Musicking: The Meanings of Performing and Listening (Paperback)

Musicking: The Meanings of Performing and Listening By Christopher Small Cover Image
Email for price & availability


Acclaimed scholar rethinks the nature and meaning of music.

Extending the inquiry of his early groundbreaking books, Christopher Small strikes at the heart of traditional studies of Western music by asserting that music is not a thing, but rather an activity. In this new book, Small outlines a theory of what he terms "musicking," a verb that encompasses all musical activity from composing to performing to listening to a Walkman to singing in the shower.

Using Gregory Bateson's philosophy of mind and a Geertzian thick description of a typical concert in a typical symphony hall, Small demonstrates how musicking forms a ritual through which all the participants explore and celebrate the relationships that constitute their social identity. This engaging and deftly written trip through the concert hall will have readers rethinking every aspect of their musical worlds.

About the Author

CHRISTOPHER SMALL is author of Music, Society, Education (Wesleyan, 1996), Music of the Common Tongue (1987; Wesleyan, 1998), and Schoenberg (1978). Senior Lecturer at Ealing College of Higher Education in London until 1986, he lives in Sitges, Spain.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780819522573
ISBN-10: 0819522570
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Publication Date: July 31st, 1998
Pages: 238
Language: English
Series: Music/Culture