Doctoral Degrees (Music)

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    Die koortjie undercommons
    (2023-11-20) Engelbrecht, Inge Alvine; Froneman, Willemien; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. Dept. of Music.
    AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die koortjie het nog altyd ’n peripheral space in die meer conventional kerkmusiek practices en discourses in die coloured kerk communities ge-occupy. Dit was hierdie marginality wat vir my problematic was en wat ek wou address. Die storie van die koortjie unfold gradually deur die tesis. Hierdie unfolding loop parallel met die narratives van die figure wat in die tesis feature, en hierdeur word issues soos history, cultural en spiritual identity op ’n unieke manier address. Consequently is die narrative van die koortjie interwoven into die tapestry van die lived experiences van hierdie belangrike figure, asook in my eie discoveries. Omdat ek ook ’n outsider of sorts is wanneer dit by die koortjie kom, ontdek die leser wat die koortjie is, wat dit entail en hoe dit function partly deur my oë asook deur die oë van die experts, en die meestal real-time documenting reinforce die notion van ’n gradual unfolding. Linguistically het die tesis vanaf die proposal stage deur ’n taal shift van Engels na Afrikaans gegaan wat eventually die boundary tussen die twee tale blur. Dus represent die tesis ’n bepaalde linguistic expression wat, nes die koortjie, nie net meer op die fringes van wat as standaard beskou word, exist nie. Moreover, is die Afrikaans wat in hierdie tesis gebruik word partly ’n reflection van die linguistic traits wat generally met coloured mense ge-associate word en is especially representative van die narratives van die “mense wat feature innie storie” (Arendse, 2021). Die structure van die tesis is deur die narratives van die respondente en my eie etnografiese beskrywings bepaal. Die eerste twee hoofstukke word ge-underscore deur die theme van die commons en undercommons (Harney & Moten, 2013) soos dit pertain tot die spaces wat die karakters involved in exist en daagliks in moet function en navigate, asook die rol wat die koortjie in hierdie spaces speel en in turn represent. In die derde hoofstuk word die development van die koortjie extend deur middel van die intergenerational connection tussen twee prominente figure in hierdie genre en in die Suid-Afrikaanse gospel industry. Die koortjie se evolution word deur die tension wat deur hierdie figure se onderskeie musical en spiritual timelines create word, gemap, tensions wat deur comparable tog contradicting sensibilities gehighlight word. Hoofstuk vier address en spotlight die issue van colouredness deur ’n quasi-conversation met die skrywer van ’n spesifieke bron waarin stereotypical commentary oor die supposed problematiese mindset en thinking van coloured mense bespreek word. Die issue van colouredness word verder op expand in hoofstuk vyf deur op die relationship tussen die koortjie en colouredness te fokus. Dit word gedoen deur die origin van die koortjie in terme van coloured kerkmusiek te bespreek, asook die notion van ownership en curatorship van die koortjie deur members van die coloured community. In hoofstuk ses word die koortjie as ’n code switching device geharness wat as die facilitator van hierdie switching tussen die physical en metaphysical inspect word. Hierdie idee van die koortjie as metaphysical code switching device word dan in hoofstuk sewe in meer detail ondersoek en word daar gekyk na hoe die act van trancing (Poloma, 2003; Becker, 2004) deur praktyke wat met die koortjie gepaardgaan, soos die koordans en ‘die trap’, teweeggebring word. Die tesis word conclude met ’n Epilogue wat die narrative van die koortjie proverbially full circle bring deur die koortjie terug na die space van die undercommons te bring. Hierdie deel serve ook as ’n voorbeeld van die possibilities nie net vir verdere navorsing in soortgelyke cultural musiek nie, maar ook vir die continued proliferation van knowledge oor die existence, practices en importance van die koortjie in Suid-Afrikaanse cultural en religious studies.
