Recognizing and celebrating Xhosa traditional music in South Africa
Joseph, Dawn and Petersen, Alvin 2008, Recognizing and celebrating Xhosa traditional music in South Africa, in ANZARME 2008 : Proceedings of the XXXth Annual Conference : innovation and tradition : music education research : 3-5 October 2008, Australian and New Zealand Association for Research in Music Education, Melbourne, Vic., pp. 160-170.
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ANZARME 2008 : Proceedings of the XXXth Annual Conference : innovation and tradition : music education research : 3-5 October 2008
Australian and New Zealand Association for Research in Music Education Conference
Australian and New Zealand Association for Research in Music Education
Place of publication
The recognition and celebration of Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) as a way forward to promote democracy and inclusivity continues to be part of South Africa's nation building process. One effective platform for this to take place is through community music making as music making in Africa is a way of life. Since democracy in 1994 many initiatives were set up to explore and foster traditional music. This paper presents a brief contextualization of IKS, identity and community music making. It reports on the a Xhosa music research project (2004-2006) as an ethnographic study which is descriptive and interpretive as a holistic cultural portrait. Participants in the project included post-graduate music students, community culture bearers and academics. Only some significant aspects of the Xhose music project at the University of Fort Hare will be reported on. We contextualize the recognition and celebration of IKS within the parameters of the music and the culture of the amaMpondo within the Xhosa people. The paper specifically focuses on the ritual life of the amaMpondo. It also describes the indigenous bow instruments of the Uhadi and Umrhubhe as unique examples of South Africa's traditional music. As this initiative proved a worthy undertaking, we challenge whether such a project could strengthen local IKS elsewhere and be a pathway for tertiary institutions to engage effectively with local community music practitioners in order to prepare students effectively as holistic music educators.
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