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THE JESSIE A N D J O H N DANZ L E C T U R E S

THE JESSIE AND JOHN DANZ LECTURES

The Human Crisis, by Julian Huxley Of Men and Galaxies, by Fred Hoyle The Challenge of Science, by George Boas Of Molecules and Men, by Francis Crick Nothing But or Something More, by Jacquetta Hawkes Abortion in a Crowded World: The Problems of Abortion with Special Reference to India, by S. Chandrasekhar World Culture and the Black Experience, by Ali A. Mazrui Energy for Tomorrow, by Philip H. Abelson Plato's Universe, by Gregory Vlastos The Nature of Biography, by Robert Gittings Darwinism and Human Affairs, by Richard D. Alexander Arms Control and SALT II, by W. K. H. Panofsky Promethean Ethics: Living with Death, Competition, and Triage, by Garrett Hardin Social Environment and Health, by Stewart.Wolf The Possible and the Actual, by Francois Jacob Facing the Threat of Nuclear Weapons, by Sidney D. Drell Symmetries, Asymmetries, and the World of Particles, by T. D. Lee The Symbolism of Habitat: An Interpretation of Landscape in the Arts, by Jay Appleton The Essence of Chaos, by Edward N. Lorenz Environmental Health Risks and Public Policy: Decision Making in Free Societies, by David V. Bates Language and Human Behavior, by Derek Bickerton The Uses of Ecology: Lake Washington and Beyond, by W. T. Edmondson

HOW MUSICAL IS MAN

JOHN

BLACKING

UNIVERSITY

OF

WASHINGTON
AND LONDON

PRESS

SEATTLE

A tape recording of Venda music, prepared by the author, is available from the publisher. Included are performances of some of the musical examples in the book, as well as additional complementary material. A descriptive listing of the items recorded accompanies the tape. (Venda Music. Recorded and edited by John Blacking. 1974. One C-60 cassette, 1-7/8 ips [0-295-75512-2]) TO ORDER, please write University of Washington Press, P.O. Box 50096, Seattle, WA 98145-50%. Copyright 1973 by the University r Second printing, 1974 First paperback edition, 1974 Sixth printing, 2000 Printed in the United States of Ameri All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Blacking, John How musical is man? u I U 4 (The John Danz lectures) 1. Musical ability. 2. Ethnomusicology. I. Title. II. Series ML3838.B6 780M 72-6710 ISBN 0-295-95338-1 (pbk.) The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information SciencesPermanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984. Excerpts from Benjamin Britten's War Requiem are reproduced by permission of Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd.; from Gustav Mahler's Ninth Symphony and the " Abschied" from Song of the Earth by permission of Universal Edition (London) Ltd.; from Mahler's Tenth Symphony by permission of G. Schirmer, 140 Strand, London WC4R1HH, and copyright 1966 by Associated Music Publishers, Inc., New York, used by permission. Examples from Deryck Cook's The Language of Music are reproduced by permission of Ocford University Press. All photographs are by the author.

To Meyer Fortes

T H E J E S S I E A N D J O H N DANZ L E C T U R E S

IN

O C T O B E R , 1 9 6 1 , M r . J o h n D a n z , a S e a t t l e pioneer, and his wife, J e s s i e D a n z , made a substantial gift to the U n i v e r -

sity of W a s h i n g t o n to establish a perpetual fund to provide i n c o m e to be used to bring to the U n i v e r s i t y of W a s h i n g t o n each y e a r ". . . distinguished scholars of national and international reputation w h o h a v e c o n c e r n e d themselves with the impact of science and p h i l o s o p h y on m a n ' s perception of a rational u n i v e r s e . " T h e fund established b y M r . and M r s . Danz is now k n o w n as the Jessie and John Danz Fund, and the s c h o l a r s b r o u g h t t o t h e U n i v e r s i t y u n d e r its p r o v i s i o n s are known as Danz Lecturers or Professors. M r . D a n z wisely left t o the B o a r d o f R e g e n t s o f the U n i versity of W a s h i n g t o n the identification of the special fields in science, philosophy, and o t h e r disciplines in which lectureships m a y be established. His major concern and interest were that the fund would e n a b l e the U n i v e r s i t y of W a s h i n g ton to bring to the campus s o m e of the truly great scholars and thinkers of the world. M r . D a n z authorized the R e g e n t s to expend a portion of the i n c o m e from the fund to p u r c h a s e special collections of b o o k s , d o c u m e n t s , and other scholarly materials needed to
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viii reinforce t h e effectiveness o f t h e extraordinary lectureships and p r o f e s s o r s h i p s . T h e t e r m s of the gift also provided for the publication a n d dissemination, w h e n this s e e m s appropriate, o f t h e l e c t u r e s g i v e n b y t h e D a n z L e c t u r e r s . Through this book, therefore, another Danz Lecturer s p e a k s to the people and scholars of t h e world, as he h a s s p o k e n t o his audiences a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f W a s h i n g t o n and in the Pacific N o r t h w e s t c o m m u n i t y .

PREFACE

T h i s is n o t a scholarly study of h u m a n musicality, so m u c h a s a n a t t e m p t t o reconcile m y experiences o f music m a k ing in different cultures. I present n e w i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t is a result of my research in A f r i c a n music, as well as s o m e facts that are familiar to a n y o n e b r o u g h t up in t h e tradition of European " a r t " m u s i c ; b u t m y conclusions and suggestions are e x p l o r a t o r y . T h e y express t h e dilemma of a m u s i c i a n w h o has b e c o m e a professional anthropologist, and it is for this reason t h a t I dedicate the b o o k t o M e y e r F o r t e s . I n 1 9 5 2 , w h e n I was devoting far m o r e time to music than to my courses in a n t h r o p o l o g y , he sent me to Paris to study e t h n o musicology under A n d r e Schaeffner during a s u m m e r v a c a tion. B u t a n o t h e r five years passed b e f o r e I b e g a n to glimpse the possibilities of an a n t h r o p o l o g y of music. E v e n after a year's intensive fieldwork, I tended to regard A f r i c a n music as s o m e t h i n g " o t h e r " ; and this attitude would be reinforced w h e n I listened to a tape of Wozzeck or s o m e of W e b e r n ' s music in my tent, or w h e n e v e r there was a p i a n o available and I could i m m e r s e m y s e l f in B a c h , or C h o p i n , or M o z a r t . I t was t h e V e n d a o f S o u t h A f r i c a w h o first b r o k e d o w n s o m e o f m y prejudices. T h e y introduced m e t o a n e w world
ix

PREFACE

of musical experience and to a deeper understanding of " m y o w n " m u s i c . I h a d b e e n b r o u g h t up to u n d e r s t a n d music as a s y s t e m of ordering sound, in which a cumulative set of rules and an increasing r a n g e of permissible sound patterns had b e e n i n v e n t e d and developed b y Europeans w h o were c o n sidered to h a v e had exceptional musical ability. By associating different " s o n i c o b j e c t s " with various personal experiences, by hearing and playing repeatedly the m u s i c of certain a p proved c o m p o s e r s , and by selective r e i n f o r c e m e n t that w a s supposed to be o b j e c t i v e l y aesthetic b u t w a s n o t unrelated to class interests, I acquired a repertoire of performing and c o m p o s i n g techniques and musical values that were as p r e dictably a c o n s e q u e n c e of my social and cultural e n v i r o n m e n t as are the musical abilities and taste of a V e n d a m a n a c o n vention o f his society. T h e c h i e f results o f nearly two y e a r s ' fieldwork a m o n g the V e n d a and o f a t t e m p t s t o a n a l y z e m y data over a period of twelve years are that I t h i n k I am beginning to understand the V e n d a s y s t e m ; I no l o n g e r understand the history and structures o f European " a r t " music as clearly as I did; and I can see no useful distinction b e tween the terms " f o l k " and " a r t " m u s i c , except a s c o m m e r cial l a b e l s . T h e V e n d a taught me that music can never be a thing in itself, and that all music is folk m u s i c , in the sense that music c a n n o t b e transmitted o r h a v e m e a n i n g without associations b e t w e e n people. D i s t i n c t i o n s b e t w e e n the surface c o m p l e x i t y of different musical styles and techniques do n o t tell us a n y thing useful about the expressive purposes and p o w e r of music, or a b o u t the intellectual organization involved in its creation. M u s i c is too deeply concerned with h u m a n feelings and experiences in society, and its patterns are t o o often generated b y surprising o u t b u r s t s o f u n c o n s c i o u s c e r e b r a tion, for it to be subject to arbitrary rules, like t h e rules of games. M a n y , i f not all, o f m u s i c ' s essential p r o c e s s e s m a y be found in t h e constitution of the h u m a n b o d y and in pat-

PREFACE

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terns o f i n t e r a c t i o n o f h u m a n bodies i n s o c i e t y . T h u s all music is structurally, as well as functionally, folk m u s i c . T h e m a k e r s o f " a r t " music are not i n n a t e l y m o r e sensitive o r cleverer t h a n " f o l k " m u s i c i a n s : the structures o f their music simply e x p r e s s , by processes similar to those in V e n d a m u s i c , the n u m e r i c a l l y larger s y s t e m s o f interaction o f folk i n their societies, t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s of a m o r e extensive division of labor, and an a c c u m u l a t e d t e c h n o l o g i c a l tradition. Literacy and the invention of n o t a t i o n are clearly i m p o r t a n t factors that m a y g e n e r a t e e x t e n d e d musical structures, but they express differences of degree, and not the difference in kind that is implied by the distinction b e t w e e n " a r t " and " f o l k " music. I h a v e limited my e x a m p l e s to the m u s i c of the V e n d a , b e c a u s e I h a v e personal experience of it and empirical data to support my s t a t e m e n t s . B u t my a r g u m e n t about music in one culture s e e m s to apply to other musical s y s t e m s that have b e e n studied by e t h n o m u s i c o l o g i s t s , and particularly to Arabic, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Indonesian "art" music. I am c o n v i n c e d that an anthropological a p p r o a c h to the study of all musical s y s t e m s m a k e s more sense of t h e m than analyses of the patterns of sound as things in t h e m selves. If my guess a b o u t the biological and social origins of music is correct, or even o n l y partly correct, it could affect a s s e s s ments o f m u s i c a l i t y and patterns o f music education. A b o v e all, it m i g h t g e n e r a t e some n e w ideas about the role of music in education, and its general role in societies w h i c h (like the V e n d a in the c o n t e x t of their traditional e c o n o m y ) are going to have m o r e leisure time as a u t o m a t i o n increases. I often wondered h o w it w a s that at my preparatory school most of the scholarships were w o n b y c h o r i s t e r s , w h o represented only a third of the school and m i s s e d m o r e than a third of the classes b e c a u s e of sung services and choir practice. W h e n I lived with the V e n d a , I b e g a n to understand h o w music can b e c o m e a n intricate part o f the development o f m i n d , b o d y ,

xii and h a r m o n i o u s

PREFACE social relationships. T h e s e ideas are, o f

c o u r s e , older than the writings o f B o e t h i u s a n d P l a t o o n m u s i c ; b u t I h o p e that my o w n experiences m a y add a fresh perspective to a perennial p r o b l e m . I am deeply grateful to t h e B o a r d of R e g e n t s of t h e U n i versity o f W a s h i n g t o n , w h o s e invitation t o deliver the J o h n D a n z Lectures has given m e t h e opportunity t o t h i n k aloud and s u m m a r i z e some of my findings on A f r i c a n music. I t h a n k Robert Kauffman, w h o originally suggested that I might c o m e , a n d W i l l i a m B e r g s m a , R o b e r t Garfias, and m a n y o t h e r s , w h o helped me to spend a v e r y h a p p y and stimulating m o n t h in S e a t t l e . In particular, I t h a n k N a o m i Pascal for her e n t h u siasm and advice in preparing the lectures for publication, and Cyril Ehrlich for reading the m a n u s c r i p t and m a k i n g m a n y useful c o m m e n t s ; but I t a k e full responsibility for any deficiencies in the final product. I am c o n v i n c e d that a n y creative effort is the s y n t h e s i s of an individual's r e s p o n s e s to all the g o o d things that o t h e r s h a v e given h i m ; and so these b r i e f a c k n o w l e d g m e n t s represent only a fraction of the gratitude I o w e to all t h o s e w h o h a v e helped me to appreciate and u n d e r s t a n d music.

CONTENTS Humanly Organized Sound Music in Society and Culture Culture and Society in Music Soundly Organized Humanity 3 32 54 89

H O W MUSICAL IS MAN?

Humanly Organized Sound


ETHNOMUSICOLOGY is a comparatively new word w h i c h is widely used to refer to the study of the different musical s y s t e m s of the world. Its seven syllables do not give it any aesthetic a d v a n t a g e o v e r t h e p e n t a s y l l a b l e " m u s i c o l o g y , " b u t a t least they m a y r e m i n d u s that the people o f m a n y so-called " p r i m i t i v e " cultures used s e v e n - t o n e scales and h a r m o n y long b e f o r e t h e y h e a r d t h e music o f W e s t e r n Europe. P e r h a p s we need a c u m b e r s o m e w o r d to restore the b a l a n c e to a world of m u s i c that t h r e a t e n s to fly up i n t o clouds of elitism. W e need t o r e m e m b e r t h a t i n most c o n s e r v a t o i r e s t h e y teach o n l y o n e particular kind o f ethnic m u s i c , and t h a t m u s i c o l o g y is really an e t h n i c m u s i c o l o g y . A S c h o o l of M u s i c such a s that a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f W a s h i n g t o n , w h i c h e s t a b lishes a s u b d e p a r t m e n t of E t h n o m u s i c o l o g y , E t h n i c M u s i c , or B l a c k M u s i c , h a s t a k e n the first step toward recognizing its role in t o m o r r o w ' s world of music. It has implicitly redefined its M u s i c m o r e m o d e s t l y , as a s y s t e m of musical t h e o r y and practice that emerged and developed during a certain period o f E u r o p e a n h i s t o r y . M o r e i m p o r t a n t than a n y arbitrary, e t h n o c e n t r i c divisions b e t w e e n M u s i c and Ethnic M u s i c , o r b e t w e e n A r t M u s i c and

HOW

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MAN?

