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This chapter draws on theories of value, mainly from Terence Turner and David Graeber, to argue that musical performances, and performances that are caught up in broader contexts such as festivals, rituals, or ceremonies, play important roles in realizing or reinforcing values held by those communities that engage in such performances. It defines performance as something that takes place with an audience and that is culturally and socially understood as a performance. Value is built up privately in preparations for performances (rehearsing, costume-making, instrument-making, etc.) but is only realized or consummated in the moment of performance, with the presence of and the interactions with audience members, who socially recognize the performance as this culminating moment. South African isicathamiya music serves as a case study.

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