This research contextualizes the measurability of African musical arts (including music,
dance, drama, poetry and costume art as an integrated whole), through the introduction of a generic evaluation system, which can be implemented outside its culture of origin as recontextualized
authenticity. An assessment system is developed, entitled, The Generic Crosscultural
Assessment Framework for African Musical Arts. The Framework illustrates that: the
cultural-educational void between African/indigenous/informal and international/formal
music education can be crossed; the development of a reliable, valid and objective evaluation
system for African musical arts assessment, which can be recognized internationally to the
satisfaction of Western and African cultures, is possible.
African musical arts has only fairly recently begun to be integrated into formal education
systems and music curricula for schools and tertiary institutions. At this stage, there is no
structured curriculum available for African musical arts in schools. The need for structuring a
Framework for contemporary African musical arts assessment, from which a curriculum
could be developed, is clear.
The contextualization of the main problem of the research, namely the measurability of
African musical arts, took place through: exploration of cultural diversity; translation
between cultures; music-cultural integration processes in assessment; cross-cultural dialogue;
the learning, teaching and grading situations in different cultures and systems and the
integration of different ‘voices’ from many disciplines. Globalization and change were
essential concepts in this research.
The choice of the research designs for this thesis was informed by Western as well as African
indigenous music philosophies. A combination of documentary research design (with
literature review, content analysis) and deconstruction theory study designs was conducted
within the qualitative paradigm. The reseach focused on intercultural understanding and
communication, as well as its emic/etic, or insider/outsider approach.
The most important aspects of the research focused, firstly, on Social Studies including
Ethnomusicology, Translation Studies, Inter-Cultural and Cross-Cultural Studies; secondly,
on Educational Studies including assessment standards, philosophies and systems; thirdly, on
African Musical Arts; and finally, on contemplating the syntheses of all above named
outcomes in relation to generic cross-cultural standards.
The emphasis of the thesis is on music-cultural integration processes in assessment of
progressive skills development.