Folk M u s i c , are the distinctions that different cultures and social groups m a k e b e t w e e n music and n o n m u s i c . In the long run, i t i s t h e activities o f M a n the M u s i c M a k e r that are o f m o r e interest and c o n s e q u e n c e to h u m a n i t y t h a n the particular musical a c h i e v e m e n t s of W e s t e r n m a n . If, for e x a m p l e , all m e m b e r s of an African s o c i e t y are able to p e r f o r m and listen intelligently to their o w n indigenous m u s i c , and if this unwritten m u s i c , w h e n analyzed in its social and cultural c o n text, c a n be s h o w n to h a v e a similar range of effects on people and to be b a s e d on intellectual and musical processes that are found in the so-called " a r t " music of Europe, we must a s k w h y apparently general musical abilities should be restricted to a c h o s e n few in societies supposed to be culturally m o r e advanced. D o e s cultural development represent a real a d v a n c e in h u m a n sensitivity and technical ability, or is it chiefly a diversion for elites a n d a w e a p o n of class exploitat i o n ? M u s t the majority be m a d e " u n m u s i c a l " so that a few m a y b e c o m e more " m u s i c a l " ? R e s e a r c h in e t h n o m u s i c o l o g y h a s expanded our k n o w l e d g e of the different musical s y s t e m s of the world, b u t it has n o t yet brought about the reassessment of human musicality which this n e w k n o w l e d g e demands. E t h n o m u s i c o l o g y has the p o w e r to create a revolution in the world of music and music education, if it follows the implications of its discoveries and develops as a m e t h o d , and n o t m e r e l y an area, of study. I believe that e t h n o m u s i c o l o g y should be m o r e than a b r a n c h o f orthodox m u s i c o l o g y concerned with " e x o t i c " o r " f o l k " m u s i c : i t could pioneer n e w w a y s o f analyzing music and music history. C u r r e n t l y recognized divisions between A r t M u s i c and Folk M u s i c are inadequate and misleading as conceptual tools. T h e y are neither meaningful n o r accurate as indices of musical differences; at best, they m e r e l y define the interests and activities of different social groups. T h e y express the s a m e outlook as the irregular v e r b , "I play m u s i c ; you are a folk singer; he m a k e s a horrible n o i s e . " We need to

HUMANLY ORGANIZED SOUND

k n o w w h a t sounds and w h a t kinds of b e h a v i o r different societies have c h o s e n to call " m u s i c a l " ; and until we k n o w m o r e about this we cannot b e g i n to a n s w e r the question, " H o w musical i s m a n ? " If studies in the p s y c h o l o g y of music and tests of musicality have failed to reach a g r e e m e n t on the nature of musicality, it is p r o b a b l y because t h e y h a v e b e e n almost exclusively ethnocentric. T h u s , the contradictions that exist b e t w e e n the different schools o f t h o u g h t m a y b e artifacts o f their e t h n o centricity. W h e n the G e s t a l t school insists that musical talent is m o r e t h a n a set of specific attributes dependent upon sensory capacities, it is right; b u t only partly right, b e c a u s e its whole does n o t e x t e n d into the culture of which the music is a part. W h e n opponents of the G e s t a l t school attach prime importance to s e n s o r y capacities, they are also right, b e c a u s e without certain specific capacities music could neither be perceived n o r performed. But their tests, like t h e theories on which they are based, are also of limited value and are hardly m o r e o b j e c t i v e than those which m a y seem to be less scientific. P a r a d o x i c a l l y , their laudable aim to be c o n t e x t - f r e e and objective fails precisely b e c a u s e they minimize t h e i m p o r t a n c e of cultural experience in t h e selection and d e v e l o p m e n t of sensory capacities. For i n s t a n c e , a test of musical pitch based on the sounds of a G e n e r a l R a d i o b e a t- f r e q uency oscillator m a y seem to be m o r e scientific t h a n one based on culturally familiar t i m b r e s , b e c a u s e the intensity and duration of the sounds can be e x a c t l y controlled. B u t the results of such a test could in fact represent a distortion of the truth, b e c a u s e the s u b j e c t s ' perception m a y be t h r o w n off b a l a n c e by the unfamiliar medium. O n e e x a m p l e o f the e t h n o c e n t r i c i s m o f all the musical tests that I h a v e so far encountered will serve as a general criticism, and also illustrate w h y we m u s t b r o a d e n our field of investigation if we are to find out what capacities are involved in m u si cal i ty . Carl Seashore's Measures of Musical

HOW MUSICAL IS

MAN?

Talents were the first standardized tests of musical ability to b e published, i n 1 9 1 9 ; and although they h a v e b e e n criticized, refined, and elaborated b o t h b y S e a s h o r e h i m s e l f and b y m a n y other w o r k e r s , testing procedures h a v e n o t changed radically. T h e basis o f t h e S e a s h o r e tests i s discrimination o f s o m e k i n d . N o w , b e c a u s e sensory discrimination is developed in culture, people m a y fail to express any distinction b e t w e e n musical intervals w h i c h t h e y can h e a r , b u t w h i c h h a v e n o significance in their musical s y s t e m . S i m i l a r l y , people w h o use o n l y four or five basic color terms m a y be able to distinguish b e t w e e n finer shades of color even t h o u g h t h e y m a y not k n o w the special terms the manufacturers h a v e invented in order to sell the n e w s e a s o n ' s clothes. I lived for nearly two years in a rural A f r i c a n s o c i e t y , and I studied the developm e n t and expression of its m e m b e r s ' musical ability in the c o n t e x t of their social and cultural experience. M u s i c plays a very important part in the life of the V e n d a of the N o r t h e r n T r a n s v a a l , and even white settlers w h o suffer from the dem e n t e d logic of apartheid readily admit that t h e V e n d a are very musical people. But w h e n confronted w i t h the S e a s h o r e tests of musical talent, an outstanding V e n d a musician might well appear to be a t o n e - d e a f musical m o r o n . B e c a u s e his perception of sound is basically h a r m o n i c , he m i g h t declare that two intervals a fourth or a fifth apart w e r e the s a m e , and that there was no difference b e t w e e n t w o apparently different patterns o f m e l o d y (see Example 2 ) . T e s t s o f timbre and loudness would be irrelevant outside the social c o n t e x t of sound, and in any c a s e t h e sound of the oscillator would p r o b a b l y turn him off i n s t a n t l y : since it is not sound made by a h u m a n being, it is n o t music. T e s t s of musical ability are clearly relevant only to the cultures w h o s e musical s y s t e m s are similar to t h a t of the tester. But I would ask further q u e s t i o n s : H o w useful are musical tests even within the cultural tradition in which they are set? W h a t do the tests test, and h o w far is it related to musical

HUMANLY ORGANIZED SOUND

ability? H o w musical is the ability that finds its expression in musical c o m p o s i t i o n or p e r f o r m a n c e , and under what conditions can i t e m e r g e ? W e c a n n o t a n s w e r the question, " H o w musical i s m a n ? " until w e k n o w w h a t features o f h u m a n b e havior, i f a n y , are peculiar t o music. W e talk freely o f musical genius, b u t we do n o t k n o w what qualities of genius are restricted to music and w h e t h e r or n o t they m i g h t find e x p r e s sion in a n o t h e r m e d i u m . N o r do we k n o w to w h a t e x t e n t these qualities m a y be latent in all m e n . It m a y well be that the social and cultural inhibitions that prevent the flowering of musical genius are m o r e significant than any individual ability that m a y s e e m to p r o m o t e it. T h e question, " H o w musical is m a n ? " is related to the m o r e general questions, " W h a t i s the nature o f m a n ? " and, " W h a t limits are there to his cultural d e v e l o p m e n t ? " It is part of a series of questions that we must a s k about m a n ' s past and present if we are to do a n y t h i n g m o r e than s t u m b l e blindly forward into the future. A l t h o u g h I h a v e no final a n s w e r to the question posed by the title of the b o o k , I h o p e to show in the first three chapters h o w research in e t h n o m u s i c o l o g y m a y resolve m o s t of t h e p r o b l e m s , and, in the fourth, w h y the issue m a y be i m p o r t a n t for the future of h u m a n i t y . T h e r e is so m u c h music in the world that it is r e a s o n a b l e to suppose that music, like language and possibly religion, is a speciesspecific trait of m a n . Essential physiological and cognitive processes that g e n e r a t e musical composition and p e r f o r m ance m a y e v e n be genetically inherited, and therefore present in almost every h u m a n being. An understanding of these and other processes involved in the production of music m a y provide us with evidence that m e n are m o r e r e m a r k a b l e and capable creatures than m o s t societies ever allow t h e m to b e . T h i s is not the fault of culture itself, b u t the fault of m a n , w h o m i s t a k e s the m e a n s of culture for the end, and so lives for culture and n o t beyond culture. C o n s i d e r the contradictions b e t w e e n theory and practice in

HOW MUSICAL IS

MAN?

the m a t t e r o f m u s i c a l i t y i n t h e kind o f b o u r g e o i s e n v i r o n m e n t in w h i c h I w a s raised and seemed to acquire a degree of musical c o m p e t e n c e . ( I s a y " s e e m e d , " b e c a u s e a n essential point o f m y a r g u m e n t i s that w e d o n o t k n o w e x a c t l y w h a t m u s i c a l c o m p e t e n c e is or h o w it is acquired.) M u s i c is played while we eat and try to t a l k ; it is played b e t w e e n films and at the t h e a t e r ; it is played as we sit in crowded airport l o u n g e s , and o m i n o u s l y as we wait in t h e p l a n e to t a k e off; it is played all day long on the radio; and even in c h u r c h few organists allow m o m e n t s o f silence t o intervene b e t w e e n different stages o f t h e ritual. " M y " society claims t h a t o n l y a limited n u m b e r of people are musical, and yet it b e h a v e s as if all people possessed the b a s i c capacity w i t h o u t w h i c h no musical tradition can e x i s t t h e capacity to listen to and distinguish patterns o f sound. T h e m a k e r s o f m o s t films and television serials hope to appeal to large and varied audiences; and s o , w h e n t h e y add incidental music to t h e dialogue and action, t h e y implicitly a s s u m e that audiences c a n discern its patterns and respond to its e m o t i o n a l appeal, and that t h e y will hear and understand it in the w a y s that its c o m p o s e r intended. T h e y assume that music is a form of c o m m u n i c a t i o n , and that in a c o m m o n cultural c o n t e x t specific musical s e q u e n c e s can e v o k e feelings that are fearful, apprehensive, p a s s i o n a t e , patriotic, religious, s p o o k y , and so on. T h e film m a k e r s m a y n o t b e aware o f the grounds for their a s s u m p t i o n s ; but w e c a n b e sure that, i f e x p e r i e n c e had proved t h e m wrong, t h e y would h a v e rejected all incidental and m o o d music as u n n e c e s s a r y . Instead, t h e y seem to h a v e s h o w n increasing confidence in their audiences' musicality by a b a n d o n i n g continual b a c k g r o u n d music in favor of m o r e selective heightening of the drama. T h i s m a y be o n l y a response t o the pressures o f m u s i c i a n s ' u n i o n s ; b u t , even i f this were s o , film m a k e r s c o n t i n u e to c o m m i s s i o n c o m p o s e r s of m u s i c , at considerable e x t r a expense. It is interesting that these a s s u m p t i o n s should b e made b y m e n and w o m e n w h o s e

HUMANLY ORGANIZED SOUND

attitudes to art and financial profit often contradict t h e m . A producer's training in W e s t e r n E u r o p e a n culture m u s t h a v e taught h i m that not all people are musical, and t h a t s o m e are more musical than others. B u t his k n o w l e d g e and experience of life lead h i m u n c o n s c i o u s l y to reject this t h e o r y . Capitalist dogma tells h i m that only a c h o s e n few are musical, b u t capitalist experience reminds h i m that The Sound of Music was one of t h e biggest box-office draws of all time. O n e explanation o f this paradox c o m e s i m m e d i a t e l y t o mind. In m a n y industrial societies, merit is generally judged according to signs of i m m e d i a t e productivity and profits, and postulated usefulness, within t h e boundaries of a given s y s tem. Latent ability is rarely recognized or nurtured, unless its bearer b e l o n g s to the right social class or happens to s h o w evidence of w h a t people h a v e learned to regard as talent. T h u s , children are judged to be musical or unmusical on the basis o f their ability t o p e r f o r m music. A n d yet t h e v e r y e x istence of a professional performer, as well as his n e c e s s a r y financial support, depends on listeners w h o in o n e important respect m u s t b e n o less musically proficient than h e is. T h e y must be able to distinguish and interrelate different patterns of sound. I am a w a r e that m a n y audiences b e f o r e and since t h e c o m position of Haydn's Surprise Symphony have not listened attentively to music, and that, in a society w h i c h h a s invented n o t a t i o n , music could be h a n d e d d o w n by a h e r e d i t a r y elite without a n y need for listeners. B u t if we t a k e a world view of m u s i c , and if we consider social situations in musical traditions that h a v e no n o t a t i o n , it is clear that t h e creation and p e r f o r m a n c e of m o s t music is generated first and foremost by the h u m a n capacity to discover patterns of sound and to identify t h e m o n subsequent o c c a s i o n s . W i t h o u t biological processes of aural perception, and w i t h o u t cultural a g r e e m e n t a m o n g at least s o m e h u m a n b e i n g s on w h a t is perceived, there c a n b e n e i t h e r music n o r musical c o m m u n i c a t i o n .

10

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T h e i m p o r t a n c e o f creative listening i s too often ignored i n discussions of musical a b i l i t y , and y e t it is as fundamental to music as it is to l a n g u a g e . T h e i n t e r e s t i n g thing about child prodigies is not so m u c h that s o m e children are b o r n with apparently exceptional gifts, b u t that a child c a n respond to the organized sounds o f m u s i c b e f o r e h e h a s b e e n taught t o recognize t h e m . W e k n o w , t o o , t h a t children w h o are n o t prodigies m a y b e equally responsive, though t h e y m a y n o t relate to music in a positive w a y and s e e k to reproduce their experience. In societies w h e r e m u s i c is n o t written d o w n , i n f o r m e d and a c c u r a t e listening is as i m p o r t a n t and as m u c h a m e a s u r e of musical ability as is p e r f o r m a n c e , b e c a u s e it is t h e o n l y m e a n s of ensuring continuity of the musical tradition. M u s i c is a product o f t h e b e h a v i o r o f h u m a n groups, w h e t h e r formal o r i n f o r m a l : it is h u m a n l y organized sound. A n d , although different societies tend to h a v e different ideas a b o u t w h a t t h e y regard as music, all definitions are b a s e d on s o m e c o n s e n s u s o f opinion about t h e principles o n w h i c h the sounds o f m u s i c should b e organized. N o s u c h c o n s e n s u s c a n exist until there is s o m e c o m m o n g r o u n d of e x p e r i e n c e , and unless different people are able to h e a r and recognize patterns in the sounds that reach their ears. I n s o f a r as m u s i c is a cultural tradition that c a n be shared and t r a n s m i t t e d , it c a n n o t exist unless at least s o m e h u m a n b e i n g s p o s s e s s , or h a v e developed, a c a p a c i t y for structured listening. M u s i c a l p e r f o r m a n c e , as distinct from the production of n o i s e , is i n c o n c e i v a b l e without the perception of order in sound. I f m y emphasis o n the p r i m a c y o f listening m a y seem too farfetched, consider w h a t would happen even to a tradition of written m u s i c i f m e r e p e r f o r m a n c e w e r e regarded a s the criterion of musical ability. M u s i c i a n s k n o w that it is possible to get a w a y with a b a d or inaccurate p e r f o r m a n c e with an audience t h a t l o o k s b u t does n o t l i s t e n ; and e v e n listening

HUMANLY ORGANIZED SOUND

11

audiences c a n be trained to accept g r o s s deviations from f a miliar scores of C h o p i n or B e e t h o v e n , w h i c h w e r e at first currently f a s h i o n a b l e b u t later b e c a m e part of a pianistic tradition. T h e c o n t i n u i t y o f m u s i c depends a s m u c h o n t h e dem a n d s of critical listeners as on a supply of p e r f o r m e r s . W h e n I s a y t h a t music c a n n o t exist without the perception of order in the r e a l m of sound, I am n o t arguing that s o m e kind o f t h e o r y o f music m u s t precede musical c o m p o s i t i o n and p e r f o r m a n c e : this would o b v i o u s l y b e untrue o f m o s t great classical c o m p o s i t i o n s and o f t h e w o r k o f so-called " f o l k " m u s i c i a n s . I am suggesting that a perception of sonic order, w h e t h e r it be i n n a t e or learned, or b o t h , m u s t be in the mind b e f o r e it emerges as music. I deliberately use the term " s o n i c o r d e r " and stress experiences of e x t e r n a l listening b e c a u s e I w a n t to emphasize that a n y a s s e s s m e n t o f m a n ' s musicality must b e b a s e d o n descriptions of a distinctive and limited field of h u m a n b e havior w h i c h we will provisionally call " m u s i c a l . " S o n i c order m a y be created incidentally as a result of principles of o r ganization t h a t are n o n m u s i c a l or e x t r a m u s i c a l , such as the selection of equidistantly spaced h o l e s on a flute or frets on a stringed i n s t r u m e n t . Similarly, an apparent lack of sonic order m a y e x p r e s s ordered a r r a n g e m e n t s o f n u m b e r s , people, m a t h e m a t i c a l f o r m u l a e , o r a n y e l e m e n t s that c a n b e transformed into sound, such as t h e application of a sine curve to an electronic m a c h i n e . If a c o m p o s e r tells me that I m u s t not expect to h e a r any order " i n t h e n o t e s , " but that I m a y o b s e r v e it in patterns of circles and cones t h a t are given to p e r f o r m e r s , or in n u m b e r s that are fed into a m a c h i n e , I m a y prefer to call the noise r e actionary m a g i c rather than avant-garde m u s i c ; b u t I c a n n o t exclude i t from any estimation o f h u m a n m u s i c a l i t y , even though it p r o b a b l y does n o t b e l o n g to the area of b e h a v i o r that includes t h e m u s i c o f the B u s h m e n , the B e m b a , the B a l i n e s e , B a c h , B e e t h o v e n , and B a r t o k . It is h u m a n l y organized

