Original Research

Analysis of traditional Pedi religious songs for curricular application in primary school

Morakeng E.K. Lebaka
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 48, No 1 | a1822 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v48i1.1822 | © 2014 Morakeng E.K. Lebaka | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 March 2014 | Published: 08 December 2014

About the author(s)

Morakeng E.K. Lebaka, Old Testament Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

The Bapedi is an ethnic group in South Africa whose traditional music is not well documented. For this article, 31 traditional Pedi religious songs from 11 elderly Bapedi women in Sekhukhune, Limpopo Province, South Africa were collected and analysed. They were analysed using religious, musicological and contextual perspectives, and two choruses were selected. Eight Sepedi-speaking children from a school choir at Baxoxele Primary School in Soshanguve were observed whilst learning these two choruses. Repetition was used as a powerful, rhetorical and expressive device, skilfully employed to express and internalise faith and to impart dominant emotions. Informal discussions with teachers indicated that the children showed an improvement in their concentration and attitude to schoolwork. Learning these two choruses also unlocked some creative talent and improved their social skills. The joyous nature, rhythmic foundation, harmonic simplicity, and combination of intellect and emotion as well as the repetitiveness and briefness of these songs appealed to both children and adults. It was concluded that for the preservation of traditional Pedi religious music and culture there is an urgent need for the collection and documentation of traditional Pedi religious songs. In recognising their identity, such songs could contribute to the attitudes and cultural values of Sepedi-speaking children. Similar projects are suggested for the other 10 language groups in South Africa.

Analisering van tradisionele godsdienstige Pedi-liedere vir gebruik in die laerskoolkurrikulum. Die Bapedi is ’n etniese groep in Suid-Afrika wie se tradisionele musiek nie goedgedokumenteer is nie. Vir hierdie artikel is 31 tradisionele godsdienstige Pedi-liedere van 11 bejaarde Bapedi vroue in Sekhukhune, Limpopo Provinsie, Suid-Afrika, ingesamel en ontleed.Hierdie liedere is volgens godsdienstige, musiekwetenskaplike en kontekstuele perspektiewe ontleed en twee kore uit die liedere is daarna gekies. Agt Sepedi-sprekende kinders van die Baxoxele Primêre Skool in Soshanguve se skoolkoor, is waargeneem terwyl hulle hierdie tweekore aangeleer het. Herhaling is gebruik as ’n kragtige, retoriese en betekenisvolle hulpmiddel,vaardig toegepas om uitdrukking aan geloof te gee en ’n verdieping daarvan te bewerkstellig sowel as om grootliks emosie daaraan te verleen. Informele gesprekke met onderwysers het aangedui dat die kinders se konsentrasie en hulle houding teenoor skoolwerk verbeter het. Die aanleer van hierdie twee kore het ook hulle kreatiwiteitstalent ontsluit en hulle sosiale vaardighede verbeter. Die vrolike en ritmiese aard, harmoniese eenvoud, die kombinasie van intellek en emosie sowel as die herhaling en bondigheid van hierdie kore het ’n effek op kinders sowel as volwassenes gehad. Die gevolgtrekking was dat daar ’n dringende behoefte is om soortgelyke liedere te versamel en te dokumenteer met die doel om tradisionele godsdienstige Pedi-musiek en -kultuur behoue te laat bly. Deur erkenning te gee aan die aard van sulke liedere kan bygedra word tot ’n positiewe houding van Sepedi-sprekende kinders teenoorkulturele waardes. Soortgelyke projekte vir liedere van die ander 10 taalgroepe in Suid-Afrika word voorgestel.


Keywords

Pedi, traditional religious songs, ethical and cultural values, curricular application, primary school education.

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