AFRICAN RENAISSANCE, INDIGENOUS AFRICAN MUSIC AND GLOBALISATION: COLLUSION OR COLLISION?
– Ndwamato G.Mugovhani, PhD
The post-apartheid South African government has been vigorously advocating for the redress of past imbalances in the arts and culture of the people of South Africa. One of the missions and visions of the new South African government has been to promote previously marginalised peoples’ arts and culture and bring them on par with those that received government backing during the apartheid dispensation. According to the post-1994 South African government, the re-assertion of people’s cultural heritage is a national imperative (Ngubane, 2003). Whereas developing countries such as South Africa, in their attempt through the concept of African Renaissance, have only just begun with the processes to reassert themselves culturally, the already developed and culturally entrenched countries have adopted the concept of “globalisation”. This article explores how the South African diverse and rich indigenous cultural heritage (particularly indigenous music) could be revived, reaffirmed and promoted to come on par with those of the other globally well-entrenched heritage (musical art) forms in the face of the world-wide movement to promote globalisation. This article highlights the collision between South African ideologies, policies and missions and those of the global world. It is argued that, while this paradigm shift of globalisation yields numerous opportunities, the realisation of the African Renaissance objective may be jeopardised.
GENDER AND SEXUALITY IN THE MUSIC OF FELA ANIKULAPO KUTI
– Oluseyi Kehinde
FelaAnikulapoKuti’s musical life spanned through a period of almost four decades, fromthe 1960s through to the 1990s. When he first started in the 1960s his brand of music”highlife” which he performed with other artists to have a Pan-Africanist content in it. Initially he sang songs that were generally not political, in his native Yoruba tongue andin English (albums like “water no get enemy” and “Alujonjonkijon”. But he soon startedto sing anti-establishment songs, which very quickly brought him in collision with bothimperialism and their local agents in power at home. This formalistic- and sociological-based paper investigates the music of FelaAnikulapoKuti in relation to gender andsexuality. It explores the numerous roles men and women have played in the development ofAfro-beat both on and off the stage. Furthermore, selected lyrics that speak on gender and sex related issues are highlighted and discussed with the view to understanding the musician’s standpoint on men, women and empowerment. Ultimately, this study will x-ray the perspectives of FelaAnikulapoKuti on gender and sexuality.
TEXTUAL FEATURES OF YORÙBÁ CHRISTIAN ÈSÀ CHANTS/SONGS
– Atinuke Idamoyibo (Mrs), PhD
In Yoruba society, almost every special occasion (worship, homage, greetings, merriment, mourning, petition, etc,) is celebrated with music performance. Some of the musical oral literature genres are Esa, Ijala, ewi, rara, ofo, ogede etc. Each of the chants has a distinct voice production associated with it, it also serves different function in Yoruba society. Systematic theoretical approach to the study of Yoruba chant/song was adopted in this study in order to strengthen the analysis of Yoruba musical heritage. Oba Láoyè (1954), Bámgbósé (1966), Abímbólá (1968), Vidal (1971) Babalolá (1976), and Olátúnjí (1984) employ the terminology ‘chanting’ to describe the performance of Yorùbá oral chant/song but their discussions were limited to the linguistic bases of the genre. This work is a new dimension into song/chant analysis. This in reality explores new chant/song pattern of production as against the conventional practice as observed by Babalolá (1960) which is the usual practice in the traditional Yoruba oral performance. The new esa is the neo-traditional form that is taken of its original context and adapted for Christian worship purposes.
LEARNING THROUGH MUSICAL ARTS: THE INTERPLAY BETWEEN MUSICAL ARTS AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT IN SHONA INDIGENOUS MILIEU -Bridget Chinourir
This paper focuses on the historical function of musical arts in the social/cognitive development of an African child with special reference to Shona children in the Shona indigenous milieu. The Shona indigenous milieu depicts Africa’s traditions, customs and beliefs embedded in musical arts, which gives a foundation of identity in creativity and performance in any child. The Shona indigenous milieu entails history of the traditional musical culture practices, which to a large extent still exist though in some modified form. The song texts in this article are a collection from historical data, which has been passed on from generation to generation by oral transmissions. Development in this context is about the social, physical, mental and religious growth and change of the Shona African boy or girl child, who is influenced by the indigenous knowledge systems. The age of the children in this article arrays from birth to the end of adolescence. The conclusion of this paper is that in any society music plays a significant role as it confirms the changes in human behaviour and development in children in the life cycle of a human being. It is also every child’s right in contemporary Shona milieu to have access to his indigenous music which affirms true identity, culture and traditions.
ORAL MUSICAL TRADITION IN ILORIN CULTURE: PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS OF BALUU MUSIC – Femi Abiodun, PhD
While oral literature is based on spoken word, oral music is sung word. This study is a musical discourse of the oral musical performance of Baluu music in Ilorin. This study using the observation and participation methods, gathered data that were analyzed from ethnomusicological perspective. Life performances of Baluu musicians for a period of six months (January-June 2010) formed the basis of the discussion here. Recordings on tapes and C.D’s were later subjected to analysis. It was discovered from the analysis given that the singing dictates the rhythmic patterns of the instrumentalists and the dancers. This was found to true in that a change of tune with a different rhythmic pattern will always demand a change in the musical accompaniment. This study established the theory that repetition is one of the basic structural features of oral musical performance. The short melodic motifs that conform to the tonal reflections of Yoruba language are produced through surrogates of the lead-drummer of the dundun musical ensemble. This study concluded that innovations and musical development are because of internal cultural dynamics. Islam as it may be is a force that stimulated any musical development or change noticed within the Baluu musical process or performance. This dynamic cultural theory best explained the immanent force that moved the music to its present status. Each performance is a canon of an individual performer. The developmental process is therefore an evolution from anonymity to authorship status.
INDIGENOUS FORMS IN CONTEMPORARY SOUTH AFRICAN CHRISTIAN CHORAL AND POPULAR MUSIC: AN APPRAISAL
– Luvuyo Dontsa
Recently there has been an upsurge for the integration and continuous inclusion of elements of African indigenous genres or the whole African music genres to the African church songs and works of the current young choral and popular music composers. These incorporate use of characteristics such as bow’s fundamental sequences, i.e., 1-11, 11-1 or 1-ii, ii-1 progressions; Amagwijo (a genres of African indigenous songs); Diviners’ songs; slogans; musical idioms; & izibongo (creative performance). The study examines the rationale behind the powerful move to include elements of indigenous genres by the African churches, earlier and current young composers and artists. These include five church songs by Church of Zion, Assemblies of God and S’gxabhayi church, five choral works by B. Tyamzashe, J. Mohapeloa, M. Ngxokolo, T. Mahlangeni and S. Ntombela. For popular music I have looked into the works of Johnny Clegg, The Jazz Ministers, Ringo Madlingozi, Phinda Mtya-Matlala, and Zwelakhe Mbuli will be the focal point. Reactions of Current African Church, popular and choral music composers and their audience’s such as choral conductors, Choristers and music enthusiasts are central to the solution of the problem.