David Rycroft South Africa Collection

Stylistic continuity- musical examples for paper: Siqom' abant' abahle (we chose beautiful people).

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  • Subjects

    Zulu folksongs and dance , musical bow songs-Africa (Zulu) , ugubhu

  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    KwaPhindangene, Mahlabathini, South Africa

  • Recordist

    Rycroft, David, 1924-1997

  • Description

    This recording is a part of a collection of musical examples which Rycroft has taken from his field recordings to accompany his paper on continuity in Zulu music (Rycroft, D. 1977. 'Stylistic continuity in Zulu Town Music'. In Essays for a Humanist an Offering to Klaus Wachsmann. New York: The Town House Press, pp. 216-260). This is a dubbing of a recording made in 1964. In this track Princess Magogo plays the Zulu ugubhu musical bow. This song has three vocal voice parts, the lead part is sung by Princess Magogo, and the other two parts are sung by her son Mangosuthu Buthelezi and a number of her grandchildren. The children's and Mangosuthu's vocal parts are repetitive and cyclical. The voices enter at different points of the song, creating a polyphonic, overlapping cycle. The song is about girls choosing lovers, and is possibly adapted from the songs sung by girls at qoma courting ceremonies. The lyrics are as follows: 'We chose beautiful lovers; we chose the handsome ones! I shall go wandering mother; but where will my quest take me? The girl I would love is the one that cuts matters short! Take her boy! She is escaping' ( Rycroft, D., 1970, Zulu Swazi and Xhosa Instrumental and Vocal Music, Tevuren: Musee royal de l'Afrique centrale & Belgische Radio and Televisie).

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