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c) Music in the classical period

At the time of the Dutch occupation of the Cape (during the seventeenth century), military music was played at ceremonial occasions, and drums, trumpets and other wind instruments were used. Slave orchestras performed at the homes of wealthier families, or the children of the family entertained guests with music played on the violin, flute and harp. In Europe, the Germany of that time could boast with Johann Sebastian Bach and Georg Friederich Handel, who are counted among the world's greatest composers of all time.

During the eighteenth century particularly, the British relied on soldiers to provide public entertainment. Operas, ballet performances and operettas were frequently performed at the garrison theatre on Riebeeck square. The first Music Academy was established in Cape Town in 1826. Music masters like Pabst, Schrumpf and Letoming, particularly, performed there and played music by Mozart, Haydn and Viotti, amongst others. In Europe, composers like Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig von Beethoven were becoming known and gained worldwide fame.

d) Afrikaans folk music

You might have to refer to oral sources to underline the correct option from those in brackets:

  1. South African country music (Boeremusiek) came into being during (barn dances, cocktail parties, hunting trips).
  2. The musical instruments mainly comprised the accordion, the concertina, guitar and (banjo, piano, drums).
  3. The (toyi-toyi, swing, "vastrap") was the most popular dance of the 1940s.
  4. The "tiekiedraai" was a (slow dance, fast dance, waltz) in which couples made their turns in the space of a "tickey" (small coin the size of a current one-cent piece).

e) Modern music

Make use of oral sources again and then conduct a class discussion on the following assertions:

A person who has no music is like a chicken that has no feathers!

Music brings people together.

Change, also as far as music is concerned, cannot be halted.

What is the music of the new generation?

Let us take a look at the contribution that the different musical styles in South Africa have made to modern music.

Try to fit the different musical styles to the descriptions:

Marabi 1. It is a characteristic style of music that was developed by urban blacks during the twenties. It is a combination of Black and Western music. Cape Coloured musicians even included African-American melodies in it.
Kwela 2. African male choir music is a mixture of Zulu, Swazi, Western, Afrikaans and American sounds. It was made famous by Miriam Makeba.
Umbaqanga 3. This is the first South African musical style that has received international recognition. It is an urban musical style dating from the 1940s and played on flutes by groups of young boys particularly. More recently guitars and contrabass were added. (Mango Groove)
Mbuke 4. This is a mixture of local music and African jazz. It was influenced by Kwela, older traditional music and American jive music. It is played on electric guitars, accordions, drums and violins.

Now see whether you are able to link the descriptions in Column B with the artists/ groups in Column A:

Ladysmith Black Mambazo 1. The name of this group is Savuka. They perform a mixture of Zulu songs, mbaqanga, rock ‘n roll and dances.
Johnny Clegg 2. They sing some of the cuts on the Paul Simon Graceland album. They received a Grammy award in 1985.
Mango Groove 3. These are Malay choirs. They sing lively folk songs like: “Daar kom die Alabama!”
Cape Coons 4. This is an international group with Claire Johnson as the lead singer. Their interpretation of kwela music is world famous.

Make use of a questionnaire to determine what the learners in your class indicate as their favourite music and compile a “TOP 10” list for the class.

Role-play the development of music in South Africa. Use as many musical instruments as possible (tape recordings are welcome!). You could even make your own recordings!

Remember that you will have to consider everyone's feelings and taste and use the whole group to the advantage of all!


LEARNING OUTCOME 1: HISTORICAL ENQUIRY- The learner will be able to use enquiry skills to investigate the past and present

1.1 Access the sources

Start asking additional questions on events, artefacts, places, people. They vary in degree of difficulty.

1.2 Use the sources

Able to use page references

Know which sources (books) on specific topics contain information for an assignment / exhibition.

1.3 Communicate information from sources (reporting)

Able to explain information on a diagram, map, chart, sketch

Able to explain an event from the past orally or in writing.


a) String-: violin, banjo, guitar


d) 1. barn dances

2. banjo

3. folk-dance “vastrap”

4. fast

f) Marabi (1)

Umbaquanga (4)

Kwela (3)

Mbukei (2)

g) Ladysmith Black Mambazo (2)

Mango Groove (4)

Johny Clegg (1)

Cape Coons (3)

Questions & Answers

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Source:  OpenStax, Social sciences: history grade 5. OpenStax CNX. Sep 23, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10988/1.2
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