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Store: Songbooks

Music from Africa

The Folk Rhythm Volume I: South African Folk, Church & Protest Songs

2004, Arranged by Matlakala Bopape, edited by Patty Cuyler.

Folk Rhythm book cover

Price: $39.99

(Includes CDR with pdf book & mp3 audio tracks, plus instructional DVD)
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Note: The Folk Rhythm I book is out of print and is now being sold ONLY AS A CDR+DVD BOXED SET. The set includes a cd-rom with the original book as a printable pdf file plus audio teaching & performanc mp3s, and an instructional DVD.

Information about the collection follows the table of contents and sample tracks, below.

  1. Acknowledgements 
  2. Introduction
  3. South African Folk Music 
    An Overview to South African Languages and a Guide to Pronunciation
  4. An Explanation of Tonic Sol-fa Notation
  5. The Polokwane Choral Society 
  6. Dithotonyana(Sotho folk song) 
  7. Fiela(Sotho wedding song)
  8. Hamba ka ncane(Xhosa folk song) 
  9. Ikhon’ i ndawo(Sotho folk song)  
  10. Ithemba lami (Zulu church chorus)
  11. Jo we(Zulu folk song) 
  12. Khotso ya morena(Sotho church chorus)
  13. Khutso(Zulu church chorus) 
  14. Lesang magwala a cheche (Xhosa struggle song)
  15. Matlakala (Sotho wedding song) 
  16. Sesi we(Sotho folk song) 
  17. Skhandamayeza (Sotho folk song)  
  18. Thina  by T. Mabaso (composed folk song)  
  19. Thina sizwe e zi mnyama(Zulu struggle song)  
  20. Umandela uth’a ihlome(Xhosa struggle song)  
  21. The South African National Anthem  
  22. Form for permission to copy songs in the book  
  23. Audio track-lists:  Performance & teaching mp3s       

About The Folk Rhythm

The result of months of collaborative work between Patty Cuyler (Village Harmony) and Matlaka Bopape (Polokwane Choral Society), The Folk Rhythm, Volume I is a choral director's dream. 16 rich, arresting songs arranged for SATB choir, accompanied by cds to guide choruses toward an "authentic" sound (and, where appropriate, dancing) style.

One of the main characteristics of South African folk and traditional music is the syncopated nature of rhythms, which often defy the measure system. An accompanying dance often adds a new rhythmic pattern to the mix, with song and dance together forming a complex and not easily defined rhythmic structure.

Because of this, most songs are best understood through careful listening and close observation if one wants to capture the essence of the performance. Recordings and video therefore accompany Folk Rhythm , to assist in this regard, as notation alone cannot adequately capture all these nuances of the rich South African folk music tradition.