Music and religion as a useful means of promoting unity in Bapedi society
In Bapedi society, music permeates every aspect of life. Religion is not excluded therefore there can be no authentic unity in Bapedi society without including some aspects of music and religion. The study is based on an investigation of communal music-making in the Bapedi people’s cultural context; the relationship between music and identity within their cultural context; the impact of music and religion on their morals and ethical value systems; and the relationship between music and religion as part of their social setting within their cultural context. The collection of data includes oral interviews, publications and records. Results demonstrated that music and religion which are linked with rituals, ceremonies and social functions, connect people in a deep and powerful way and have traditionally played a prominent role in promoting cohesion and unity in Bapedi society. The study has also revealed that music and religion have a positive influence on the moral life of Bapedi people. The exposition of the study has shown that in Bapedi society the association of music, religion and dance, is a common feature of musical performances. It is concluded that music and religion are the most compelling, the most powerful, and the most glorious manifestations of Bapedi cultural heritage. Also that music and religion enable Bapedi people to achieve stable and peaceful concomitance within their environment
Keywords: Bapedi music, African spirituality, Bapedi people, Religious beliefs, Taboos.