chapter  2
14 Pages

Musical performance as a medium of value

WithTimothy D. Taylor

This chapter is concerned with understanding musical performance as a medium of value. Terence Turner’s discussion of questions of indigenous people’s struggles in the face of colonial or other sorts of contact gives urgency to such issues of the specificities of value. Socio-cultural systems are accordingly understood as the means by which peoples define the values that orient their own acts, realize these values in concrete terms through concerted social action and distribute and accumulate the value thus produced among themselves. Anthropological theorists of value posit that value needs to be stored in some way, in some sort of concrete token, like money. If musical performance is a medium of value, then it must be seen as such by everyone involved – performers and non-performers. The foregoing is pretty much all Graeber has to say on the question of performance as a medium of value.