The Serankure and Music in Tl˘kweng, Botswana

Schöpf, Jürgen

(Intercultural Music Studies Vol.: 13)

This study is the first monograph on Batswana music. The Batswana constitute the majority population of the Republic of Botswana, Africa. The regional and ethnographic focus is on the Batl˘kwa, one of the smaller Tswana nations. The Batl˘kwa live almost exclusively in the town of Tl˘kweng close to the South African border. There are, however, considerable related groups on the South African side (in a town of the same name, for instance).
The bowed monochord Serankure (also Segaba, Segankuru, Sefinjolo, Venturo, etc.) stands at the centre of this study. The methodology employed gains substantially from the author's ability to work with acoustical phenomena. This sensitivity brings to light for the first time the musical use of a certain physical effect between string and bow, which appears to be unique the world over and had previously been neglected or misunderstood.
The musical analyses extend into the vocal music and (pipe) dances of the Batl˘kwa. At the same time they form an in-depth study of the repertoire of three related musicians of the Bagammapula group of families. Full transcriptions of video recordings (which are presented as source material on the accompanying DVD video disc) provide the basis for the analysis of the musicians' techniques of variation..


1.1 Abbreviations & signs
1.2 Setswana pronunciation & orthography
1.3 Music research in Tswana society
1.4 Field work
1.4.1 Hermeneutic circle--fieldwork theory
1.4.2 Fieldwork conditions
1.4.3 Technical aspects of the eld recordings
1.5 Transcription methods
1.5.1 Technical devices
1.5.2 Methodological implications
2 The People
2.1 Natural environment
2.1.1 Topography and climate
2.1.2 Flora and fauna
2.2 Historical overview
2.2.1 Introduction
2.2.2 Prehistory
2.2.3 Oral history until the 1820s
2.2.4 Reflecting concepts
2.2.5 The Difaqane
2.2.6 Colonisation
2.2.7 Independent churches
2.2.8 The Republic of Botswana
2.3 Cultural and socio-political patterns
2.3.1 Language
2.3.2 Sociographic overview
2.3.3 House and homestead
2.3.4 Political institutions
2.3.5 The Tswana world--a closed system
2.3.6 Identity--gender
2.3.7 Economy
2.3.8 Harvest--the first-fruits ceremony
2.3.9 Initiation rites
2.3.10 Marriage
2.3.11 Death, healing, and the supernatural
2.3.12 Material culture
2.3.13 Music in Tswana society
2.3.14 Music in modern Botswana
2.3.15 Biographies of the musicians
3 The bowed trough zither serankure
3.1 A history of the serankure
3.1.1 Historic reports
3.1.2 Speculative external sources
3.1.3 Local inventiveness
3.2 Physical description
3.2.1 The trough zither serankure
3.2.2 The bow kopana
3.2.3 Emic terminology
3.2.4 Physical description of sound
3.3 Physical function
3.3.1 Western violin-family instruments
3.3.2 The special case of serankure bowing
3.3.3 The fundamentals
3.4 Making a serankure
3.4.1 Making a trough zither serankure
3.4.2 Making a bow kopana
3.5 The future of the serankure
4 Serankure music of Tl˘kweng
4.1 Analytical method
4.1.1 Terminology & Definitions
4.1.2 Developing the method
4.2 Sethabure
4.2.1 Seka Matlapeng (ref. no. 97V328201)
4.2.2 Pae Moeketsane (ref. no. 97V611205)
4.2.3 Pae Moeketsane (ref. no. 97T728201)
4.3 Excursion: ditlhaka
4.3.1 The reed-pipe ensembles of south-western Africa
4.3.2 Terminology
4.3.3 Social implications
4.3.4 Playing technique
4.3.5 Musical structure
4.3.6 Sethabure performances of the ditlhaka
4.3.7 Summary
4.4 Gakegope--Mme oleleka baeng
4.4.1 Introduction
4.4.2 The lyrics
4.4.3 K˘ma (ref. no. 99TV829303)
4.4.4 Seka Matlapeng (ref. no. 97TV516224)
4.4.5 Pae Moeketsane (ref. no. 97V611203)
4.4.6 Summary
4.5 Kgokong mak˘r˘
4.5.1 Overview
4.5.2 Reconstructed lyrics
4.5.3 Lepatata Matlapeng (ref. no. 97VT721114)
4.5.4 Seka Matlapeng (ref. no. 99V918205)
4.5.5 Batl˘kwa ditlhaka
4.5.6 Gold miner's ditlhaka
4.5.7 Summary
4.6 Morapama
4.6.1 General observations
4.6.2 Pae Moeketsane (ref. no. 99V811107)
4.6.3 Seka Matlapeng (ref. no. 99TV918124)
4.6.4 Summary
5 Conclusion
5.1 Organology
5.2 Vocal music
5.3 Serankure music
5.4 Ditlhaka
5.5 Tone systems and comparison
5.6 Perspectives

A References
B Glossary
C Index
D Transcriptions
D.1 Sethabure: Seka Matlapeng (ref. no. 97V328201)
D.2 Sethabure: Pae Moeketsane (ref. no. 97V611205)
D.3 Sethabure: Pae Moeketsane (ref. no. 97T728201)
D.4 Gakegope: k˘ma (ref. no. 99TV829303)
D.5 Gakegope: Seka Matlapeng (ref. no. 97V516224)
D.6 Gakegope: Pae Moeketsane (ref. no. 97V611203)
D.7 Kgokong mak˘r˘: L. T. Matlapeng (ref. no. 97TV721114)
D.8 Kgokong mak˘r˘: Seka Matlapeng (ref. no. 99V918205)
D.9 Kgokong mak˘r˘: ditlhaka (Seka Matlapeng) (ref. no. 97V920110)
D.10 Morapama: Pae Moeketsane (ref. no. 99V811107)
D.11 Morapama: Seka Matlapeng (ref. no. 99V918124)
E Digital Versatile Disc -- Video (DVD)

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