12

HOW MUSICAL IS MAN?

sound, intended for o t h e r h u m a n ears and p o s s i b l y enjoyed b y t h e c o m p o s e r s ' friends, and thus concerned w i t h c o m m u nication and relationships b e t w e e n people. T h i s process of producing musical sound is n o t as m o d e r n or sophisticated as its creators might c l a i m : it is simply an e x t e n s i o n of the general principle that music should express a s p e c t s o f h u m a n organization o r h u m a n l y conditioned perc e p t i o n s of " n a t u r a l " organization. I observed a similar p r o c ess i n Z a m b i a i n 1 9 6 1 . A m o n g the N s e n g a o f the P e t a u k e district, b o y s play small kalimba mbiras as a diversion w h e n t h e y are walking or sitting alone. A n a l y s i s of the tunes they play reveals relationships b e t w e e n the patterns of m o v e m e n t of the left and right t h u m b s , the patterns of r h y t h m with w h i c h they pluck the " k e y s , " and the patterned a r r a n g e m e n t o f the " k e y b o a r d " i t s e l f (see Figure 1 ) . T h e tunes d o n o t sound like other N s e n g a music, b u t the two t h u m b s perform typically Nsenga polyrhythms, which in other contexts would be performed by m o r e than one player. A similar ins t r u m e n t called the ndimba h a s a different " k e y b o a r d " m o r e suited to melodic a c c o m p a n i m e n t than to patterned doodling. T h e m e n w h o play this instrument are usually public entertainers, w h o sing with or to large audiences. T h o u g h their music often sounds simpler than that which the b o y s play, it is in fact m o r e musical in construction, since the patterned relationship between t h u m b m o v e m e n t and " k e y b o a r d " is subordinate to the requirements of a song, with words and a form that allow others to sing with the instrument. S o m e of the b o y s ' tunes m a y b e m o r e experimental and avant-garde, but they do not concern m a n y people, since they lack a quality the N s e n g a seem to desire of their music, n a m e l y , the power to bring people together in b r o t h e r h o o d . It is possible to give m o r e than one analysis of a n y piece of music, and an enormous a m o u n t of print is devoted to doing just this. But it ought to be possible to produce exact analyses that indicate where musical and extramusical proc-

HUMANLY ORGANIZED SOUND


Transcriptions of three Nsenga melodies for kalimba

13

Layout of the "keys" of a 14-note kalimba (A) and a 14-note niimba (B). (i): Approximate pitches of the scales most commonly used (transposed), (ii): Numbering of "keys" from left to right of the "keyboard." (iii): "Keys" numbered symmetrically according to their use in contrary motion by the right and left thumbs. Shaded "keys" and underlined numbers above and below the music staff indicate pitches in the upper manual of the "keyboard."

1 . Comparison of melodies and "keyboards" of kalimba and ndimba mbiras, played by the Nsenga of Petauke, Zambia, illustrating the cultural and physical origins of musical sound. FIGURE

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HOW MUSICAL IS

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Rhythmic foundations of kalimba melodies, as revealed by analyses of parts played by left and right thumbs

FIGURE 1

continued

HUMANLY ORGANIZED SOUND

15

Analysis of ndimba melody

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H O W MUSICAL IS

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HUMANLY ORGANIZED SOUND

17

esses are e m p l o y e d , and precisely w h a t t h e y are a n d w h y t h e y were used. A t some level o f analysis, all musical beh a v i o r is structured, w h e t h e r in relation to b i o l o g i c a l , p s y c h o logical, sociological, cultural, or purely musical p r o c e s s e s ; and it is t h e t a s k of the e t h n o m u s i c o l o g i s t to identify all processes sound. Figure 2 s h o w s a m u s i c a l p a s s a g e t h a t c a n be interpreted in at least t w o w a y s . It is one of a n u m b e r of short repeated figures t h a t o c c u r in a series of tunes played by a N a n d e (or K o n j o ) flute player from B u t e m b o , in Zaire, and it is clear from t h e musical c o n t e x t that it gives the player pleasure and expresses fundamental principles of musical structure. W h a t i s n o t clear from t h e m u s i c alone i s t h e n a t u r e o f these principles. A listener trained in European ethnic music m a y h e a r m o v e m e n t a w a y from a n d b a c k to a t o n e c e n t e r , which he would describe as a t o n i c - d o m i n a n t - t o n i c sequence. M o r e generally, i n t e r m s H i n d e m i t h and o t h e r s h a v e used, this could be described as a m u s i c a l sequence expressing relaxation-tension-relaxation. T h e N a n d e musician m a y also conceive the p a s s a g e as m o v e m e n t a w a y from and b a c k to a tone c e n t e r , since m u c h A f r i c a n m u s i c is structured in this w a y , t h o u g h h e would n o t t h i n k specifically i n t e r m s o f tonic and d o m i n a n t relationships. B u t i f w e consider his p e r f o r m ance in relation to the p h y s i c a l e x p e r i e n c e of stopping holes with t h e fingers, t h e tonal relationships acquire a different m e a n i n g . T h e p h y s i c a l r e l a x a t i o n o f t h r o w i n g t h e fingers off the flute produces a tone t h a t is h a r m o n i c a l l y t e n s e , w h i l e the physical tension of stopping certain holes produces a tone that is h a r m o n i c a l l y relaxed. I do n o t k n o w w h i c h of t h e s e interpretations of t h e music is right in t h e c o n t e x t of N a n d e s o c i e t y and t h e m u s i c i a n s h i p o f t h e particular p e r f o r m e r , K a t s u b a M w o n g o l o , o r w h e t h e r there is a n o t h e r e x p l a n a t i o n . B u t I am sure that there is ultim a t e l y o n l y o n e e x p l a n a t i o n and t h a t this could b e discovt h a t are relevant to an explanation of musical

18

H O W MUSICAL IS

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Musical phrase used in flute music from Butembo

2. sage, using "languages,"


FIGURE

Two possible interpretations of the same musical pasa tension/relaxation model and harmonic and physical respectively.

ered by a c o n t e x t - s e n s i t i v e analysis of t h e music in culture. W h e n I analyzed the flute melodies in 1 9 5 5 , I w a s w o r k i n g with a n n o t a t e d recordings and a specimen i n s t r u m e n t which I learned to play. I had no firsthand experience of the culture o f the performer and n o evidence o f its musical s y s t e m , since very few recordings w e r e available. I can be m o r e confident about the analysis of t h e b a l a n c e

HUMANLY ORGANIZED SOUND

19

b e t w e e n physical and musical factors in generating the tunes played on the N s e n g a kalimba and ndimba mbiras, b e c a u s e I w o r k e d i n Z a m b i a i n 1 9 6 1 with the performers and learned to play the tunes (very b a d l y ) , I o b s e r v e d the different c o n texts of p e r f o r m a n c e , and I heard and recorded scores of other pieces o f N s e n g a m u s i c . O n l y b y a s s e m b l i n g musical and e x t r a m u s i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n w a s it possible to discover w h a t was " i n the n o t e s . " It is p o s s i b l e to improvise musical tests in the field; and these m a y provide the o n l y m e a n s o f discovering o r confirming the principles that g e n e r a t e musical c o m p o s i t i o n . For e x ample, V e n d a y o u t h s play duets on o c a r i n a s , called zwipotoliyo, w h i c h they m a k e from small fruits of varying diameters (ca. 4 . 5 to 7 c m s ) , in which t h e y h a v e cut o n e large h o l e for b l o w i n g and two for stopping with the fingers. T h e tones that can be played on t h e ocarinas v a r y according to the size of the spheres, and their pitch c a n be modified by the b l o w i n g of the performer. For the duets, players select pairs that " s o u n d g o o d , " and so their choice indicates w h a t musical principles t h e y h o p e to express in the duets. I devised a test in which t w o y o u t h s selected the m o s t satisfactory of all c o m binations o f six differently tuned o c a r i n a s ; the sound o f the duets played on t h e s e i n s t r u m e n t s , therefore, revealed tonal and h a r m o n i c principles that are important in o c a r i n a m u s i c in particular and V e n d a m u s i c in general. Figure 3 s h o w s three such p a t t e r n s , with their root progressions and h a r monic s e q u e n c e . T h e s e three e x a m p l e s illustrate p r o b l e m s t h a t exist in a n a lyzing t h e m u s i c o f a n y c o m p o s e r o r culture. T h e y also e m phasize the dangers of c o m p a r i n g different m u s i c solely on the basis of its sound. Even t h o u g h the m e a n i n g of m u s i c rests u l t i m a t e l y " i n the n o t e s " that h u m a n ears perceive, there can b e several possible structural interpretations o f a n y pattern o f sound, and a n a l m o s t infinite n u m b e r o f individual responses to its structure, depending on the cultural b a c k -

20
Three Venda ocarina duets

FIGURE

3.

Tonal and harmonic principles in Venda ocarina music.

HUMANLY ORGANIZED SOUND

21

Scale diagram of two Venda ocarinas, made from hollowed fruits (A: of Strychnos
spinofto Lam., the wild orange; B: of Oncoba spinosa Forsk.)

FIGURE 3

continued

ground a n d current e m o t i o n a l s t a t e of its listeners. H o w e v e r , the n u m b e r o f p o s s i b l e structural interpretations can be greatly reduced w h e n the musical s y s t e m of a single c o m p o s e r or culture is considered in its total cultural c o n t e x t . Even w h e n a s y s t e m is clearly articulated, a structural e x planation in t e r m s of that s y s t e m m a y be i n c o m p l e t e . For example, w e k n o w m u c h a b o u t the t h e o r y and practice o f h a r m o n y i n t h e European " a r t " m u s i c o f the n i n e t e e n t h c e n tury, b u t w h e n we analyze t h e m u s i c of H e c t o r Berlioz it is useful to k n o w t h a t he often w o r k e d out h a r m o n i c p r o c e dures on a guitar, and that t h e structure of the i n s t r u m e n t influenced m a n y o f his chord s e q u e n c e s . Let m e illustrate the analytical p r o b l e m further b y a n analo g y from structural linguistics. In doing this, I am n o t suggesting t h a t e t h n o m u s i c o l o g y should use the m e t h o d s of linguistics, t h o u g h the aims of m u s i c a l and linguistic analysis m a y be similar. I see no r e a s o n to a s s u m e that m u s i c is a k i n d of l a n g u a g e , or that it h a s a n y special structural relationships with l a n g u a g e , or that l a n g u a g e processes are n e c e s s a r i l y m o r e fundamental t h a n o t h e r h u m a n cultural activities. H o w ever, a n a l y s e s o f language b e h a v i o r b y Eric L e n n e b e r g and b y N o a m C h o m s k y and his a s s o c i a t e s point t o features that

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HOW MUSICAL IS

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h a v e parallels in music. I do n o t refer so m u c h to t h e o b v i o u s fact that the sound si can h a v e different structural and s e m a n tic significance in different l a n g u a g e s , and that even in English the words sea, see, and see are different, as to t h e variety of structures that c a n be embedded in the surface structures of a language, that is, in the patterns of words w h i c h we hear and to w h i c h we respond. English speakers generally understand strings of words according to t h e c o n t e x t in w h i c h they are heard. T h u s , as L e n n e b e r g points out, the string " t h e y - a r e - b o r i n g - s t u d e n t s " has two possible s y n t a c t i c interpretations w h i c h are directly related t o two possible s e m a n t i c interpretations. T h e s e n t e n c e can be either a c o m m e n t by faculty on students1{ | [ ( T h e y ) ] [(are) ( ( b o r i n g ) ( s t u d e n t s ) ) ] }| i n which " b o r i n g " is an adj e c t i v e ; or it c a n be a c o m m e n t by students on f a c u l t y [ [ ( T h e y ) ] [(are b o r i n g ) ( s t u d e n t s ) ]

J||in w h i c h " b o r i n g " is

an inflected v e r b form. In m a n y c a s e s , h o w e v e r , there is n o t a o n e - t o - o n e relationship b e t w e e n syntactic and s e m a n t i c interpretations. C h o m s k y h a s s h o w n that at the surface level the structure o f the gerundial p h r a s e " t h e s h o o t i n g o f the h u n t e r s " m a y be a t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of either the active sentence " h u n t e r s s h o o t , " o r the passive " h u n t e r s are s h o t . " I t i s b e c a u s e o f this k i n d o f relationship b e t w e e n deep and surface structures that we c a n n o t regard language as a m a t t e r of fitting words into g r a m m a t i c a l slots according to learned patterns, regardless of the cognitive processes t h a t underlie the patterns. T h e r e is a world of difference b e t w e e n the active s e n t e n c e " J o h n is eager to p l e a s e " and the passive " J o h n is easy to p l e a s e , " although on the surface o n l y o n e word has been c h a n g e d . Similarly, we c a n n o t substitue any similar verb form for " s h o o t i n g " without considering t h e s e m a n t i c implications, w h i c h in turn bring into play different structural principles. In s o m e c o n t e x t s I can talk of " t h e eating of the h u n t e r s " i n the s a m e w a y a s " t h e shooting o f the h u n t e r s , " but i n all c o n t e x t s k n o w n t o m e " t h e drinking o f t h e h u n t e r s "

can h a v e only o n e structural and s e m a n t i c interpretation. Logical possibilities m u s t always b e considered, h o w e v e r , and in s o m e cultures the ambiguity of phrases such as " t h e singing o f the h u n t e r s " o r " t h e d a n c i n g o f the h u n t e r s , " w h i c h ought t o b e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s o n l y o f active s e n t e n c e s , m a y b e resolved b y the c o n c e p t that a m a n can " b e s u n g " o r " b e danced." M u s i c a l structures, like strings of words, can be interpreted as the results of fitting tones i n t o slots according to the rules of a musical g r a m m a r . B u t if t h e deep structures are ignored, confusion m a y arise. A h u m o r o u s c o n s e q u e n c e of such an approach to musical analysis is quoted by D e r y c k C o o k e in his b o o k The Language of Music ( [ L o n d o n : O x f o r d U n i v e r sity P r e s s , 1 9 5 9 ] , E x . 7 3 , p . 1 8 6 ) . A friend o f his " c o n f i d e n t l y a s s u m e d " t h a t " t h e once-popular c o m i c song ' Y e s , w e h a v e n o b a n a n a s (we h a v e n o b a n a n a s t o d a y ) ' " w a s generated i n the following w a y :
Example 1

A m o r e serious illustration of t h e i m p o r t a n c e of deep s t r u c tures in the a n a l y s i s of music is provided by t w o different versions of a V e n d a children's song, Funguvhu tanzwa mulomo! (see E x a m p l e 2 ) . T h e t w o melodies are described as " t h e s a m e " b e c a u s e they are melodic t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s o f t h e same deep structure, w h i c h is an essentially " h a r m o n i c " s e q u e n c e , given r h y t h m i c impetus and c o n t o u r by a string of words. T h e tones o f o n e m e l o d y are the h a r m o n i c equivalents o f the o t h e r . T h e first p r o b l e m in assessing h u m a n musicality is also the central issue in m u s i c o l o g y and e t h n o m u s i c o l o g y . It is the

24

HOW

MUSICAL

IS

MAN?

