Magical Sounds, Visual Beauty and Experience Ritual are three qualities that Partch regards as paramount to his concept of music; indeed, he considers the very term ‘music’ in its modern iteration to be inadequate in the task of describing his art.
It’s clear that his conception of Corporeality integrates these concepts – thus it is practically impossible to regard a recorded musical performance as Corporeal, however closely it may hew to the criteria described below (Abstract vs. Corporeal and More On Corporeality).
So am I wasting my time by trying to judge recorded music in Partch’s terms? Perhaps, if I consider the full breadth of Partch’s vision. However, despite these inevitable restrictions, I think it is still valuable to extrapolate from a recording a degree of greater (or lesser) Corporeality. I just have to be mindful that I am not fully embracing Partch’s world by doing so.
By forcing me to consider music as a material that has ancient and omnipresent cultural roots, many of which have been forgotten, distorted or ignored by those of us living today, Partch, at the very least, serves to prompt me into an attempted reintegration of these fundamentals. How well I can succeed, I do not know.