Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Christopher Small - Musicking 1927 - 2011

Christopher Small, a New Zealand-born writer and musicologist who argued that music is above all an active ritual involving those who play and listen to it and only secondarily a matter of “black dots,” as he once called written music, died on September 7th in Sitges, Spain. He was 84.  

He coined the term 'musicking' and argued that music is a verb rather than a noun.  He wondered about the most basic questions of music: why we pick up instruments or raise our voices together in the first place and stressed that all people involved in a musical performance — the musicians, audience, roadies, publicists, cleaning crew — are part of its ritual.

Those of you who are familiar with the Dallas School of Music may remember that we call our adult student performances 'musicking' and that our original online music learning site was called MusickEd.com - both an homage to Small's work. 

Read the full New York Times article here: http://goo.gl/f6hpn