How is musical practice connected with everyday life? Eva-Maria Houben shows that performing music as an activity-indeed, as playing-is a meaningful shift from an approach based on structural analysis. Musical practice, Eva-Maria Houben contends, can be understood as open and never finished. Such an emphasis on repetition offers freedom from perfection, productivity, and purpose, thus allowing meaning to unfold in specific situations, places, and relationships. Musical practice can become a form of life and a reality in its own right. The study includes musical examples from the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries as well as contemporary music.