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Two South African Ceremonial Songs

By Kaptein & Lyon

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SATB choir, solo percussion (SATB choir, solo)
Edited by Lawrence Kaptein. Arranged by Kaptein & Lyon. Octavo. Alliance Music Publications #AMP 0226. Published by Alliance Music Publications (AN.AMP-0226).

Item Number: AN.AMP-0226

Kaptein & Lyon/Kaptein.


Somagwaza and Nginani Na are folk songs that have existed for countless generationsvwithin the oral tradition and ceremonial practices of South Africa's indigenous peoples. Western performersshould therefore strive to retain as much naturalness and flexibility (ornamentation, improvisation, movement, instrumentation, etc.) appropriate to South African folk-performance practice. Feel free to transpose thesepieces as needed, utilize any voicing desired, substitute or alternate soloist(s) with tutti chorus, add or modify hand claps/movement. The possibilities are almost limitless, so feel free to experiment and have fun.

Singers should sing whichever vocal line feels most comfortable; having both male and female voices singing the same voice part at the octave will add to the folk-quality element of the pieces. A vocal production that is energized and that utilizes good air-flow is essential. Experiment singing with a wide-open mouth, forward placement, and less vibrato than used in most Western concert repertoire. Recordings of South African singing groups can be of tremendous help in getting a feel for authentic vocal timbres. Incorporating these pieces on traditional concert programs will actually compliment, not detract, from the more traditional Westernrepertoire; create a sound mosaic at concerts. Have fun with the contrasting vocal colors you create. Both Somagwaza and Nginani Na work extremely well as processionals.

Caroline Lyon
Austin, Texas

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