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    Hans Roosenschoon's choral music
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) Kappis, Jolene Auret; Ludemann, Winfried; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. Dept. of Music.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Hans Roosenschoon's music is performed infrequently and has not attracted much scholarly investigation. The present study is the first research project at a doctoral level that deals with Roosenschoon’s work. Through the discussion and analysis of a selection of his choral music this study endeavours to show that his work is, indeed, of paramount importance to South African art music in the European tradition. Based on Hermann Danuser’s “contextualising” method of analysis the study presents a detailed discussion of the contextual and structural aspects of the works in question. Firebowl (1980), set to the similarly titled poem by Sydney Clouts, is the first choral composition in which Roosenschoon evokes the sounds of Africa, being predated by the brass quintet Makietie (1978). It is claimed that these works are the first by a South African composer to engage in a consistent manner with the stylistic elements of African music and it challenges the narrative that African influence was first introduced into South African art music by other composers. The discussion of the sacred choral work Prayer of St Richard (1990) highlights Roosenschoon’s use of layering and stratification as stylistic devices, while his technique of manipulating predetermined tone constellations is also illustrated. The third work under discussion, Miserere (1991), shows a further development in Roosenschoon's style: compact but effective presentation of textural contrasts and the movement between consonance and dissonance characterise this work. The trilogy Kô, lat ons sing (1993) forms the centrepiece of this study. The work has three movements, Ons het 'n hys gebou, O waar is Moses and Kô, lat ons sing, which are musical settings of poetry by the renowned Adam Small. The work incorporates African and European stylistic elements as well as the sounds of the Cape. Thematic references to the music of Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the anthem Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika are shown to be present in the first movement. Tone constellations derived from Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika also characterise the haunting second movement. The third movement presents an explosion of folklike ideas and culminates in a full rendition of Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika. The following composition to form part of this study, Mbira (1994), presents yet another, highly original example of the composer’s continued engagement with African music. Here he creates a text out of the names of four African musical instruments, creating an ingenious composition that alludes to the sounds of these instruments and the music with which they are associated. Magnificat (1994), the third sacred composition in this study, presents traits similar to those of the previous two sacred works. Imitation of motivic material, layering, stratification and transformation of texture, the clever manipulation of thematic material and the continuous sway between consonance and dissonance are the work’s outstanding characteristics. Lux Aeterna (2003), shows another side of Roosenschoon's compositional style. Here he exploits the possibilities offered by progressions of tonally derived chords that are not related to each other within a tonal structure. The final work, Sky (2004), places the serene poetry of Sydney Clouts’ Slope down, Great Sky into an evocative eruption of sound, depicting Roosenschoon's predilection for playing with this element in very imaginative ways. Linking the text “in a dream of encircling, circling” from the composition Sky with the present study, the hope is expressed that this research will create a further "circling" of Hans Roosenschoon’s highly significant contribution to South African art music in the European tradition.
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    Breaking into sound: dis/locating Ntu cosmology and improvisation in South African jazz
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) Makhathini, Nduduzo; Vos, Stephanie; Muller, Stephanus; Phalafala, Uhuru; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Department of Music.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This artistic-led enquiry emerged from the premise that jazz studies exclude or, at least, do not adequately address the significance of spiritualities in South African jazz. Where spirituality is invoked, it is treated as background and not seriously engaged with. Emerging from this premise, this study argues that there is a deep connection between cosmologies and how people come to sound, including in what is known as ‘jazz’. As a scholar and an artist with a mature practice, I have come to understand jazz, in the context outlined in this study, as a process in improvisatory realms that dialogues, intimately, with cosmology. Two chapters formulate ntu cosmology as point of departure for engaging (South) African worldviews, in which concepts of wholeness and continuity form governing principles. The study shows how an understanding of ntu cosmology provides alternative lexicons for engaging South African jazz improvised musics. It suggests that improvisation could be understood as a form of ritual overlapping between physical and metaphysical planes. This process is understood as the breaking into sound, engaging with ‘elsewhere’. The contributions this study makes to jazz scholarship are located in a) theorizing the breaking into sound, b) reading the bandstand as communal and ritual space, and c) proposing divination (or the throwing of the bones) as a different way to think about improvisation. To elaborate on these perspectives the study walks in the footsteps of four seminal artists (Philip Tabane, Busi Mhlongo, Bheki Mseleku and Zim Ngqawana), with whom I have engaged in various ways: as a disciple, band member, session musician and a keen follower of the music. From a decentering point of view, the positioning of the study as an artistic-led inquiry constitutes an epistemological intervention, making it possible to argue from a musical and artistic standpoint. By advancing, through artistic practice as a primary means of knowing, the importance of the spiritual (rather than ineffable, or transcendent, or sublime), means that one approaches the issue of musical meaning (or importance) through cosmological registers. Guided by the artistic aspects of my work and that of my interlocutors, the study constructs a framework for understanding jazz improvised musics in South Africa that is cosmologically, ontologically and epistemologically conscious.
