While his life was spent far from the boiling pots of the cultural capitols of the world, Tanner takes on the burning aesthetical issues of our time and brings a unique viewpoint to the discussion.