Ethnography of Fiddle/Noise Khanyile

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Noise Khanyile & the Jo'burgm C is a Johannesburg, South Africa based ensemble produced by West Nkosi that has been critically acclaimed by scholars such as East African Standard musicologist John Storm Roberts.[1] They exhibit a sophisticated multiply layered tapestry of Zulu inspired sound on his 1989 release Art of Noise.[2] For instance, in the web-published track "Groovin' Jive No. 1"[3] combining hand clap, drums, creative percussion with horn, harmonized vocals, special effects and fiddle in a distinctively contemporary sound. Baba Wami (Tribute Song) [4] draws more explicitly upon tradition[5] Some critics dispute use of the word "tradition". For instance, John Storm Roberts praises the liner notes accompanying Noise Khayile's CD but laments an unspecified "misuse of the word traditional -- an irritating inaccuracy that seems to be spreading."

The performances have been critically distinguished between traditional (Zulu) music and a style referred to a "township jive" or simply as "jive".[6] His music, although rooted in folk tradition, is nevertheless described by some critics as "violin" rather than "fiddle".[6] This music is often played in shebeens, an alternative to the pubs which had been closed to blacks under apartheid but which some assert are experiencing a renaissance as a form of cultural resurgence.[7]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • Allingham, Rob. "Nation of Voice". 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.), World Music, Vol. 1: Africa, Europe and the Middle East, pp 638–657. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "... a man who played with most of the big names of the time. This has to rank as one of the best reissues of down-home '70s sounds so far"|,,139624,00.html%7C John Storm Roberts|All Music Guide
  2. Audio CD (December 27, 2004)|Original Release Date: 1989|Number of Discs: 1|Format: Original recording reissued, Import|Label: Globe Style UK|ASIN: B000008IZY
  6. a b
  7. Stanley-Niaah, Sonjah. "Mapping of Black Atlantic Performance Geographies: From Slave Ship to Ghetto." In Black Geographies and the Politics of Place, ed. by Katherine McKittrick and Clyde Woods, pp. 193–217. Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 2007.