Liberating voices: narrative strategies and style in township choral music, with specific reference to selected works by three Xhosa composers
In this article the authors argue for the close reading of South African township choral music in order to liberate the voices of a musical genre that has long been one of this country's musical silences. In this regard an analysis of selected compositions by three composers from the Eastern Cape – Tonny Vumazonke, Phillippe Mangali and Elliot ‘Doc' Mkonto – reveal a stylistic hybridity that exposes, at one level, narrative strategies unique to each composer, but underlying this, a prevailing socio-political discourse that may be said to typify township choral music as a whole. This prevailing discourse may be understood as the profound yearning amongst the people of the townships to address their far-reaching sense of loss, a call for the ‘return of Africa', and thus for a deep and long-lasting solution to the social problems of our society.
Journal of Musical Arts in Africa Vol. 2 2005: pp. 23-54