A hobbyist looks at Zulu and Xhosa songs

  • J.F.A. Swartz Professor of Methods of Teaching, University of Stellenbosch
Keywords: Songs, Zulu -- South Africa -- Eastern Cape, Xhosa -- South Africa -- Eastern Cape, Composers, Black -- South Africa -- Eastern Cape, School songbooks, African


My interest in Bantu songs was that of the singer. I wanted Bantu songs to sing and to teach others to sing. I have not developed the ethnologist's interest in Bantu songs. I have, in other words, not concerned myself with the folklore aspect of Bantu songs. It was development from the primitive to Bantu songs of today that intrigued me. I have, for myself, made three very interesting discoveries. The first is that the language of the Southern Bantu, particularly Xhosa which I have studied, is a wonderful language of song. I have come to regard it as second to none in this respect. I shall return to this point presently. My second discovery was the range of Bantu songs from the point of view of development, or should I say, levels of development. My third discovery follows on because it concerns the host of Bantu song-writers in the Eastern Cape, particularly. I was amazed to find so many educated Xhosas and Zulus, trying their hand at song writing.
How to Cite
Swartz, J. “A Hobbyist Looks at Zulu and Xhosa Songs”. African Music: Journal of the International Library of African Music, Vol. 1, no. 3, Nov. 1956, pp. 29-33, doi:https://doi.org/10.21504/amj.v1i3.311.