4. Vha

ka

e - n d a pT?

Vho l i - m a

da-vha

la

kho - mbe.

problem of describing w h a t happens in a piece of music. We cannot yet explain what we already k n o w intuitively as a result of experience in culture, namely, the essential differences between the music of H a y d n and M o z a r t , or of the Flathead and the Sioux Indians. It is not enough to k n o w the distinctive features of Mozart's piano concertos or of Beethoven's orchestration: we w a n t to know exactly h o w and w h y Beethoven is Beethoven, Mozart is Mozart, and H a y d n is H a y d n . E v e r y composer has a basic cognitive system that sets its stamp on his major w o r k s , regardless of the ensembles for which they were written. This cognitive system includes all cerebral activity involved in his motor coordination, feelings, and cultural experiences, as well as his social, intellectual, and musical activities. An accurate and comprehensive description of a composer's cognitive system will, therefore, provide the most fundamental and powerful explanation of the patterns that his music takes. Similarly, the musical styles current in a society will be best understood as expressions of cognitive

HUMANLY ORGANIZED SOUND

25

processes that m a y b e o b s e r v e d t o operate i n the f o r m a t i o n o f other structures. W h e n w e k n o w h o w these cognitive processes w o r k in producing the patterns of sound different societies call " m u s i c , " we shall be in a better position to find out h o w musical m a n is. T h e study o f music i n culture i s w h a t A l a n M e r r i a m advocated in his important book, The Anthropology of Music ( E v a n s t o n , 111.: N o r t h w e s t e r n U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1 9 6 4 ) , b u t e t h n o m u s i c o l o g i s t s h a v e yet to produce s y s t e m a t i c cultural a n a l y s e s of m u s i c that explain h o w a musical s y s t e m is part of other s y s t e m s of relationships within a culture. It is n o t e n o u g h to identify a characteristic musical style in its o w n terms and view it in relation to its society (to p a r a p h r a s e a definition o f o n e o f the aims o f e t h n o m u s i c o l o g y b y M a n t l e H o o d , w h o h a s done m o r e for the s u b j e c t t h a n almost a n y o t h e r living e t h n o m u s i c o l o g i s t ) . W e m u s t recognize that n o musical style h a s " i t s o w n t e r m s " : its terms are t h e terms o f its society and culture, and o f t h e bodies o f the h u m a n b e i n g s w h o listen to it, and create and p e r f o r m it. We can no longer study m u s i c as a thing in i t s e l f w h e n research in e t h n o m u s i c o l o g y makes it clear t h a t musical things are n o t always strictly m u s i c a l , and that the expression o f tonal relationships i n patterns o f sound m a y b e s e c o n d a r y t o e x t r a m u s i c a l relationships w h i c h t h e tones represent. W e m a y agree that m u s i c is sound t h a t is organized into socially accepted p a t t e r n s , t h a t m u s i c m a k i n g m a y be regarded as a form of learned b e h a v i o r , and that musical styles are b a s e d on w h a t m a n h a s c h o s e n to select from n a t u r e as a part of his cultural expression r a t h e r t h a n on w h a t n a t u r e h a s i m posed on h i m . B u t t h e nature from w h i c h m a n h a s selected his musical styles is n o t o n l y e x t e r n a l to h i m ; it includes his o w n n a t u r e h i s p s y c h o p h y s i c a l capacities and the w a y s in w h i c h t h e s e h a v e b e e n structured b y his experiences o f interaction with people and t h i n g s , which are part of t h e adaptive process o f m a t u r a t i o n i n culture. W e d o not k n o w w h i c h o f

26

HOW MUSICAL psychophysical capacities,

IS

MAN? from hearing, are

these

apart

essential for m u s i c m a k i n g , o r w h e t h e r a n y o f t h e m are specific to m u s i c . It seems t h a t m u s i c a l activities are associated with specific parts of t h e b r a i n , and that these are n o t the s a m e as the language centers. B u t we shall never k n o w w h a t to l o o k for until we study the creative processes t h a t are present e v e n in a learned p e r f o r m a n c e of music, m u c h as they are p r e s e n t in the sentences of a learned language. E t h n o m u s i c o l o g y ' s claim to be a n e w m e t h o d of analyzing music and m u s i c history m u s t rest on an a s s u m p t i o n n o t y e t generally accepted, n a m e l y , that b e c a u s e m u s i c is h u m a n l y organized sound, there ought to be a relationship b e t w e e n patterns o f h u m a n organization and the p a t t e r n s o f sound produced as a result of h u m a n interaction. I am chiefly interested in the analysis of musical structures b e c a u s e this is the first step toward understanding musical processes and h e n c e assessing musicality. W e m a y n e v e r b e able t o understand exactly h o w a n o t h e r person feels about a piece of m u s i c , b u t we can perhaps understand the structural factors that generate the feelings. A t t e n t i o n to music's function in society is n e c e s s a r y o n l y in so far as it m a y help us to explain the structures. A l t h o u g h I shall discuss the uses and effects of music, I am c o n c e r n e d primarily with w h a t music i s , and n o t what is is used for. If we k n o w w h a t it is, we m i g h t be able to use and develop it in all kinds of w a y s that h a v e n o t yet been imagined, b u t which m a y be inherent in it. T h e sound m a y b e the o b j e c t , b u t m a n i s the s u b j e c t ; and the k e y to understanding m u s i c is in the relationships existing b e t w e e n s u b j e c t and o b j e c t , the activating principle of organization. S t r a v i n s k y expressed this with characteristic insight w h e n he said of his o w n ethnic m u s i c : " M u s i c is given to us with the sole purpose of establishing an order in t h i n g s , including, and particularly, the coordination between man p. and time" (Chronicle of M y Life [ L o n d o n : G o l l a n c z ,
1936],

8 3 ) . Every culture has its o w n r h y t h m , i n the sense t h a t c o n -

HUMANLY ORGANIZED SOUND

27

scious e x p e r i e n c e is ordered i n t o c y c l e s of s e a s o n a l c h a n g e , physical g r o w t h , e c o n o m i c enterprise, genealogical depth or width, life and afterlife, political s u c c e s s i o n , or a n y other r e curring features that are given significance. W e m a y say that ordinary daily experience t a k e s place in a world of actual time. T h e essential quality of m u s i c is its power to create another world o f virtual time. In the musical s y s t e m of t h e V e n d a , it is r h y t h m t h a t distinguishes s o n g (u imba) from speech (u amba), so that patterns of words that are recited to a regular m e t e r are called " s o n g s . " B o t h S t r a v i n s k y and t h e V e n d a insist that music involves m a n . T h e regular b e a t s of an engine or a p u m p m a y sound like the b e a t s of a drum, b u t no V e n d a would regard t h e m a s m u s i c o r e x p e c t t o b e m o v e d b y t h e m , b e c a u s e their order i s n o t directly produced b y h u m a n b e i n g s . T h e sound of electronic i n s t r u m e n t s or of a M o o g synthesizer would n o t be excluded from their realm of musical experience as long as it was o n l y the t i m b r e and n o t the m e t h o d of ordering that was outside h u m a n control. V e n d a m u s i c is founded n o t on melody, b u t on a r h y t h m i c a l stirring of the w h o l e b o d y of which singing is b u t o n e e x t e n s i o n . T h e r e f o r e , w h e n we s e e m to h e a r a rest b e t w e e n two d r u m b e a t s , we m u s t realize that for the player it is n o t a r e s t : each d r u m b e a t is t h e part of a total b o d y m o v e m e n t in which the h a n d or a stick strikes the drum skin. T h e s e principles apply in the children's song Tshidula tsha Musingadi ( E x a m p l e 3 ) , w h i c h for t h e V e n d a is m u s i c , and n o t speech or p o e t r y . O n e m i g h t e x p e c t the b e a t to fall on the syllables -du, tsha, and -nga-, w h i c h are stressed in p e r f o r m a n c e . B u t if people clap to t h e s o n g , t h e y clap on the syllables Tshi-, -la, -si-, and -di, so that there is n o t a rest on the fourth b e a t , b u t a total pattern o f four b e a t s that c a n b e repeated a n y n u m b e r o f times, b u t n e v e r less than o n c e if it is to qualify as " s o n g " and n o t " s p e e c h . "

28

HOW MUSICAL

IS

MAN?

V e n d a music is overtly political in that it is performed in a variety of political contexts and often for specific political purposes. It is also political in the sense that it m a y involve people in a powerful shared experience within the framework of their cultural experience and thereby make them more aware of themselves and of their responsibilities toward each other. "Muthu ndi muthu nga vhahwe," the V e n d a s a y : " M a n is man because of his associations with other men." V e n d a music is not an escape from reality; it is an adventure into reality, the reality of the world of the spirit. It is an experience of becoming, in which individual consciousness is nurtured within the collective consciousness of the community and hence becomes the source of richer cultural forms. For example, if two drummers play exactly the same surface rhythm, but maintain an individual, inner difference of tempo or beat, they produce something more than their individual efforts. T h u s , the combination of a straightforward beat played by two people at different tempi produces:

HUMANLY
Example 4

ORGANIZED

SOUND

29

A combination of iambic rhythms with different main beat can produce:


Example 5

Other combinations are illustrated in Figure 4, which shows how the same surface structure m a y be produced by different processes, involving one, two, or three players.

FIGURE 4 . Different ways in which one, two, or three players may produce the same surface structures of music.

30

HOW MUSICAL

IS

MAN?

T o describe these differently organized p a t t e r n s o f sound as the s a m e " s o n i c o b j e c t s " simply b e c a u s e they sound the s a m e would be grossly misleading. Even to recognize the w a y in which the sounds are produced and to describe s o m e of t h e m a s e x a m p l e s o f p o l y r h y t h m would b e inadequate i n the c o n t e x t o f V e n d a music. T h e y m u s t b e described first i n terms of cognitive and behavioral p r o c e s s e s that b e l o n g to the pattern o f V e n d a culture. A cultural analysis of s o m e of the r h y t h m s in Figure 4 would n o t be o n e which simply points out that t h e y are used in such-and-such a w a y on a stated variety of o c c a s i o n s . It would n o t be a p r o g r a m n o t e outlining the c o n t e x t of t h e music, b u t an analytical device describing its structure as an expression o f cultural patterns. T h u s , performances b y c o m b i n a t i o n s o f t w o o r three players o f r h y t h m s that c a n i n fact b e played b y o n e are not musical g i m m i c k s : t h e y express c o n cepts o f individuality i n c o m m u n i t y , and o f social, temporal, and spatial b a l a n c e , which are found in other features of V e n d a culture and other types o f V e n d a music. R h y t h m s such as t h e s e c a n n o t be performed correctly unless t h e players are their o w n conductors and yet at the s a m e time submit to the r h y t h m o f a n invisible c o n d u c t o r . T h i s i s the k i n d o f shared experience which the V e n d a seek and express in their music m a k i n g , and an analysis of their music t h a t ignored these facts would be as i n c o m p l e t e as an analysis of M o n t e verdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine of 1 6 1 0 which failed to t a k e a c c o u n t o f the liturgical his early e x p e r i m e n t s in opera. Functional analyses o f musical structure c a n n o t b e detached from structural analyses of its social f u n c t i o n : the function of tones in relation to each other c a n n o t be explained adequately as part of a closed s y s t e m without reference to the structures o f t h e sociocultural s y s t e m o f w h i c h the musical s y s t e m is a part, and to the biological s y s t e m to w h i c h all framework, the composer's early sacred w o r k s , his service to the dukes of G o n z a g a , and

HUMANLY ORGANIZED SOUND

31

music m a k e r s b e l o n g . E t h n o m u s i c o l o g y is n o t o n l y an area study c o n c e r n e d with e x o t i c m u s i c , n o r a m u s i c o l o g y of the e t h n i c i t is a discipline that holds out h o p e for a deeper understanding o f all music. I f s o m e m u s i c can b e analyzed and u n d e r s t o o d as tonal e x p r e s s i o n s of h u m a n e x p e r i e n c e in the c o n t e x t o f different kinds o f social and cultural o r g a n i z a tion, I see no r e a s o n w h y all m u s i c should not be analyzed in the s a m e w a y .

M u s i c in

Society and Culture

I H A V E D E S C R I B E D m u s i c a s h u m a n l y organized sound. I h a v e argued that we ought to l o o k for relationships b e tween patterns o f h u m a n o r g a n i z a t i o n and the p a t t e r n s o f sound produced as a result of organized interaction. I reinforced this g e n e r a l s t a t e m e n t by referring to the c o n c e p t s of music shared b y the V e n d a o f t h e N o r t h e r n T r a n s v a a l . T h e V e n d a also share the experience of music making, and without this experience there would be very little music. T h e production o f t h e patterns o f sound w h i c h the V e n d a call music depends, first, on the c o n t i n u i t y of the social groups w h o perform i t and, second, o n t h e w a y the m e m b e r s o f those groups relate to each other. In order to find out w h a t m u s i c is and h o w musical m a n is, we need to a s k w h o listens and w h o plays and sings in a n y given s o c i e t y , and w h y . T h i s is a sociological question, and situations in different societies can be compared w i t h o u t any reference to the surface forms of m u s i c b e c a u s e we are concerned o n l y with its function in social life. In this respect, there m a y b e n o significant differences b e t w e e n B l a c k M u s i c , C o u n t r y and W e s t e r n M u s i c , R o c k and P o p M u s i c , O p e r a s , S y m p h o n i c M u s i c , o r P l a i n c h a n t . W h a t turns o n e m a n off

32

MUSIC IN SOCIETY AND CULTURE

33

m a y turn a n o t h e r m a n on, n o t b e c a u s e o f any a b s o l u t e quality i n the m u s i c i t s e l f b u t b e c a u s e o f w h a t the m u s i c h a s c o m e to m e a n to h i m as a m e m b e r of a particular culture or social group. W e m u s t also r e m e m b e r that, while w e m a y h a v e our o w n personal preferences, we c a n n o t judge the effectiveness o f music o r t h e feelings o f musicians b y w h a t seems t o h a p pen to people. If an old, blind m a s t e r of V e n d a initiation listens in silence to a recording of the domba initiation song, we c a n n o t rate the m u s i c m o r e or less effective t h a n a r e c o r d ing o f S p o k e s M a s h i y a n e ' s p e n n y whistle b a n d from J o h a n n e s b u r g , w h i c h bores h i m but excites his grandson. W e c a n n o t s a y that the K w a k i u t l are m o r e e m o t i o n a l t h a n the Hopi b e c a u s e their style of dancing looks m o r e ecstatic to our e y e s . In some cultures, or in certain types of music and dancing within a culture, e m o t i o n s m a y be deliberately internalized, b u t they are not n e c e s s a r i l y less i n t e n s e . A m a n ' s mystical or psychedelic experiences m a y not be seen or felt by his n e i g h b o r s , b u t they c a n n o t be dismissed as irrelevant to his life in society. T h e s a m e criteria o f j u d g m e n t should b e applied t o apparent differences in the surface c o m p l e x i t y of music, which we tend to see in t h e s a m e terms as that of other cultural p r o d ucts. B e c a u s e the growing c o m p l e x i t y of cars, airplanes, and m a n y o t h e r m a c h i n e s can be related to their efficiency as m e a n s of c o m m u n i c a t i o n , it is often assumed that technical development in m u s i c and the arts m u s t likewise be a sign of deeper or b e t t e r expression. I suggest that t h e popularity of s o m e Indian m u s i c in Europe and A m e r i c a is n o t unrelated to the fact t h a t it s e e m s to be technically brilliant as well as pleasing to t h e ear, and that it is a c c o m p a n i e d by profound philosophizing. W h e n I try to interest my students in the sounds of A f r i c a n m u s i c , I k n o w that I too tend to draw their attention to technical feats in p e r f o r m a n c e , b e c a u s e these are m o r e i m m e d i a t e l y appreciated. A n d y e t the simplicity o r c o m p l e x i t y of the m u s i c is ultimately irrelevant: t h e equation

34
should LESS = not be

HOW MUSICAL
LESS =

IS

MAN?
= BETTER, b u t MORE or

BETTER or MORE

DIFFERENT.

