This chapter, and the next two, considers foundational notions in value perception and construction. The chapters form a sequence, about three closely entwined components of value: identity, authority, and performance. They suggest that local modes of value may be understood in music through the performative articulation of specific processes of identity and authority negotiation. Those processes take place where sociality intersects with deeper forms of value agreement. This chapter is about Suryaniness, which it explains as a performed sense of identity in two ways: first, through the association of Suryani ethnic spirituality with Edessa (rather than Urfa) and its language; second, in relation to a sacredness in the perceived textual and melodic origins of chant. Significance in music perception and meaning construction is related here to questions of place and space, and to a process of authentication, which is the manifestation of an internally agreed sense of originality.
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