Sonic Spaces of the Karoo

The Sacred Music of a South African Coloured Community
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Dimensions and Pages: 235 x 155 mm, 216 pp
  • EAN: 9781868145485
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 290.00

Marie Jorritsma’s book signals nothing less than a whole new departure in South African musical studies. It is the first serious attempt to account for the role of ‘coloured’ music in the country’s wider acoustic landscape. This has never been tried before. Sonic Spaces of the Karoo is written in an accessible style, it is theoretically grounded, and it is rich in ethnographic description. I highly recommend it.Veit Erlmann, University of Texas at Austin

Sonic Spaces of the Karoo is a significant contribution to the scholarly literature on both South African and world music. The community of whom the author writes will themselves be enriched by this book, and Jorritsma enhances our awarenes s of an area of South Africa’s cultural history that has been sorely neglected. This groundbreaking book
gather s together centuries of history, culture, gender issues, racial politics and the religious music of an appallingly neglec ted people of our country into one great sweep, and its appearance could not be more timely.
Christine Lucia, Extraordinary Professor, University of Stellenbosch

Sonic Spaces of the Karoo is a pioneering study of the sacred music of three coloured people’s church congregations in the rural town of Graaff-Reinet. Jorritsma’s fieldwork involves an investigation of the choruses, choir music and hymns of the Karoo region to present a history of the people’s traditional, religious and cultural identity in song.

This music is examined as part of a living archive preserved by the community in the face of a legacy of slavery and colonial as well as apartheid oppression. Jorritsma’s findings counteract a lingering stereotype that coloured music is inferior to European or African music and that coloured people should not or do not have a cultural identity.

Sonic Spaces of the Karoo seeks to eradicate that bias and articulate a more legitimate place for these people in the contemporary landscape of South Africa.

Marie Jorritsma is Senior Lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

With Temple University Press

Chapter 1. Introduction: The Challenges of Inscribing Coloured Voices
Chapter 2. Karoo People and Places
Chapter 3. Hidden Transcripts: How Hymns Reveal History
Chapter 4. Senzeni na: Interrelationships between the Music of
Mission and Independent African Church Denominations
Chapter 5. Singing the “Queen’s English”: Church Choirs in Kroonvale
Chapter 6. Mothers of the Church: Women’s Society Music and the Politics of Gender
Chapter 7. Conclusion: Reflections on Karoo Sonic Spaces

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