It is the human c o n t e n t o f the h u m a n l y o r -

ganized sound t h a t " s e n d s " people. Even if this emerges as an exquisite turn of melody or h a r m o n y , as a " s o n i c o b j e c t " if you like, it still began as the t h o u g h t of a sensitive h u m a n b e i n g , and it is this sensitivity that m a y arouse (or n o t ) the feelings o f a n o t h e r h u m a n being, i n m u c h the s a m e w a y that m a g n e t i c impulses c o n v e y a telephone conversation from one speaker to a n o t h e r . T h e issue o f musical c o m p l e x i t y b e c o m e s i m p o r t a n t only w h e n we try to assess h u m a n musicality. S u p p o s e I argue that, b e c a u s e there are s o m e societies w h o s e m e m b e r s are as c o m p e t e n t in m u s i c as all people are in language, m u s i c m a y be a species-specific trait of m a n . S o m e o n e will a l m o s t certainly retort that evidence of a widespread distribution of listening and performing ability a m o n g the V e n d a and other apparently musical societies should not be compared with the limited distribution of musical ability in, say, E n g l a n d b e c a u s e the c o m p l e x i t y of English music is such that o n l y a few could master it. In o t h e r words, if English music w e r e as e l e m e n t a r y a s V e n d a music, then o f c o u r s e t h e English would s e e m t o b e a s universally musical a s the V e n d a ! T h e b r o a d e r implication of this argument is that technological development brings about a degree of social e x c l u s i o n : b e i n g a passive audience is the price that s o m e m u s t pay for m e m b e r s h i p in a superior society w h o s e superiority is sustained by the e x c e p tional ability of a c h o s e n few. T h e technical level of w h a t is defined as musicality is therefore raised, and s o m e people must be branded as unmusical. It is on such a s s u m p t i o n s that musical ability is fostered or anesthetized in m a n y m o d e r n industrial societies. T h e s e a s s u m p t i o n s are diametrically o p posed to t h e V e n d a idea t h a t all n o r m a l h u m a n b e i n g s are capable o f musical p e r f o r m a n c e . T h e issue of musical c o m p l e x i t y is irrelevant in a n y c o n sideration of universal m u s i c a l c o m p e t e n c e . First, within a

MUSIC IN SOCIETY AND CULTURE

35

single m u s i c a l s y s t e m greater surface c o m p l e x i t y m a y b e like a n e x t e n s i o n o f v o c a b u l a r y , which does n o t alter the b a s i c priniciples of a g r a m m a r and is m e a n i n g l e s s apart from t h e m . S e c o n d , in c o m p a r i n g different s y s t e m s we c a n n o t a s s u m e that surface c o m p l e x i t y is either musically or c o g n i t i v e l y m o r e c o m p l e x . In any c a s e , the m i n d of m a n is infinitely m o r e c o m p l e x than a n y t h i n g produced by particular m e n or cultures. A b o v e all, t h e functional effectiveness o f m u s i c s e e m s to be m o r e i m p o r t a n t to listeners than its surface c o m p l e x i t y or simplicity. W h a t is the use of b e i n g the greatest pianist in the world, or of writing the cleverest music, if n o b o d y w a n t s to listen to i t ? W h a t is the h u m a n u s e of inventing or using n e w sounds j u s t for their o w n s a k e ? D o n e w sounds m e a n a n y t h i n g in V e n d a culture, for i n s t a n c e , in terms of n e w groups and social c h a n g e ? W h y sing or dance or play at all? W h y b o t h e r to i m p r o v e musical technique if the aim of perf o r m a n c e is to share a social e x p e r i e n c e ? T h e functions o f music i n society m a y b e the decisive f a c tors p r o m o t i n g or inhibiting latent musical ability, as well as affecting the choice of cultural concepts and materials with which t o c o m p o s e music. W e shall n o t b e able t o explain the principles of c o m p o s i t i o n and the effects of m u s i c until we understand b e t t e r the relationship b e t w e e n musical and h u m a n e x p e r i e n c e . If I describe s o m e of the functions of m u s i c i n V e n d a s o c i e t y , perhaps the n e w k n o w l e d g e m a y stimulate a b e t t e r understanding of similar processes in o t h e r societies. T h i s has c e r t a i n l y b e e n m y o w n experience. S i n c e m y initial stay o f two years i n the S i b a s a district b e t w e e n 1 9 5 6 and 1 9 5 8 , and a s a result o f s u b s e q u e n t fieldwork i n other parts of A f r i c a , I h a v e c o m e to u n d e r s t a n d my o w n society m o r e clearly and I h a v e learned to appreciate my o w n music b e t t e r . I do not k n o w w h e t h e r or n o t my a n a l y s e s of V e n d a m u s i c are c o r r e c t : I h a v e benefited greatly by the criticisms of V e n d a w h o h a v e b e e n good e n o u g h t o discuss m y evidence and c o n c l u s i o n s , b u t there m a y b e o t h e r interpretations that

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have so far escaped us. W h a t e v e r t h e ultimate j u d g m e n t on m y a n a l y s e s o f V e n d a m u s i c , I h o p e that m y discoveries m a y play a small part in restoring the conditions of dignity and freedom in w h i c h their musical tradition originally developed. T h e r e are a b o u t three h u n d r e d t h o u s a n d V e n d a , and m o s t of t h e m live in the undeveloped rural area that w a s left to t h e m w h e n w h i t e colonists t o o k the rest of their land for farming and mining. C o m p a r e d w i t h over twelve million b l a c k S o u t h A f r i c a n s , divided almost equally a m o n g the Zulu, X h o s a , and S o t h o - T s w a n a l a n g u a g e groups, t h e V e n d a m a y seem insignificant. A n d yet t h e white S o u t h A f r i c a n g o v e r n m e n t h a s s h o w n great interest in t h e m and h a s held an i m portant military exercise in their so-called h o m e l a n d . For the V e n d a live in and around the Z o u t p a n s b e r g M o u n t a i n s , just south o f the L i m p o p o R i v e r , t h e n o r t h e r n b o u n d a r y o f the white R e p u b l i c o f S o u t h A f r i c a . S i n c e I was there i n 1 9 5 8 , more and m o r e whites h a v e b e e n settling on land t h a t was once reserved for b l a c k s . 'In 1 8 9 9 the V e n d a b e c a m e the last o f the S o u t h A f r i c a n s t o submit to B o e r rule. T h e y are well placed to b e c o m e the first to achieve their full freedom. T h e ancestors of some V e n d a clans lived in V e n d a long b e f o r e whites landed in the C a p e , and t h e y m a n a g e d to retain their identity even after t h e y h a d accepted the rule of b l a c k invaders from t h e n o r t h about two hundred years ago. T h e V e n d a are pacifists at heart, and they h a v e a s a y i n g : "Mudi wa gozwi a u na malila" ( " I n the h o m e s t e a d of the coward there is no w e e p i n g " ) . W h e n their c o u n t r y was later invaded from t h e south by b l a c k s w h o were fleeing from the a d v a n c e of the w h i t e s , the V e n d a preferred to retreat to t h e safety of their m o u n tains and wait for t h e m to pass. T h e y were unwilling to a c cept cultural innovations or to incorporate strangers into their political s y s t e m on terms that were likely to diminish, rather than increase, cooperation and " h u m a n n e s s " (vhuthu) in their society. On the other h a n d , during the latter h a l f of

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t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y , the V e n d a adopted and accepted a s " s o n g s o f the V e n d a - s p e a k i n g p e o p l e " several foreign songs and styles of m u s i c from their n e i g h b o r s in the n o r t h and south. I t m a y s e e m surprising t h a t s u c h musical people should h a v e s h o w n little interest in, and c o m p a r a t i v e l y little ability for, the sounds and techniques o f European m u s i c . T h e reasons are partly t e c h n i c a l , b u t chiefly political. First, t h e sort o f music t h a t has b e e n disseminated i n m i s s i o n s and s c h o o l s h a s often b e e n the dullest type of European institutional music, and even the b e s t m u s i c h a s i n v a r i a b l y b e e n distorted b y the w a y i n w h i c h i t w a s t a u g h t b y the whites. T h e r e h a s b e e n n o real c o n t a c t w i t h the original o f the unfamiliar i d i o m ; n o n e o f t h e E u r o p e a n s w h o h a v e passed o n the tradition h a v e been accomplished musicians, and so b o t h they and the A f r i c a n s t h e y h a v e trained h a v e often b e e n a s unsure about the c o r r e c t reading o f the scores a s t h o s e t h e y h a v e taught. W h i t e " e x p e r t s " h a v e assured t h e m that sentiment and e x pression ( w h i c h often a m o u n t to w e a r i n g b r i g h t u n i f o r m s at i n t e r s c h o o l singing c o m p e t i t i o n s ) are m o r e i m p o r t a n t than a c c u r a c y . T h i s is a n o t i o n quite foreign to traditional V e n d a music, in which accuracy is always expected and s e n t i m e n t generally a s s u m e d , b u t it is o n e s t r o n g e n o u g h to h a v e h a d disastrous results in the process of assimilating European m u s i c , and so it is n o t surprising that the apparently m u s i c a l V e n d a h a v e generally failed to excel in performing European m u s i c , even w h e n t h e y h a v e w a n t e d to do so. Political factors w e r e p r o b a b l y e v e n m o r e significant than the t e c h n i c a l barriers I h a v e described. A l t h o u g h t h e gospel and the e d u c a t i o n t h e m i s s i o n a r i e s b r o u g h t were at first well received b y the V e n d a , the w h i t e administration and the c o m m e r c i a l e x p l o i t a t i o n that c a m e i n their w a k e w e r e not. S i n c e 1 9 0 0 t h e V e n d a h a v e n o t b e e n able t o retreat t o their m o u n t a i n f a s t n e s s e s , as t h e y did with earlier invaders. T h e y h a v e b e e n c o m p e l l e d by superior p h y s i c a l f o r c e to put up

38 with an

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authoritarian

that

A f r i c a n democracy. Is it surprising, therefore, that indifference and even hostility to European music should go along with their resistance to white domination? T h e general reaction to European music is in keeping with the function of music in their society, and it must be seen as a sociological as well as a musical phenomenon. M u c h V e n d a music is occasional, and its performance is a sign of the activity of social groups. M o s t adult V e n d a know w h a t is happening merely by listening to its sounds. During girls' initiation, whenever a novice is being taken d o w n to the river or back to her initiation hut, the women and girls w h o accompany her w a r n people of their approach with a special song, in which the lower lip is flapped with the forefinger.
Example 6

T h e following song, with its unusual prelude, indicates that a novice is being taken from her home for initiation. T h e melody will be recognized even by women w h o cannot hear the words.

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Example 7

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During the various stages of the girls' schools, instruction is given both directly and indirectly by means of symbolic dances, which are often v e r y strenuous physical exercises, performed to a variety of complex rhythms. O n e song tells girls not to gossip.

40
Example 8

HOW MUSICAL

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T h e u . e of left and right hands (which may be reversed) in the drum parts is shown by the direction ol the t a i l s of the n o t e s .

T h e V e n d a learn to u n d e r s t a n d the sounds of music as they understand speech. No fewer than sixteen different styles are distinguished, with different r h y t h m s and c o m b i n a tions of singers and i n s t r u m e n t s ; and within these styles are further subdivisions of style, as well as different s o n g s within each division. For e x a m p l e , at the sungwi initiation s c h o o l for girls, there are four m a i n t y p e s o f s o n g : 1. Nyimbo dza u sevhetha ( s o n g s for dancing round) are sung by the girls as t h e y d a n c e c o u n t e r c l o c k w i s e in a circle round the drums. T h e t e m p o of t h e songs is rapid, and t h e y are sung m o r e often than a n y o t h e r type of song at the school. C l a s s e d w i t h t h e m are two s o n g s with special rhythms, a " s o n g of d i s m i s s a l " (luimbo Iwa u edela, literally, s o n g for sleeping), which always t e r m i n a t e s a session; and a recruiting song (luimbo Iwa u wedza, literally, song for helping a person across a r i v e r ) , which is sung w h e n senior m e m b e r s go round recruiting. 2. Nyimbo dza vhahwira ( s o n g s of the m a s k e d dancers) are sung w h e n the m a s k e d dancers perform in front of the

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girls. T h e t e m p o varies, with fast and slow episodes to a c company different phases of the dance and distinctive r h y t h m s to m a r k the various steps. 3. Nyimbo dza dzingoma ( s o n g s for special rites) a c c o m p a n y certain ordeals that the n o v i c e s must undergo w h e n they are in t h e second stage of initiation. E a c h o n e h a s a distinctive r h y t h m i c pattern. 4. Nyimbo dza milayo ( s o n g s of the laws of the s c h o o l ) are sung by the novices and a n y graduates present. T h e y kneel on t h e ground by the drums while muluvhe, the girl appointed to be in charge of the n o v i c e s , leads the singing. Figure 5 summarizes the different types of communal music recognized b y the V e n d a and indicates the times o f year w h e n they m a y o r m a y n o t b e performed. A l t h o u g h the V e n d a generally classify their music a c c o r d ing to its social function, and the n a m e for the function and its music is often the s a m e , the criteria of discrimination are formal and musical. It is by its sound, and particularly by its r h y t h m and the m a k e - u p o f its vocal a n d / o r i n s t r u m e n t a l ens e m b l e , that the function o f music i s recognized. T h e c o n t e x t s in which s o n g s are sung are n o t exclusive, b u t the w a y in which they are sung is generally determined by c o n t e x t . T h u s , a beer song m a y be adapted as a play song for the girls' domba initiation, in which c a s e a drum a c c o m p a n i m e n t will be added and the call-response form m a y be e l a b o r a t e d into a sequence of i n t e r l o c k i n g melodic phrases. S i m i l a r l y , a n u m b e r of different t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s of the national dance, tshikona, m a y be performed on V e n d a musical i n s t r u m e n t s . T h e y sound different, b u t they are all called tshikona and are c o n ceived as variations on a t h e m e in the " l a n g u a g e s " of the different i n s t r u m e n t s . W h e n the V e n d a discuss o r classify different types o f song, they generally distinguish b e t w e e n s o n g s that are proper to the function and t h o s e w h i c h h a v e b e e n adopted and adapted. As I believe that this is a c o m m o n p h e n o m e n o n in central

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T o n g a o f Z a m b i a . I recorded w h a t w a s described t o m e a s " a grinding s o n g , " and the c o n t e x t left me in little doubt a b o u t its function. In a different c o n t e x t , t h e s a m e m e l o d y w a s described to me as a mankuntu d a n c e song for y o u n g people, and the n e w c o n t e x t also left me in little d o u b t a b o u t its function. T h e o n l y differences b e t w e e n the two p e r f o r m a n c e s were i n their r h y t h m , t e m p o , and social c o n t e x t . T h e song was not, in fact, a grinding s o n g , b u t a song sung while grinding. It h a p p e n e d to be a mankuntu dance s o n g that was currently popular, and the w o m a n ' s use of it while grinding was comparable to a performance of " H a r k , the Herald A n g e l s S i n g ! " over the washing-up a t C h r i s t m a s time. People's classifications o f s o n g s b y form and b y function m a y provide i m p o r t a n t evidence o f musical and e x t r a m u s i c a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n processes t h a t are a c c e p t a b l e in a culture. T h e y m a y also b e relevant i n assessing the effects o f m u s i c . For e x a m p l e , t h e r e is a V e n d a s o n g a b o u t loneliness and death which I h e a r d sung with great gusto at a party, and with no trace of s o r r o w . On another o c c a s i o n , I was talking one day to an old, blind m a s t e r of initiation, and he suddenly b e g a n to sing this s a m e song. He w a s a b o u t to stand up and dance w h e n his son stopped him, saying, " D o n ' t d a n c e , old m a n ! " S i n c e his f a t h e r w a s singing a sad song, he m u s t be full of sorrow and so there was no point in intensifying the e m o t i o n by dancing, especially as there w a s a risk that he m i g h t fall and hurt himself. T h e son w a s deeply m o v e d , b u t w h e n I asked h i m a b o u t the s o n g he replied simply that it w a s a b e e r song. He could h a v e described it as a " s o n g of s o r r o w , " b u t he preferred to give it its formal classification. T h e value of music in society and its differential effects on people m a y b e essential factors i n the g r o w t h o r a t r o p h y o f musical abilities, and people's interest m a y be less in the music i t s e l f than i n its associated social activities. O n the o t h e r h a n d , musical ability m a y n e v e r develop w i t h o u t s o m e e x t r a m u s i c a l m o t i v a t i o n . For every infant prodigy w h o s e in-

