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Music of Southern Africa, "Zulu Song"

Traditional Music of Southern Africa, "Zulu Song"

The Zulus are a subset of the Bantu peoples who live in the southern part of Africa. They are the largest ethnic group in the Republic of South Africa. African music finds expression in the everyday life of the people probably more than in western cultures. The people take an active part in musical activities, spectators and performers sometimes indistinguishable in a social dance, ceremony or whatever the occasion might be. Songs play rolls in political organization (playing homage to a chief), social control (songs about birth and death), economics (use in cooperative labor),religion and as a history device (recounting events, educating children).

This song, "Zulu Song" begins with a non-melodic, choral recitation, with the leader speaking and the chorus answering. It develops melody as it goes on. To hear a clip of "Zulu Song", click on the "play music" button above.

"Zulu Song" On the "Africa South of the Sahara,' a field recording by Laura Boulton, et al. Folkways Records FE 4503, 1957. Provided courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (FW04503_101). Used by Permission.

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