Original Research

Echoes of orality in Christian Xhosa songs

M.M. Somniso
Literator | Vol 26, No 3 | a240 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v26i3.240 | © 2005 M.M. Somniso | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 July 2005 | Published: 31 July 2005

About the author(s)

M.M. Somniso, School of Language, Media and Communication, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa

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This article is an attempt to investigate and explore certain patterns in traditional Christian Xhosa songs as found in Xhosa music. The corpus of contemporary Xhosa music is vast, and difficult to explore properly without recognising the patterns of traditional music. In order to recognise these patterns Xhosa music in general will be discussed first – Xhosa music also as a form of art. Having done that, it will try to uncover certain elements of traditional songs in Christian Xhosa music. A comparative approach will be used to reveal the similarities between traditional and Christian songs. To compare certain aspects in a literary work does not imply attaching more significance to one element than to another. This method rather implies a way of looking beyond narrow boundaries, and to explore other spheres of human activities.


Christian Xhosa Songs; Oral Elements In Traditional Xhosa Songs; Traditional Songs


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