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    Heyr, himna smiður: the sacred a cappella SATB works of Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson (1938-2013)
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-12) Valsson, Bragi Þór; Lüdemann, Winfried; Berger, Martin; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Department of Music.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Very little research exists on the work of 20ᵗʰ and 21ˢᵗ-century Icelandic composers and none in particular on Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson's sacred choral music. This project aims to fill this gap by presenting analyses, performances and recordings of the majority of the composer's sacred a cappella compositions for mixed choir. The analyses attempt to answer the question whether it is possible to describe conclusively the composer's sacred choral works. To complement this, I also formed a choir for the purpose of rehearsing, performing and recording 32 of these works in two concerts in May 2022. Although it is challenging to describe Þorkell's varied compositional style, it can be said that much of his music is characterised by shifting tonal centres, frequently changing time signatures, use of ostinato and a significant emphasis on word painting. However, several pieces are straightforward songs in a key or mode that mostly follow conventional harmonic and rhythmic compositional principles. Much of Þorkell's choral repertoire is difficult for a choir to learn and requires significant planning by the conductor. In addition to the analytical findings, this project also contributes to our understanding of Þorkell's music by means of high-quality audio recordings of 32 compositions, 20 of which are first-time recordings. In this sense the project represents a contribution to what is widely known as practice-based research. The author hopes this research will be of use to future generations of conductors interested in studying and performing Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson's choral compositions.
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    Tygerberg Children's Choir: history and identity
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2021-12) Lamprecht, Dorathea Julia; Van Niekerk, Caroline; Venter, Carina; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Department of Music.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study explores the history and identity of the Tygerberg Children’s Choir (TCC) in South Africa, rooted in Afrikaner culture, and its transition to and continuation as a multicultural children’s choir. Founded in 1972, the choir and its long-time conductor, Hendrik Loock, have achieved numerous national and international accolades. Together with his wife Theresa, an accompanist, music teacher and arranger of music, Loock has been instrumental in raising the standard of school, regional, university and related choirs in the Western Cape and nationally. The dissertation uses a qualitative, holistic, single, intrinsic case study methodology to better understand TCC choir identity in the context of a drastically changed political dispensation. Drawing on archival data, non-participant observations and qualitative face to face semi-structured interviews, a reconstruction of the TCC’s identity is offered spanning 1972-2019. Identity Process Theory (IPT), as framed by Glynis Breakwell and Rusi Jaspal, provides a lens to investigate TCC group identity whilst considering social and historical contexts. As indicated for qualitative IPT work, data was analysed according to Virginia Braun and Victoria Clarke’s Thematic Analysis (TA), by applying a constructionist reflexive orientation. Conceptual preferences are informed by an idealist ontology and an integrated social constructionist/constructivist epistemology within an interpretivist worldview. This account of TCC history shows interrelated influences on processes of choir identity construction, such as cultural, geographic, socio-political and religious contexts as well as racial, language and demographic representation in the TCC, choir composition, role players and purpose intricately interwoven with the TCC’s unique choir sound, repertoire, performance style and associated artefacts. Four themes and eight sub-themes were generated from the TCC collection in the DOMUS archive holdings, ninety eight hours of non-participant observation of choir rehearsals and a transcription dataset of twenty nine interviews. The interconnected main themes indicate the influence of the conductor, adult volunteers, choristers and transformative change on TCC identity construction. The TCC has been viewed as a place of belonging for music loving children and adults and with a mutual determination for choral excellence. Success and continuity as main motivators for change and sameness and linked to the conductor’s views and personality have been suggested. Continuous financial challenges due to limited funding and of unceasing parental support and volunteerism through community service in sustaining a choral music educational cause are explored. Musically gifted choristers and their exceptional contributions in providing the choral product whilst gaining musical, educational, personal and social life skills are described. The most significant change in TCC identity is specified as becoming more representative of the country’s overall racial dispensation. Embracing diversity and multicultural enrichment and continuing social bridging whilst sustaining a dominant Afrikaner leadership core are confirmed as part of TCC identity. Accessibility is complicated by socio-economic, cultural and demographic factors which enhance exclusivity. Acceptance of challenges, acting in solving these from within their extended TCC management team and subsequently finding new meaning therein are indicated as significant coping processes in fostering this internationally rated children’s choir under one conductor for almost fifty years.