What is art? Why is it we do not know that for sure? The problem with not knowing what art is or what its boundaries are is that we will have difficulties trying to understand what the quality of art is.
The Swedish artist Lars Wilks answers the question simply by saying that “art is what the artist says is art”. This is often seen as a typically vague statement with provocation as its prime purpose. It is, however, not very provocative at all. What it does is that it moves the focus back on the practice rather than merely looking at the product. It is through the process that the artist can discern if a given activity is art or something else. Not seeing the process, but only the product, for the ‘reader’ it can be very difficult to see the ‘art’ factor in an an work. This is all part of common knowledge and part of what we call process oriented art.
In music the product is often so specifically musical that the art factor is identified by the music factor. Our listening strategies are so accustomed to the process of listening to music that it gets to be difficult to listen to the art in music.