Musiek en kulturele diversiteit in Suid-Afrika

Ludemann, Winfried (2009-12)

CITATION: Ludemann, W. 2009. Musiek en kulturele diversiteit in Suid-Afrika. Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe, 49(4):639-657.

The original publication is available at http://www.scielo.org.za/

Article

Hierdie artikel gaan uit van die mening dat die politieke versoening, wat tot die vestiging van demokrasie in Suid-Afrika gelei het, nie gepaardgegaan het met ’n ooreenkomstige en gelykwaardige versoening op die sosiale en veral kulturele terreine nie. Hierdie “onafgehandelde besigheid” gee toenemend aanleiding tot spanning op allerlei vlakke, soos die taalkwessie, plekname, interpretasie van die geskiedenis, skoolleerplanne, ens. Ook op die gebied van musiek – veral in die openbare media, die onderwys en die toedeling van fondse – is hierdie probleme merkbaar. Om die bydrae te ondersoek wat musiek kan maak tot versoening van die soort konfl ik wat potensieel met kulturele diversiteit gepaardgaan, word dit gekoppel aan die begrip menswaardigheid, gebaseer op die opvatting dat musikaliteit ’n universele kenmerk is wat met die evolusie van homo sapiens na vore gekom het. Met musiek (soos met taal) artikuleer die mens sy menswees en dus sy menswaardigheid. Met verwysing na moderne ekumeniese teologie word daar tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat ’n versoening van musikale (en by implikasie ook kulturele) diversiteit slegs op die basis van menswaardigheid en vanuit ’n houding van selfkritiek bereik kan word. Dit gaan daarom dat die ander se estetiese sienings aanvaar word sonder om jou eie sienings prys te gee. Vanuit ’n posisie van selfkritiek word dit moontlik om elkeen se reg te erken om sy eie musikale identiteit te kies terwyl die verskillende musiekstyle terselfdertyd aan kritiek onderwerp kan word. ’n Musikale (en intellektuele) middelgrond word bepleit waar die verskillende musiekstyle met mekaar in interaksie kan tree sonder om noodwendig hulle eie estetiese paradigmas te moet prysgee. Demokrasie verskaf die mees geskikte raamwerk waarbinne dit kan plaasvind. Gebrek aan kulturele versoening in Suid-Afrika, en die konfl ikpotensiaal wat dit inhou, kan die delikate ooreenkomste wat veertien jaar gelede op politieke terrein bereik is, ongedaan maak. Sodanige musikale versoening sou as ’n belangrike model kon dien vir ’n veel breër kulturele versoening.

This article takes as its point of departure the opinion that the political reconciliation that led to the establishment of democracy in South Africa was not accompanied by an equivalent reconciliation in the social and especially the cultural spheres of our society. This unfinished business is creating increased levels of tension on various levels of the social life in the South African nation, such as the vexing language question, education, confl icting interpretations of our history, place names, land reform, etc. In the sphere of music – especially in respect of school curricula, the public media and the allocation of funding – such confl ict is also noticeable. In order to investigate the contribution that could be made by music towards the resolution of confl ict resulting from cultural diversity, it is linked to the concept of human dignity. It is argued that the capacity for music, which is a universal characteristic of homo sapiens, leads to one of the forms of symbolic thinking by which humans articulate their dignity. Humans express their humanness by means of music (and, of course, language) and thus also their dignity. I am able to recognise the dignity of the other in his/her music. Drawing on ideas advanced by contemporary ecumenical theology, it is subsequently proposed that musical diversity can be addressed only by taking on an attitude of self-criticism. It is about the imperative of accepting the aesthetic views of the other without sacrifi cing one’s own. From a position of self-criticism it becomes possible to recognise everyone’s right to choose a particular musical identity while at the same time allowing the various musical styles to be subjected to critique. A musical (and intellectual) middle ground is then called for where various musical styles can interact with each other without necessarily giving up their particular aesthetic paradigms. Finally, the tension between musical diversity and democracy is thematised. It is argued that democracy provides the best framework within which musical diversity, as it is discussed in the article, can be accommodated. If cultural reconciliation is not achieved in South Africa, the delicate accord that was reached on the political level in 1994 could be in danger of unravelling. Reconciling musical diversity could provide an important model for such broader cultural reconciliation.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97487
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