This dissertation investigates the process of translating contemporary African choir music for non-African choirs, as performed by African choirs themselves, in the Gauteng area, and mostly as part of the ‘traditional’ section of their repertoires, through the process of negotiation. The aim of this research is to contextualize relevant material and problematize the issues that arise when the music from an African choir culture is translated for non- African choirs in order for these choirs to perform this music as part of their repertoires. Issues that develop from the contextualization of the main problem of the research, namely translation as negotiation, are problematized and notions of hegemony, identity and cultural relationships are addressed and the compatibility of cultural systems within a performance context is explored. The methodology focuses on fieldwork, processing and publishing of the Choral Music from South Africa Series, a multimedia package of contemporary African choir music, for performance by non-African choirs as published by the researcher. The research is located within the theoretical framework of postcolonial studies, and concepts flowing from the study will be discussed, based on the works by prominent scholars in the field: firstly, the notion of difference, experienced as ‘otherness’, will refer to the world acclaimed work, Orientalism, by Edward Said (1978). Secondly, the notion of change, as expressed by Jean Comaroff (1985), in Body of Power Spirit of Resistance: Culture, Consciousness, and Structural Transformation, as well as thirdly, the negotiational aspect of dialogue between cultures as expressed by Bakhtin (1981) in The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays by M.M. Bakhtin, will be addressed. Fourthly, boundaries and cultural hybridity viewed by Homi Bhabha (1994) as a concept of ‘third space’ in his work The Location of Culture and lastly the impact of commerce and technology on African music with reference to Walter Benjamin (1973), in The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, as well as its significance in/for publication will be explored. The researcher argues that the translation of contemporary African music for choirs can only be brought about by means of cultural dialogue, within cultures and between cultures.
Dissertation (MMus (Music Education))--University of Pretoria, 2008.