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South African Music
Popular Music
Traditional Music
Popular Music

The evolution of music in South Africa has not had a very long life span. Many of the styles and genres of music that are considered popular are still very tradition based. The genres that are much loved in certain circles have been revised and revisited until they reached what they are today. The jazz and gospel music still remain in the lists of many South Africans. Like the rest of the world, South Africa underwent all the changes in music that came throughout the twentieth century, however, the traditions and ways of life of the Africans very much affected how these new styles came to be played there.

The Gospel Movement
South African gospel music was invented in the early twentieth century when Zionist churches spread all across the country. They began to add African musical elements into the music and it resulted in gospel music. The missionary influence was a key element in the development of gospel music. Early composers drew on older, more traditional patterns and harmonies, making new kinds of music. For example, the national anthem for South Africa was first a hymn called Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika (God Bless Africa) and was written by Enoch Sontonga in 1897. Gospel music is not considered to be either traditional or pop. It is successful as both a modern and traditional type of music. Rebecca Malope, for example, was a well-known pop-gospel singer in the 1990s; her album Shwele Baba was very popular. Other artists include: Lusanda Spiritual Group, Amadodana Asa Wesile, Vuyu Mokoena and IPCC. In South Africa today, gospel music is still a best-selling genre. Many artists who are either traditional, pop-gospel or any of the other forms of gospel music regularly reach gold or platinum status.

The Evolution of Jazz
The evolution of jazz in South Africa culture is very lengthy because as it has been for many years, and probably will be for many years, jazz is a favourite all over the world. The beginning of jazz in South Africa pretty much started in the 1950s in township of Johannesburg called Sophiatown. The already well-established African musical styles combined to make a new kind of jazz called mbaqanga. This style became a widely known African-jazz and there were many artists that began to profit from it. Artists such as Miriam Makeba, Dolly Rathebe and Letta Mbulu were very well met and became extremely popular. Sophiatown was razed after the birth of mbaqanga, but this style and the cross-racial influence it had brought remained high in people’s musical preferences. Miriam Makeba gained a reputation and became a star all over the world; unfortunately, her career found it’s way outside of the country. Not that her music was not popular in South Africa, but the apartheid rule in that country left many musicians on the outside, where most were able to make a good living and to find success. Philip Tabane was one musician that was remained in South Africa to learn and develop as a musician. He is one of the most innovative musicians, blending old traditions with new and free jazz-based improvisation. The jazz movement continued throughout the years and continues today, to grow and become more full. But even today, the traditional South African sound and the jazz style mbaqanga and mixed in with modern sound and improvisation to provide a unique, individual sound that is known in Africa and all over the world.

South Africa has all sorts of people who love all sorts of different music. The difference is that most of the popular music has a traditional flair to it because of the deep roots it has in their society. In South African music, there are rappers, R&B, pop, jazz, gospel, punk and even rock. They probably even like a bunch of music that comes from others countries as well as their own. In the 2006, 12th annual South Africa Music Awards, many artists were honoured. The front-runners were Arno Carstens, Jimmy Dludlu and Judith Sephuma, who have all been up in the past and tied for 5 nominations apiece. Jimmy Dludlu is up for Best Jazz Album and Most Popular Artist of the Year, showing the African jazz is still very in. Judith Sephuma as well is an artist that is considered in the jazz, gospel, African Jazz, and African genres. Jazz music is very popular in South Africa. This is contemporary jazz, so there aren't as many traditional instruments, that's not to say that there aren't any at all. The SA Music Awards of this year were very successful in showcasing the musical diversity in South African music with high nominations for artists in the genres of rock, jazz, afro-pop, kwaito and hip-hop. The artists that fall under these categories and that have four nominations are: Karen Zoid, Andile Yenana, Malaika, Ntando, Brickz and Pro-Kid. The music in South Africa is just as varied as the music in other countries and they are just as quick as we are to give honours and respects to these artists.

Jimmy Dhudlu was nominated for
five awards at the 12th national
SA Music Awards

Music of the World- Grade 10 Band project