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Small, C. (1998). Musicking: The meanings of performing and listening. Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press.   
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard   Last edited by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard 11/22/23, 5:15 PM
"performance does not exist in order to present musical works, but rather, musical works exist in order to give performers something to perform."
Definition of musicking: "To music is to take part, in any capacity, in a musical performance, whether by performing, by listening, by rehearsing or practicing, by providing material for performance (what is called composing), or by dancing."

This is a concept that is "descriptive, not prescriptive."

Small claims that the questions "What is the meaning of music and What is the function of music in human life? are the wrong questions to ask, for "[t]here is no such thing as music. Music is not a thing at all but an activity, something that people do."
Citing Dalhaus (1983, 4), the "concept of 'work' and not 'event' is the cornerstone of music history."

Small elaborates: "[M]usicologists . . . ascertain the real nature and contours of musical works by recourse to original texts . . . theorists . . . discover the way in which the works are constructed as objects in themselves . . . aetheticians . . . deal with the meaning of sound objects and the reasons for their effect on a listener. All are concerned with things, with musical works."

Dalhaus, C. 1983. Foundations of Music History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.