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This article describes some features and questions raised by my study of four amateur classical music groups two choirs, an orchestra and an instrument-oriented organization in Wellington, New Zealand. The study paid particular attention to the musicians, our discussions of their musical
life, the values they ascribe to their music-making and their organizations. In the small body of scholarly literature regarding amateur musicians few studies have been concerned with the singers' and instrumentalists' perspectives. This exploratory study used qualitative methods, including
focus groups, and found that the participants join music organizations primarily for the satisfaction of making music that they value. Concerts provide a raison d'tre for the organizations and a motivating factor for their members to work to their highest attainable standards. The participants
indicated that they generally regard the social significance of belonging to a music organization as less important than their music-making. Although the four organizations do not perform classical music exclusively, the study's participants base their aesthetics and the negotiation of their
relationships in their music organizations on the conventions of the classical music practices they learned initially in their youth.
The International Journal of Community Music publishes research articles, practical discussions, timely reviews, readers' notes and special issues concerning all aspects of Community Music. The editorial board is composed of leading international scholars and practitioners spanning diverse disciplines that reflect the scope of Community Music practice and theory.