At the invitation of DOMUS, the composer and music theorist Dr. Hannes Taljaard presented a workshop on set theory from 6-9 April 2009. Taljaard’s interest in set theory developed out of his activities as a composer. To date he is the only South African academic to have published work on set theory (see his ‘Interpreting Tonality in Three Compositions for Orchestra’ on the music of Peter Klatzow in SAMUS 24, 2004, 29-64). Over the past two years Taljaard was closely involved with two set theory analyses presented as master’s studies at Stellenbosch University on the work of the South African-born composer Priaulx Rainier. These studies by Esthea Kruger and Chris van Rhyn (on the Barbaric Dance Suite for piano and the Requiem for choir and tenor soloist, respectively), represent groundbreaking work on aspects of Rainier’s oeuvre that have not yet been the object of thorough and systematic scholarly scrutiny.

The aim of the workshop in Stellenbosch was to introduce students to the conceptual strategies of set theory as an analytical system that could provide insight into especially post-tonal musical languages. Set theory is not generally taught in South Africa, but is particularly useful for the analysis of much twentieth century and contemporary South African art music. Because of this DOMUS took the initiative to encourage this kind of analytical discourse about South African music.

During the workshop Taljaard used works by Robert Fokkens (Nine Solitudes), Hendrik Hofmeyr (‘Heimwee’ from Die Stil Avontuur), Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph (fragment from Massada), Stefans Grové ('Tussenspel 4' from Boesmanverse) and Hubert du Plessis (‘Mondendinge’ from Galgenlieder).

(April 2009)

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 31 March 2010 )
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