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ART MUSIC COMPOSITION IN AFRICA Print E-mail

Art music (in its Western conception) was established in Africa through various colonial influences and has since become ‘indigenized’ – composed and performed by Africans in uniquely African ways – although the search for successful means of cultural mediation in composition will remain infinite.

Despite the success of many composers active in the field of art music in Africa, it remains hard to obtain scores and recordings of their works (many works being unpublished). Consequently, continent-wide networking, performances and scholarly research by Africans, on works by African composers, remain infrequent. DOMUS is therefore embarking on a project to collect the music of various art music composers in Africa in an attempt to disseminate these works, which should lead to more performances, recordings, scholarly research and the establishment of new (and the strengthening of existing) composers’ networks on the continent.

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Chris van Rhyn holds the degrees BMus, BMus (Honours) and MMus from Stellenbosch University. He worked as a school teacher in England from 2004 to 2007 before returning to South Africa to embark on postgraduate studies in 2008. He was a lecturer in Composition Studies at the University of South Africa (Pretoria) from 2009 to 2010.

Chris has twice received awards for composition studies from the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) and is a recipient of the North-West University Chancellor’s Trust Prize for Afrikaans Composition (2010).

His research had in the the past focused on the South African-born British composer Priaulx Rainier, as well as on the didactics of composition studies in open and distance learning higher education. He has presented research papers at local conferences as well as at the 2010 International Conference of the Department of Musicology at the University of the Arts in Belgrade (Serbia). Published study materials include Composition Models 1: Modal and Tonal Counterpoint (Unisa Press 2010) and 'Musicals and Operas by South African Composers’ in South African Music (edited by Marie Jorritsma, Unisa Press 2009).

Chris is currently a PhD candidate at Stellenbosch University (under Prof. Stephanus Muller’s supervision), as a participant in their African Doctoral Academy training initiative. He is also the editor of NewMusicSA: Bulletin of the International Society for Contemporary Music, South African section.

Last Updated ( Friday, 02 September 2011 )
 
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