More on Corporeality

Reading further and deeper into Partch, I begin to get a deeper sense of his concerns about music. For Partch, the relationship between music and language is paramount. His preference for music that brings out the inherent drama of language has led him to construct his own 43 pitch scale capable of generating 28 different tonalities. Partch’s system, which he calls Monophony, serves to generate music with obviously much greater microtonal flexibilty and adaptability that than derived from the conventional 12-tone system. Partch has the tools to generate music that can more closely follow the pitch-line of speech and recitation. In doing so, he brings his music back to the word and thus towards true Corporeality by his definition. [1]

Following on, it is true to say that any music that emphasises human drama (or comedy or any other similar human condition) expressed either directly (through sung or spoken words) or indirectly (through sounds that emulate the patterns of speech) is Corporeal. Early jazz falls largely into this category, as does most folk and popular music.


[1] Partch, Harry Genesis Of A Music Da Capo Press 1949, 1974

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