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terest and ability fizzled out b e c a u s e he could n o t relate his music to life w i t h his fellows, there must be thousands of people w h o n o w love music as part of the experience of life and deeply regret that they neglected to practice or were n o t properly taught an instrument. This conflict has been greatly alleviated b y s o m e m u s i c education p r o g r a m s , b u t the c o m b i n a t i o n of social, p h y s i c a l , and musical activity is n o t as total as in V e n d a society. W h e n I watched y o u n g V e n d a developing their bodies, their friendships, and their sensitivity in c o m m u n a l dancing, I could n o t help regretting the h u n dreds of afternoons I had wasted on the r u g b y field and in b o x i n g rings. B u t then I w a s b r o u g h t up n o t to c o o p e r a t e , but to c o m p e t e . Even music was offered m o r e as a c o m p e t i tive t h a n as a shared e x p e r i e n c e . A l t h o u g h the structure of m o s t V e n d a m u s i c d e m a n d s a high degree of cooperation for p e r f o r m a n c e , it would be wrong to suggest that all musical and associated social experiences are equally shared. For i n s t a n c e , on t h e last day of the tshikanda g i r l s ' initiation, the sullen, silent d e m e a n o r of the novices c o n t r a s t s strongly with t h e excited singing and dancing of the old ladies in c h a r g e and the other graduates present. Even t h o u g h the girls h a v e to put on a s h o w of humility and d e t a c h m e n t , it is hard to believe that they are concealing a n y t h i n g but resignation and indifference to the m u s i c they are required to perform. W h e n I a s k e d t h e m a b o u t their reactions, I detected a significant difference b e t w e e n t h e girls' " I t ' s the c u s t o m , " and the adults' " I t ' s the c u s t o m . It's n i c e ! " S i m i l a r l y , the exciting r h y t h m s o f the V e n d a possession dance (ngoma dza midzumi) do n o t send every V e n d a into a trance. T h e y send o n l y m e m b e r s of the cult, and then only w h e n they are dancing at their o w n h o m e s , with w h i c h the spirits o f the ancestors w h o p o s s e s s t h e m are familiar. T h e effectiveness of the music depends on the c o n t e x t in which it is b o t h performed and heard. B u t ultimately it depends on the music, as I found out o n c e w h e n I was playing o n e of the

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drums. D a n c e r s t a k e turns c o m i n g out into the " a r e n a , " and at first there w e r e no c o m p l a i n t s a b o u t my efforts. V e r y s o o n , h o w e v e r , a senior lady b e g a n d a n c i n g , and she w a s e x p e c t e d to go i n t o a trance b e c a u s e the m u s i c w a s b e i n g played for her cult group. H o w e v e r , after a few m i n u t e s she stopped and insisted that a n o t h e r d r u m m e r should replace m e ! S h e claimed t h a t I was ruining the effect of t h e music by " h u r r y i n g " the t e m p o j u s t e n o u g h , I suppose, to inhibit t h e o n s e t of trance. T h e w a y i n w h i c h the m u s i c o f the p o s s e s s i o n dance b e c o m e s effective suggests that k i n s h i p is as i m p o r t a n t a factor as the r h y t h m of m u s i c in h a v i n g effects on people. B u t it is not b l o o d relationships so m u c h as their social i m p l i c a t i o n s that are the decisive factors, a n d n o t t h e music so m u c h as its social e n v i r o n m e n t and the attitudes developed t o w a r d it. A f t e r all, if t h e possession d a n c e m u s i c h a s the p o w e r to " s e n d " a w o m a n on one o c c a s i o n , w h y should it not do so on a n o t h e r ? Is it the social situation that inhibits the o t h e r wise powerful effects o f the m u s i c ? O r i s the m u s i c p o w e r less w i t h o u t t h e r e i n f o r c e m e n t of a special set of social circ u m s t a n c e s ? It is evidence such as this that m a k e s me s k e p t i cal o f m u s i c association tests w h i c h h a v e b e e n administered to subjects in artificial and unsocial settings n e v e r envisaged b y t h e creators o f the music. U n d e r s u c h c o n d i t i o n s , the m u s i c c a n n o t help b e i n g m e a n i n g l e s s , or at least its m e a n i n g s are hopelessly diverse. It also raises a n o t h e r i s s u e : granted that music c a n n o t express a n y t h i n g e x t r a m u s i c a l unless the experie n c e to w h i c h it refers already e x i s t s in the m i n d of t h e listener, can it c o m m u n i c a t e a n y t h i n g at all to u n p r e p a r e d or unreceptive m i n d s ? C a n n o t even a powerful r h y t h m e x c i t e an unprepared p e r s o n ? O r are the V e n d a w o m e n u n m o v e d b e cause t h e y are u n w i l l i n g ? I c a n n o t a n s w e r this, b u t my o w n love o f m u s i c and m y c o n v i c t i o n t h a t i t i s m o r e t h a n learned b e h a v i o r m a k e me h o p e that it is the social inhibitions w h i c h are powerful and n o t the m u s i c w h i c h is p o w e r l e s s .

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Let us return to the m a t t e r of k i n s h i p in the d e v e l o p m e n t o f musical ability. T h e V e n d a m a y n o t consider t h e possibility o f u n m u s i c a l h u m a n b e i n g s , b u t t h e y d o recognize that s o m e people perform b e t t e r t h a n o t h e r s . J u d g m e n t is b a s e d on the performer's display of technical brilliance and originality, and the vigor and confidence o f his execution. Anyone who troubles to perfect his technique is considered to do so b e cause he is deeply c o m m i t t e d to m u s i c as a m e a n s of sharing s o m e experience with his fellows. A sincere desire to express feeling is n o t accepted as an e x c u s e for inaccurate or i n c o m petent p e r f o r m a n c e , as it often is in the confused world of m o d e r n P o p and so-called Folk music. If a person w a n t s to do his thing, he is expected to do it well. T h e ability of a m a s t e r d r u m m e r (matsige) at a possession d a n c e is assessed by the sounds he produces, and n o t by the e x t e n t to which he rolls his eyes and t h r o w s his b o d y about. T h e V e n d a m a y suggest that exceptional musical ability i s biologically inherited, b u t in practice they recognize that social factors play the m o s t i m p o r t a n t part in realizing or suppressing it. For i n s t a n c e , a b o y of n o b l e birth m i g h t s h o w great talent, b u t as he grows up he will be expected to a b a n don regular musical p e r f o r m a n c e for the m o r e serious (for him) b u s i n e s s o f g o v e r n m e n t . T h i s would n o t m e a n that h e would cease to listen critically and intelligently to m u s i c : in fact, i m p o r t a n t guidance to successful g o v e r n m e n t m i g h t be given to him in song. C o n v e r s e l y a girl of n o b l e b i r t h has every e n c o u r a g e m e n t to develop her musical capacities, so that as a w o m a n she c a n play an active role in supervising the girls' initiation schools which are held in the h o m e s of rulers, and for which music is an indispensable adjunct of their didactic and ritual functions. D u r i n g two m o n t h s of daily rehearsals of the young girls' dance, tshigombela, I watched the young relatives of a h e a d m a n e m e r g e as outstanding performers, although at first they did n o t seem to be m o r e musical than their a g e - m a t e s . I am sure t h a t the k e y

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to their d e v e l o p m e n t as dancers w a s the praise and the interest s h o w n in t h e m by the w o m e n in the audience, w h o w e r e m o s t l y from the h e a d m a n ' s f a m i l y , a n d w h o therefore k n e w the girls by n a m e b e c a u s e t h e y w e r e relatives. It was surely the social c o n s e q u e n c e s of b l o o d relationship that affected the g r o w t h o f their m u s i c a l i t y , r a t h e r t h a n special, genetically inherited musical capacities. A g a i n , it is not surprising that m a s t e r s o f initiation tend t o " i n h e r i t " the craft from their fathers. A m a s t e r m u s t k n o w m a n y songs and rituals, and so his son is in a favored position w h e n he assists his father on the j o b . In V e n d a society, e x c e p t i o n a l musical ability is therefore expected of people w h o are b o r n into certain families or social groups in which musical p e r f o r m a n c e is essential for m a i n taining their group solidarity. J u s t as musical p e r f o r m a n c e is the central factor that justifies the continued e x i s t e n c e of an o r c h e s t r a as a social group, so a V e n d a possession cult group, or a domba initiation school, or a sungwi girls' school, would disintegrate if there were no music. O n l y a few of those w h o are b o r n i n t o the right group actually emerge as e x c e p t i o n a l m u s i c i a n s , and w h a t s e e m s to distinguish t h e m from o t h e r s is that t h e y p e r f o r m b e t t e r b e c a u s e they have devoted m o r e time and e n e r g y to it. In applauding the m a s t e r y of e x c e p tional m u s i c i a n s , t h e V e n d a applaud h u m a n effort, a n d in b e i n g able t o recognize m a s t e r y i n t h e musical m e d i u m , l i s t e n ers reveal that their general m u s i c a l c o m p e t e n c e is no less than that o f the m u s i c i a n s w h o m they applaud. W e should r e m e m b e r that the e x i s t e n c e o f B a c h and B e e t h o v e n depends on discriminating audiences as m u c h as on p e r f o r m e r s , j u s t as some V e n d a a n c e s t o r s c a n o t return to their h o m e s except by the good offices of their d e s c e n d a n t s . A l t h o u g h c o m m u n a l m u s i c d o m i n a t e s the V e n d a musical s c e n e , and social factors influence t h e d e v e l o p m e n t of musical ability, there is individual m u s i c m a k i n g , and good solo instrumentalists c a n e m e r g e w i t h o u t a n y of the i n c e n t i v e s I

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have described. Y o u n g g r o w i n g girls confide in t h e quiet, intimate tones of a lugube musical b o w or its m o d e r n equivalent, t h e j a w ' s harp. Y o u t h s sing o f the j o y s and p a n g s o f love while a c c o m p a n y i n g t h e m s e l v e s with an mbira or another kind of b o w , called tshihwana. A third t y p e of b o w (dende) is m o s t c o m m o n l y played by semiprofessional m u s i cians w h o are n o t o r i o u s l y popular with w o m e n . T h e n a m e given t o such m i n s t r e l s t s h i l o m b e i s related to words that refer to spirit p o s s e s s i o n , such as tshilombo and malombo. T h e V e n d a a c k n o w l e d g e that m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of musical ability can emerge in unexpected quarters and a m o n g unlikely s u b j e c t s , b u t insist that they be normalized by logical e x p l a n a t i o n s . T h e t e r m tshilombe should be regarded as n o t so m u c h an a c c l a m a t i o n of genius or of e x c e p tional talent as an occupational description. An outstanding individual musician is o n e w h o puts h i m s e l f in touch with spiritual forces, like a d o c t o r or t h e m e m b e r of a possession cult, and so is able to e x p r e s s a wider range of experiences than m o s t people. It m a y s e e m paradoxical that his creative abilities should be expressed in t h e originality and t h o u g h t fulness of the words he c o m p o s e s , rather than in t h e music. But there is a reason for this to be found in the b a l a n c e of two b a s i c principles o f V e n d a m u s i c . As I emphasized in the first chapter, V e n d a m u s i c is distinguished from n o n m u s i c by the creation of a special world of time. T h e c h i e f function of m u s i c is to involve people in shared experiences within the f r a m e w o r k of their cultural experience. T h e form the m u s i c takes m u s t serve this function, and so in the n o r m a l course of events V e n d a m u s i c b e comes m o r e musical and less culture-bound w h e n e v e r p o s sible, and t h e restrictions of words are a b a n d o n e d for the freer musical expression o f individuals i n c o m m u n i t y . T o ensure that the form does n o t lose its essential function, the process is inverted in the c o m p o s i t i o n s of certain individuals. T h e function of such c o m p o s i t i o n s is to jolt and e x p a n d the

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c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f V e n d a audiences b y b o t h reflecting and c o n tradicting the spirit of the time. T h e y reflect the political i n terests o f the m a x i m u m n u m b e r o f people b y contradicting the musical tendencies to w h i c h t h o s e people are a c c u s t o m e d . T h e s a m e k i n d o f analysis o f musical effectiveness m i g h t b e applied in other c o n t e x t s : I would n o t consider it an e x a g g e r a tion to say that B e e t h o v e n achieved his extraordinary musical p o w e r b y b e i n g a n i / m u s i c a l and s h o c k i n g the c o m p l a c e n c y o f his c o n t e m p o r a r y society. His c o n t e m p o r a r i e s m a y have b e e n m o r e musical i n their t r e a t m e n t o f m e l o d y , for i n s t a n c e , b u t their k i n d o f c o n v e n t i o n a l m u s i c a l i t y was less relevant t o c o n t e m p o r a r y p r o b l e m s a l t h o u g h it w a s a logical c o n s e q u e n c e o f t e m p o r a r y cognitive p r o c e s s e s . T o a n a l y z e the c o m p o s i t i o n and appreciation o f m u s i c i n t e r m s of its social function and of cognitive p r o c e s s e s that m a y be applied in other fields of h u m a n activity does n o t in a n y w a y diminish t h e i m p o r t a n c e of the music itself, and it is in line with the c o m m o n c u s t o m of interrelating a series of h u m a n activities and calling t h e m T h e A r t s . H o w e v e r , at this early stage o f investigation w e should b e careful not to a s s u m e that music is always created by the s a m e p r o c e s s e s , or that its p r o c e s s e s are specially related to t h o s e e m p l o y e d in the other arts. T h e processes that in o n e culture are applied to language or music m a y in a n o t h e r be applied to k i n s h i p or e c o n o m i c organization. It will be useful to distinguish different kinds of musical c o m m u n i c a t i o n , w h i c h m i g h t b r o a d l y be described as the utilitarian and artistic uses of m u s i c in V e n d a society. It is clear from the w a y the V e n d a talk a b o u t it that n o t all music has the s a m e value. All their m u s i c grows out of h u m a n experiences and h a s a direct function in social life, but o n l y some o f i t i s regarded a s w h a t J o h n D e w e y h a s called " a n i n s t r u m e n t indispensable to the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of m a n and his w o r l d . " A s m y e x a m p l e s h a v e s h o w n , m u c h V e n d a music i s merely

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a signal or sign of social events and no less utilitarian than c o m m e r c i a l j i n g l e s , radio station identifications, s o m e incidental m u s i c , and the h y m n s or s o n g s that are essentially the " b a d g e s " o f different social groups. M a n y s o n g s o f initiation are m o r e i m p o r t a n t as m a r k e r s of stages in ritual or as reinf o r c e m e n t s o r m n e m o n i c s o f lessons t h a n a s m u s i c a l experie n c e s ; w o r k s o n g s coordinate and ease l a b o r ; and a special group o f b e e r songs can b e used t o voice complaints and m a k e requests w h e n parties o f w o m e n t a k e gifts o f b e e r t o the h o m e s o f their in-laws. A s i n w o m e n ' s pounding s o n g s , certain children's s o n g s , and s o n g s of protest, a m u s i c a l f r a m e w o r k c a n ritualize c o m m u n i c a t i o n in such a w a y that m e s sages m a y b e conveyed b u t n o c o u n t e r a c t i o n i s t a k e n . Y o u d o not " g o to p r i s o n " if you s a y it in m u s i c , and s o m e t h i n g m a y be done a b o u t y o u r complaint b e c a u s e it m a y be a w a r n i n g of g r o w i n g public feeling. It is tempting to define the utilitarian functions of V e n d a music as those in which the effects of music are incidental to the impact of the social situation, and the artistic as t h o s e in which the m u s i c itself is the crucial factor in the experience. T h e t e s t i m o n y of the high value attached to tshikona, their national dance, and t h e a p p a r e n t l y antimusical p e r f o r m a n c e by a c k n o w l e d g e d experts does n o t contradict this a r g u m e n t w h e n we see that it is the process of music m a k i n g that is valued as m u c h a s , and s o m e t i m e s m o r e than, the finished product. T h e value of music is, I believe, to be found in terms of the h u m a n experiences involved in its creation. T h e r e is a difference b e t w e e n music t h a t is occasional and m u s i c that e n h a n c e s h u m a n c o n s c i o u s n e s s , music that is simply for having and m u s i c that is for being. I submit that t h e former m a y be good c r a f t s m a n s h i p , but that the latter is art, no matter h o w simple or complex it sounds, and no m a t t e r under w h a t c i r c u m s t a n c e s it is produced. T h e m u s i c of tshikona expresses the value of the largest social group to which a V e n d a can really feel he b e l o n g s . Its

Fourteen-note

kalimba mbira

of

the Nsenga

of Zambia.

