This paper explores the notion of African music as a way forward to negotiate a 'space' in contemporary society. The word 'space' is used as a metaphor to explore and experiment with the dynamics of culture and hybridity. The authors view themselves as 'agents of change' and knowledgeable professionals in the teaching of African music, one based in South Africa (Johannesburg) and the other in Australia (Melbourne). They reflect on examples from their own teaching and learning experiences as they argue that the translation of 'traditional' African music can only be brought about by means of cultural dialogue, within cultures and between cultures. This paper also addresses the issues of cultural authenticity as a redefined and renegotiated space when teaching and learning African music. The authors also consider the difficulties of addressing 'difference' and 'otherness' when teaching African music, with South Africa and Australia both previously seen as outposts of the British Empire. They contend that such differences can prove to be productive and rewarding through subtle mediation and accommodation when crossing cultural borders.
Field of Research
130201 Creative Arts, Media and Communication Curriculum and Pedagogy