We frequently wonder about the birth and social origins of music. This paper, by analysing the txalaparta and similar practices in the Basque Country, has sought to show that a number of musical principles emerge in certain work rhythms. Work, play and music converge in ote jotzea and sagarra jotzea. Work implements become musical instruments in the sessions of kirikoketa, toberak and ttinbilin-ttanbalan. In the txalaparta the sole purpose is music-making, but within a context of work.