Two Venda girls play alto drums (mirumba) at the domba initiation. They sway their bodies from side to side, keeping a steady rhythm so that the drumbeat is part of a total body movement.

A beer-drink at a headman's homestead.

The village of a Venda chief at Thengwe. The houses are occupied by his wives, relatives, and councilors. The big tree slightly to the left of center shades the khoro, meeting place of the council and scene of music and dancing.

Masked dancer (muhwira) at the Venda girls' sungwi initiation.

A Venda novice performs a special ndayo movement at her tshikanda initiation. Note the contrast in response between her two companions and the married women running the proceedings. Ngorrta dza midzimu, Venda dance of spirit possession. The hunchbacked girl who is dancing in the arena will not be possessed because she does not belong to this particular cult group. Those who have been possessed wear a special uniform and shake hand rattles.

Venda girls practice the first part of the tshigombela dance, Venda girls dancing "solo" (u gaya) during the second part of tshigombela dance.

A trio on the large mbiras (mbila dza madeza). A boy plays the small mbira (mbila tshipai).

Dende musical bow.

A duet on two mouth bows (zwihwana, singular tshihwana).

A trio of three-holed transverse flutes (zwitiringo, singular tshitiringo).

Boys' dilitili flute, made of an open tube or river reed with a notched embouchure and stopped with the first finger at the distal end.

The phalaphala signal horn, made from the horns of a sable antelope or kudu.

Two men play the mbila mtondo xylophone; a third adds extra notes.

The dance of the

Venda domba

initiation school.

A Venda team of tshikona pipe dancers from a rural area during Easter vacation.

Johannesburg visits

A Venda minstrel (tshilombe) sings and entertains with puppets at a beer-drink organized by a rotating credit association (tshitokofela) in a rural area.

Solo Venda dancer leaping during performance of pentatonic reed-pipe music (tshikanganga or visa). This style of dancing is called u gaya, as in the second part of rshigombela, and is distinguished from the communal dancing (u tshina) in the first part.

Novices at a Venda domba initiation, with their hair recently cut, are led in song by the master of initiation, while his assistant directs them to the crossbeam of the council hut, from which they will hang upside down, like bats, as part of a lesson about childbirth. Note the baby on the back of the mother playing the bass drum.

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p e r f o r m a n c e involves the largest n u m b e r of people, and its music incorporates the largest n u m b e r of tones in a n y single piece o f V e n d a m u s i c involving m o r e t h a n o n e o r t w o players. From w h a t I h a v e said a b o u t shared experiences in V e n d a music, it should be clear that tshikona is valuable and b e a u tiful to the V e n d a , not only b e c a u s e of the q u a n t i t y of people and tones involved, b u t b e c a u s e o f the quality o f t h e relationships that m u s t be established b e t w e e n people and tones w h e n e v e r it is performed. Tshikona music c a n be produced o n l y w h e n t w e n t y or m o r e m e n b l o w differently tuned pipes with a precision that depends on holding o n e ' s o w n part as well as blending with o t h e r s , and at least four w o m e n play different drums in p o l y r h y t h m i c h a r m o n y . F u r t h e r m o r e , tshikona is n o t complete unless the m e n also p e r f o r m in unison the different steps which the d a n c e m a s t e r directs from time to time. T h e effectiveness o f tshikona is not a c a s e o f
MORE -

BETTER : it is an e x a m p l e o f the production o f t h e m a x i m u m o f available h u m a n e n e r g y in a situation that g e n e r a t e s t h e highest degree of individuality in the largest possible c o m m u n i t y of individuals. Tshikona provides an experience of the b e s t of all possible worlds, and the V e n d a are fully a w a r e of its value. Tshikona, they say, is Iwa-ha-masia-khali-i-tshi-vhila, "the time w h e n people rush to the scene of the d a n c e and leave their pots to boil o v e r . " Tshikona " m a k e s sick people feel better, and old m e n t h r o w a w a y their sticks and d a n c e . " Tshikona " b r i n g s peace to the c o u n t r y s i d e . " Of all s h a r e d experiences in V e n d a society, a p e r f o r m a n c e of tshikona is said to be the m o s t h i g h l y valued: the dance is c o n n e c t e d with ancestor w o r s h i p and state o c c a s i o n s , i n c o r p o r a t e s t h e living and the dead, and is the m o s t universal of V e n d a music. It is b e c a u s e m u s i c can create a world of virtual time that G u s t a v M a h l e r said that it m a y lead to " t h e ' o t h e r w o r l d ' the world in which things are no l o n g e r s u b j e c t to time and s p a c e . " T h e B a l i n e s e speak o f " t h e other m i n d " a s a state o f

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being that can be reached through dancing and music. T h e y refer to states in which people b e c o m e k e e n l y a w a r e of the true n a t u r e o f their b e i n g , o f the " o t h e r s e l f " within t h e m selves and other h u m a n b e i n g s , and of their relationship with the world around them. O l d age, death, grief, thirst, h u n g e r , and other afflictions of this world are seen as transitory events. T h e r e is freedom from the restrictions of actual time and c o m p l e t e absorption i n the " T i m e l e s s N o w o f the D i v i n e S p i r i t , " the loss o f self i n being. W e often e x p e r i e n c e greater intensity o f living w h e n our n o r m a l time values are upset, and appreciate the quality r a t h e r than the length of time spent doing something. T h e virtual time o f music m a y help to generate such experiences. T h e r e is e x c i t e m e n t in r h y t h m and in the progression of organized sound, in the tension and relaxations of h a r m o n y or m e l o d y , in the cumulative evolution of a fugue, or in the infinite variations on the t h e m e of m o v e m e n t from and b a c k to a tone center. T h e m o t i o n of music alone seems to a w a k e n in our bodies all kinds of responses. A n d yet people's r e sponses to m u s i c c a n n o t be fully explained w i t h o u t s o m e reference to their experiences in the culture of which t h e notes are signs and s y m b o l s . If a piece of music m o v e s a variety of listeners, it is p r o b a b l y n o t b e c a u s e of its o u t w a r d form but b e c a u s e of w h a t the form m e a n s to each listener in terms of h u m a n e x p e r i e n c e . T h e s a m e piece o f music m a y m o v e different people in the s a m e sort of w a y , b u t for different r e a s o n s . Y o u can e n j o y a piece of plainchant b e c a u s e you are a R o m a n C a t h o l i c , o r b e c a u s e you like the sound o f t h e m u s i c : you need not h a v e a " g o o d e a r " to enjoy it as a C a t h o l i c , n o r need you be a believer to enjoy it as music. In b o t h cases the e n j o y m e n t depends on a b a c k g r o u n d of h u m a n experience. Even if a person describes musical experiences in t h e technical language of music, he is in fact describing e m o t i o n a l experiences which he has learned to associate with particular patterns o f sound. I f a n o t h e r person describes his e x p e r i e n c e

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in the s a m e musical tradition, he m a y be describing a similar, if not identical, e m o t i o n a l e x p e r i e n c e . M u s i c a l t e r m i n o l o g y can be a l a n g u a g e with w h i c h to describe h u m a n e m o t i o n a l experience, j u s t as m e m b e r s h i p in t h e V e n d a p o s s e s s i o n cult offers b o t h a certain type of experience and a w a y of talking about it. T h u s , under certain conditions, the sound of music m a y recall a state of c o n s c i o u s n e s s that has b e e n acquired through processes o f social e x p e r i e n c e . W h e t h e r the effective agent is the right social situation, as in the V e n d a possession cult, or the right musical situation, as in the responses of two similarly trained m u s i c i a n s , it is effective o n l y b e c a u s e of associations b e t w e e n certain individual and cultural e x p e r i ences. I am sure that m a n y of the functions of m u s i c in V e n d a society which I h a v e described will recall to y o u similar situations i n o t h e r societies. M y general argument h a s been that, if the value of music in society and culture is to be a s s e s s e d , it must be described in terms of the attitudes and cognitive processes involved in its creation, and the functions and effects of the musical product in society. It follows from this that there should be close structural relationships a m o n g the function, c o n t e n t , and form of music. R o b e r t Kauffman h a s drawn my attention to a passage in L e R o i J o n e s ' s Blues

People ( N e w Y o r k : W i l l i a m M o r r o w ,

1963),

in which h e says

that the b a s i c h y p o t h e s i s o f his b o o k depends o n u n d e r s t a n d ing that " m u s i c can be seen to be t h e result of certain attitudes, certain specific w a y s of t h i n k i n g about t h e world, and only ultimately about the ' w a y s ' in which m u s i c c a n be m a d e " (p. 1 5 3 ) . I t i s e n o u g h that this should b e said and accepted. B u t I think it is useful if the a r g u m e n t c a n be reinforced with d e m o n s t r a t i o n s of h o w it w o r k s out in practice. T h i s is s o m e t h i n g that e t h n o m u s i c o l o g i s t s c a n do, and m o s t of my w o r k during the past fifteen y e a r s h a s b e e n directed toward the discovery of structural relationships between music and social life.

Culture and Society in Music

M U S I C can express social attitudes and cognitive processes, but it is useful and effective only when it is heard by the prepared and receptive ears of people w h o have shared, or can share in some w a y , the cultural and individual experiences of its creators. M u s i c , therefore, confirms w h a t is already present in society and culture, and it adds nothing new except patterns of sound. But it is not a luxury, a spare-time activity to be sandwiched between sports and art in the headmaster's report. Even if I believed that music w a s , or should be, merely a means of decorating social events, I would still have to explain how the music of many composers can excite me although the cavortings of their patrons are a bore. W h e n E. M. Forster said, "History develops, art stands still," he w a s referring to their subject matter, to the fact that history is about events but art is about feelings. T h a t is w h y we can also say that history dies but art lives, although art is a reflection of history. I share the V e n d a view that music is essential for the very survival of man's humanity, and I found it significant that as a subject for discussion they generally greeted music more enthusiastically and with more erudition than history, though

54

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55

n o t less t h a n current politics. T h i s m a y h a v e b e e n partly a response to my o w n b i a s , b u t I t h i n k it also reflected the V e n d a c o n c e r n for life as a process of b e c o m i n g , rather t h a n as a stage in e v o l u t i o n a r y p r o g r e s s . We shall do well to l o o k at m u s i c in the s a m e w a y . A n d s o , before I w o r k b a c k to the surface patterns of music from the cultural and social processes to w h i c h I have reduced t h e m , b e f o r e I discuss the origins of m u s i c in culture and s o c i e t y , I w a n t t o dispose o f two kinds o f evolutionary a p p r o a c h t o music h i s t o r y w h i c h are of no use in seeking an a n s w e r to the question, H o w musical i s m a n ? T h e y are useless chiefly b e cause they c a n n e v e r be proved. T h e first approach s e e k s to understand the m e a n i n g and forms o f music b y speculating about its historical origins in bird song, m a t i n g calls, and a h o s t o f o t h e r reactions o f s o m e m y t h i c a l " p r i m i t i v e " m a n t o his e n v i r o n m e n t . S i n c e the c h i e f sources of i n f o r m a t i o n for this g u e s s w o r k h a v e b e e n , and can o n l y b e , the musical p r a c tices of living people, and a k n o w l e d g e of m u s i c ' s origins is useful o n l y for understanding these practices b e t t e r , the e x e r cise is clearly futile. T h e s e c o n d k i n d o f e v o l u t i o n a r y approach i s c o n c e r n e d with the d e v e l o p m e n t of musical styles as things in t h e m selves. It tends to a s s u m e t h a t there is a world h i s t o r y of m u s i c , in w h i c h m a n b e g a n by using one or t w o tones and then gradually discovered m o r e and m o r e tones and p a t t e r n s of sound. It leads to such s t a t e m e n t s a s : " I n the g r o w t h of great civilizations, m u s i c is the first of the arts to e m e r g e and the last to d e v e l o p . " S u c h r e m a r k s usually ignore the fact that our k n o w l e d g e of past music is often limited to w h a t literate classes c h o s e t o recognize o r record o f such activities. S o m e w h i t e m i s s i o n a r i e s in the S i b a s a district, for i n s t a n c e , were a s t o n i s h e d t h a t it could t a k e m o r e than six m o n t h s to learn all there w a s to k n o w about V e n d a m u s i c b e c a u s e their ears w e r e closed to the variety and c o m p l e x i t y of its sounds. T h e a b s e n c e o f i n f o r m a t i o n o n m u s i c i n the records o f the

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HOW MUSICAL IS

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elite does n o t m e a n that there was no good music in the lives of o r d i n a r y people; n o r is the apparent simplicity of some c o n t e m p o r a r y musical styles evidence that their m u s i c is a survival from a stage in the h i s t o r y of world music. In 1 8 8 5 , A l e x a n d e r J o h n Ellis, the m a n w h o is generally regarded as the f a t h e r o f e t h n o m u s i c o l o g y , d e m o n s t r a t e d t h a t musical scales are n o t natural b u t h i g h l y artificial, and t h a t laws of acoustics m a y b e irrelevant i n t h e h u m a n organization o f sound. In spite of his timely warning, there are still some e t h n o m u s i c o l o g i s t s w h o write as if it were their t a s k to fill in the gaps of musical h i s t o r y by describing the m u s i c a l styles of exotic cultures. Even if t h e y do not say it in so m a n y words, their techniques of analysis b e t r a y affection for an evolutionary view o f music. M u s i c a l styles c a n n o t b e heard a s stages in the evolution of music, as judged in terms of one particular civilization's c o n c e p t s of music. Each style has its o w n h i s t o r y , and its present state represents o n l y o n e stage in its o w n d e v e l o p m e n t ; this m a y have followed a separate and unique course, although its surface patterns m a y suggest c o n t a c t s with other styles. M o r e o v e r , even t h o u g h people are s o m e t i m e s m o r e conservative a b o u t music than a b o u t other aspects of culture, it is h a r d to believe that in s o m e parts of the world there h a s been no musical innovation for thousands of years. S p e c u l a t i v e histories of world music are a c o m p l e t e w a s t e o f effort. Even i f w e k n e w h o w musical styles had changed in the cultures which are cited as evidence of stages in the development o f music, t h e k n o w l e d g e would b e o f o n l y e n c y clopedic interest. It would give us little or no insight into h u m a n creativity in music unless we had corresponding evidence on the cultural and social e n v i r o n m e n t in w h i c h the musical developments t o o k place. O n the o t h e r h a n d , i f cultural and social history is well d o c u m e n t e d , studies of music history are b o t h possible and useful. T h e r e is a vast difference b e t w e e n studies such as Paul H e n r y Lang's Music in Western

