African Music, Power, and Being in Colonial Zimbabwe

African Music, Power, and Being in Colonial Zimbabwe

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In this new history of music in Zimbabwe, Mhoze Chikowero deftly uses African sources to interrogate the copious colonial archive, reading it as a confessional voice along and against the grain to write a complex history of music, colonialism, and African self-liberation. Chikowero's book begins in the 1890s with missionary crusades against African performative cultures and African students being inducted into mission bands, which contextualize the music of segregated urban and mining company dance halls in the 1930s, and he builds genealogies of the Chimurenga music later popularized by guerrilla artists like Dorothy Masuku, Zexie Manatsa, Thomas Mapfumo, and others in the 1970s. Chikowero shows how Africans deployed their music and indigenous knowledge systems to fight for their freedom from British colonial domination and to assert their cultural sovereignty.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 364 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 25.4mm | 29g
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 35 b&w illus.
  • 025301803X
  • 9780253018038
  • 704,044

Table of contents

Introduction: Cross-Cultural Encounters: Song, Power and Being
1. Missionary Witchcrafting African Being: Cultural Disarmament
2. Purging the "Heathen" Song, Mis/Grafting the Missionary Hymn
3. "Too Many Don'ts:" Reinforcing, Disrupting the Criminalization of African Musical Cultures
4. Architectures of Control: African Urban Re/Creation
5. The "Tribal Dance" as a Colonial Alibi: Ethnomusicology and the Tribalization of African Being
6. Chimanjemanje: Performing and Contesting Colonial Modernity
7. The Many Moods of "Skokiaan:" Criminalized Leisure, Underclass Defiance and Self-Narration
8. Usable Pasts: Crafting Madzimbabwe Through Memory, Tradition, Song
9. Cultures of Resistance: Genealogies of Chimurenga Song
10. Jane Lungile Ngwenya: A Transgenerational Conversation
Epilogue: Postcolonial Legacies: Song, Power and Knowledge Production
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Review quote

This book makes a valuable contribution to colonial and mission history, musicology, and performance studies, offering a fresh lens on the creative labor and insurgent cultural practices of Zimbabweans under colonialism. * International Journal of African Historical Studies * Chikowero interrogates the political economy of performance in Zimbabwe with a mastery of detail that is yet to be matched.9/12/16 * The Zimbabwe Herald * Chikowero has written a fantastic book worthy of wide and careful attention for years to come. * Journal of African History * African Music, Power, and Being in Colonial Zimbabwe will benefit ethnomusicologists as well as multimedia experts and general readers. Chikowero makes a tremendous contribution to African music in general and, indeed, ethnomusicology in particular. * Africa Today * Overall,the book encourages a stimulating rethinking of the role of music in colonial societies. It is therefore recommended for readers with a broad interest in African history. * American Historical Review *
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About Mhoze Chikowero

Mhoze Chikowero is Associate Professor of African History at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
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