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Where does music reside within the broader category of sound? Perhaps the most revealing aspect of this question is that it is rarely asked, as the qualities that make certain subsets of sounds “musical” are so often presumed to be self-evident. Music’s omnipresence and widespread recognizability as a human activity (performance), object (inscription), and sensibility (mode of listening) can work to elevate its conceptual status above scrutiny. This entry highlights how music has been naturalized in three principal ways: as science, as art, and as performance. In relation to sound studies, the long lineage of music studies can be evaluated positively as having already accomplished much fruitful analysis. Reciprocally, sound studies has productively challenged music studies in developing new questions that do not assume a privileged status for music as a formation of sound. 

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