CULTURE AND SOCIETY IN MUSIC Civilization, Hugo Leichtentritt's Music, History and

57 Ideas,

and A l e c H a r m a n ' s and W i l f r i d M e l l e r s ' volumes on Man and His Music, in w h i c h the origins of certain aspects of musical style are sought in the social m o v e m e n t s and philosophical c o n v e n t i o n s of the time, and studies that trace musical develo p m e n t in terms of m o r e tones to the o c t a v e , m o r e thirds to the chord, and m o r e i n s t r u m e n t s to t h e o r c h e s t r a . W h e r e , for i n s t a n c e , would our speculative music historian place the V e n d a in his h i s t o r y of world m u s i c ? T h e r e are mbiras that h a v e five-, s i x - , or s e v e n - t o n e scales, and sets of reed pipes that use either five- or seven-tone scales. T h e m e l odies of songs m a y use a n y t h i n g from o n e to seven t o n e s , selected from various h e p t a t o n i c m o d e s . S o n g s that use five tones m a y be b a s e d on a p e n t a t o n i c scale or on selections of five tones from a heptatonic m o d e (like the " O d e to J o y " i n B e e t h o v e n ' s N i n t h S y m p h o n y ! ) . I f our m u s i c historian gives the V e n d a t h e credit of producing the h e p t a t o n i c scale t h e m s e l v e s and does not a s s u m e that they must h a v e b o r rowed it from a " h i g h e r " culture, I suspect t h a t he might describe their m u s i c as being in a stage of transition from p e n t a t o n i c t o h e p t a t o n i c m u s i c a fascinating e x a m p l e o f musical evolution in action! T h e only trouble about such a description is that social and cultural evidence contradicts it. For e x a m p l e , the V e n d a used a h e p t a t o n i c x y l o p h o n e and h e p tatonic reed pipes long b e f o r e they adopted the p e n t a t o n i c reed pipes of their southern n e i g h b o r s , the Pedi, w h o in turn say that they adopted and adapted the h e p t a t o n i c reed pipe music o f t h e V e n d a . A c c o r d i n g t o evolutionary theories o f music h i s t o r y , the V e n d a should be going b a c k w a r d l i k e the C h i n e s e , w h o selected a p e n t a t o n i c scale for their m u s i c although they k n e w and had used " b i g g e r and b e t t e r " s c a l e s ! It m a y be argued that I h a v e used o n e k i n d of speculative history in order to throw out a n o t h e r , and that the stated cultural origins of V e n d a and Pedi music m a y be no less ethnocentric and inaccurate, as rationalizations of a s y s t e m , than

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a concept of musical evolution that explains p a t t e r n s of sound in a different w a y . To this o b j e c t i o n I would reply that in studying musical s y s t e m s I am primarily c o n c e r n e d with historical relevance. Even if we k n e w e x a c t l y h o w t h e V e n d a got tshikona, domba, and a h e p t a t o n i c scale (and I doubt if we shall ever k n o w ) , and even if it were true t h a t the h e p t a tonic music had evolved from the p e n t a t o n i c , it would n o t c o n t r i b u t e m u c h to our understanding of the V e n d a musical s y s t e m o r o f the development o f musicality i n V e n d a society. I am interested in V e n d a music m o r e as t h e product of h u m a n minds in V e n d a culture and society than as a stage in the h i s t o r y o f world music. In asking h o w musical is m a n , I am obviously c o n c e r n e d with all aspects of the origins of music, but n o t with speculative origins, or even with origins which a foreign historian thinks he can detect, but w h i c h are n o t recognized by t h e creators o f the music. T h e origins o f music that c o n c e r n m e are t h o s e w h i c h are to be found in the p s y c h o l o g y and in the cultural and social e n v i r o n m e n t of its creators, in the a s s e m bly o f p r o c e s s e s that generate the patterns o f sound. I f music expresses attitudes, we should expect correlations b e t w e e n the different attitudes and the patterns of sound with which they are expressed. To w h a t e x t e n t is music a " l a n g u a g e of e m o t i o n s , a k i n to s p e e c h , " as D e r y c k C o o k e h a s claimed in The Language of Music? T h e thesis m u s t be considered in the c o n t e x t in which i t i s p r o p o s e d : European tonal music b e t w e e n 1 4 0 0 and 1 9 5 3 . C o o k e h a s s h o w n that specific musical figures s e e e m to be used again and again to c o n v e y similar feelings, and that the use of this kind of code is an essential feature of musical c o m munication. His a r g u m e n t goes a long w a y toward bridging the gap b e t w e e n formal and expressive analyses o f music, and toward showing e x a c t l y h o w music can be described as the expression of certain attitudes. For i n s t a n c e , he describes the descending progression 5 - ( 4 ) - 3 - ( 2 ) - l (MINOR) as a figure

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"which has been much used to express an 'incoming' painful emotion, in a context of finality: acceptance of, or yielding to grief; discouragement and depression; passive suffering; and the despair connected with death" (p. 1 3 3 ) . T h u s he compares a phrase of Gibbons' madrigal " W h a t Is Our L i f e ? " with the opening of the finale of T c h a i k o v s k y ' s Pathetique S y m p h o n y :

Cooke's thesis impressed me at first because it seemed to make sense in terms of my own musical experience. For instance, I had noticed and felt the musical and expressive similarity between the pleading melody in the "Recordare Jesu Pie" of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem (see Example 1 0 ) and the figure with which Mahler accompanies the nostalgic words, "Ich sehne mich, O Freund, am deiner Seite die Schoenheit dieses A b e n d s zu geniessen," in "Der Abscheid," the last song of D a s figure 1 - 3 - 4 - 5 (MINOR) Lied von der Erde (Universal Edition, sections 2 3 , 3 0 , and 6 3 t o the end) (see Example 1 1 ) . T h e also opens the spiritual, " N o b o d y K n o w s the Trouble I See" (see Example 1 2 ) . Same figure, same kind of feeling. D e r y c k Cooke quotes other instances of this figure and describes it as "an assertion of sorrow, a complaint, a protest against misfortune" (Language of Music, p. 1 2 2 ) .

Example 10

R e - c o r - da

re

J e - su

pi

e,

60
Example 11

HOW MUSICAL IS MAN?

Example 12

No-Lod-y knows the

trou-ble I

see, Lord,

No-bod-y knows the

trou-ble I

see.

Again, although I h a v e deliberately never read a n y a n a l y s e s of M a h l e r ' s N i n t h and T e n t h s y m p h o n i e s b e c a u s e I first w a n t to find out w h a t the music says to me, I react quite definitely to t w o parallel sequences of intervals in their final m o v e m e n t s (in t h e case of the T e n t h , I refer to D e r y c k C o o k e ' s performing v e r s i o n ) . First, in t h e twenty-third b a r of the last m o v e m e n t of the N i n t h , t h e first violins play t h e t o n e s of a descending scale, but in rising pairs of falling tones.

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Example 13

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T h e n in the T e n t h , there is an ascending scale w h i c h is played in descending groups of rising tones movement).
Example 14 Andante

(bar 3 2 7 of the last

I will make no attempt to express in words what I feel when I hear this music, because Mahler explicitly stated that he felt the need to express himself in music only when "indefinable emotions make themselves felt," and if they could have been expressed in language he would have done so. I will merely say that for me they express something about life and death and man's struggle for fulfillment and spiritual peace. T h e final chords of the Tenth seem to express ultimate resig-

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n a t i o n w h e t h e r they w e r e written b y M a h l e r o r b y D e r y c k Cooke! N o w , h a v e I received t h e attitudes that p r o m p t e d M a h l e r to c o m p o s e t h o s e n o t e s , or h a v e I reinterpreted t h e m in t h e light o f m y o w n e x p e r i e n c e ? A n d does a n y o n e else feel a b o u t t h e m in the s a m e w a y ? Am I out on a l i m b , like t h e n o v i c e s in the tshikanda girl's initiation, listening to M a h l e r b u t n o t hearing h i m ? Can a n y o n e else h e a r those n o t e s as I do, or as M a h l e r did? Is t h e purpose of musical experience to be a l o n e i n c o m p a n y ? I s there n o h o p e o f establishing c o m m o n r e l a tionships through music e x c e p t w h e r e there is a fairly specific extramusical program? Could "soul" music affect Black A m e r i c a n s if its forms were n o t associated with a w h o l e set o f e x t r a m u s i c a l experiences w h i c h B l a c k A m e r i c a n s s h a r e ? I n spite o f the beautifully stated antiwar m e s s a g e o f B r i t t e n ' s War Requiem, can all t h o s e w h o share his s e n t i m e n t s s h a r e the intense m e s s a g e o f his m u s i c ? D o e s i t really m e a n t h e s a m e to the R u s s i a n , English, and G e r m a n solo singers w h o made the first recording o f the w o r k ? T o t h o s e w h o s h a r e aspects of B r i t t e n ' s cultural, social, and musical b a c k g r o u n d , the music m a y e n h a n c e the pity o f W i l f r e d O w e n ' s poetry and create a greater h o r r o r of w a r than could the poetry on its own. For o t h e r s , the poetry m a y be a stirring e x p e r i e n c e , b u t the music a b o r e . We c a n n o t say that they share t h e e x p e r i ence o f the p o e t r y m o r e than that o f the music, b e c a u s e t h e y , like Britten and m o s t of his listeners, did n o t share O w e n ' s ultimately fatal experience o f trench warfare. W e c a n o n l y s a y that t h e y share the experience o f the convention o f t h e p o e t r y m o r e easily than the c o n v e n t i o n o f the music. A l t h o u g h ' " m u s i c can reveal the nature of feelings with a detail and truth that language c a n n o t a p p r o a c h " (to quote S u s a n n e Langer, Philosophy in a New Key [ N e w Y o r k : M e n tor B o o k s , 1 9 4 8 ] , p. 1 9 1 ) , it is also tied to the culture in a w a y in which t h e descriptive capacities of language are n o t . C o n sider the elements of British and European culture in the

music of Britten's War Requiemand, again, in this description I shall speak of the w o r k as it strikes me: I have not read any commentaries on it. T h e v e r y first two bars of the work set the stage for death, with the tolling of a bell and the intoning of the opening words of the Requiem M a s s .
Example 15 Slow and solemn J = 42 (Lento e solenne) 46

Gong

Later, the sounds of boys' voices and an organ recall the hope and innocence of childhood,
Example 16 [3] Quick crotchets J=:]62 (Allegro) f smooth

64

H O W MUSICAL IS MAN?

and brass instruments and bugle-call motifs recall warfare.

Example 17

Musical imitations of the sounds of shrapnel accompany the words of O w e n ' s jaunty soldiers singing, "Out there we've walked quite friendly up to Death." N o w it is the shrapnel that sings aloft, but a few moments before, in the "Rex tremendae, majestatis," it w a s heaven. T h e military associations of drums are reinforced when they are used to refer to the firing of artillery.
Example 18

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lift - ed

up,

thou long

black

arm,

B u t drums and trumpets m a y also t a k e us to h e a v e n and divine j u d g m e n t in the " D i e s I r a e / ' and Britten m a k e s a p o w erful c o n t r a s t b e t w e e n " T u b a m i r u m spargens s o n u m " and " B u g l e s sang, saddening the evening a i r "

Example 19

66
Example 20

HOW

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the glorious trumpets of G o d , and then the bloody bugles of man! To someone w h o has been immersed in the culture of the composer, the sounds Britten uses and the contrasts he makes between them can be heart-rending and poignant. For one whose school friends have been killed in action, it has the same kind of effect as the contrasting photographs of cricket fields, choirboys, rockets, and w a r which Peter Brook showed at the beginning of his film of Lord of the Flies. In this case,

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m y reactions t o the m u s i c m a y b e closer t o the feelings B r i t t e n had w h e n h e w r o t e i t t h a n they w e r e i n the c a s e o f M a h l e r ' s N i n t h and T e n t h s y m p h o n i e s . B u t h a v e B r i t t e n and M a h l e r really used a l a n g u a g e that is in a n y w a y akin to s p e e c h ? C o m p o s e r s acquire characteristics o f style b y listening t o t h e m u s i c of the past and present. B r i t t e n a c k n o w l e d g e s a debt t o M a h l e r , and b o t h B r i t t e n and M a h l e r spent s o m e time in the U n i t e d S t a t e s . B u t is there really a c o m m o n factor in their use of t h e s a m e figure in the War Requiem and Das Lied von der Erde? A n d is it likely that the creators of " N o b o d y K n o w s " would h a v e used the s a m e m u s i c a l l a n g u a g e a s B r i t ten and M a h l e r , w h e n it is clear (to m e , at a n y rate) that spirituals are a development of A f r i c a n principles of m u s i c m a k i n g r a t h e r t h a n a n imitation o f t h e E u r o p e a n ? (For ins t a n c e , the b a s i c m e t e r o f " N o b o d y K n o w s " i s 3 + 3 + 2 , and the apparently u n - A f r i c a n m e l o d y m a y h a v e b e g u n a s the lower part of a characteristically A f r i c a n " f a l l i n g " m e l o d y , which was given the h a r m o n i c t r e a t m e n t that is typical of A f r i c a n m u s i c and n o t n e c e s s a r i l y b o r r o w e d from Europe.) J u s t as B r i t t e n assigns different m e a n i n g s to the s a m e t i m b r e in the c o n t e x t of a single w o r k , so the s a m e p a t t e r n of m e l o d y m a y h a v e a variety of expressive m e a n i n g s , and in fact it is this variety in the c o n t e x t of unity which m a y add to the expressive p o w e r of music. In V i v a l d i ' s The Four Seasons ( O p . 8 ) , similar scales and arpeggios depict different s u b j e c t s ranging from t h e staggering o f d r u n k e n peasants i n " A u t u m n " to icy winds in " W i n t e r . " E v e n without a k n o w l e d g e of the s o n n e t s that inspired the m u s i c , the m e a n i n g s of the s i m i lar musical figures are clearly different w h e n heard in t h e c o n text o f the w o r k . A g a i n , the m a r c h l i k e melodies o f M a h l e r ' s T h i r d and S i x t h s y m p h o n i e s , and t h e M a r c h i n A c t 1 , scene 3 of B e r g ' s musical Wozzeck, w h e n M a r i e is admiring t h e sergeantdramatic contexts suggest entirely different m a j o r , h a v e n o t h i n g to do with feelings about w a r . T h e i r and meanings.

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N o n e o f these musical m e a n i n g s i s absolute even w i t h i n the same European musical tradition, in which t h e rules are clearly stated and the s y s t e m of learning t h e m has b e e n similar for centuries. T h e y depend n o t o n l y o n the c o n t e x t o f the w o r k , b u t also o n the musical c o n v e n t i o n s o f the t i m e . M u c h h a s b e e n written about t h e use of musical figures to illustrate ideas, especially i n t h e m u s i c o f J . S . B a c h . B u t t h e m u s i c o f B a c h and H a n d e l c a n n o t be fully understood w i t h o u t refere n c e to the e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y view of the world, in which aesthetic theories included " a complicated doctrine o f e m o tional expression going b a c k t o certain correlations o f r h y t h m and melodic line with various e m o t i o n s " ( H u g o Leichtentritt, M u s i c , History and Ideas [ C a m b r i d g e , M a s s . ; H a r v a r d U n i versity Press, 1 9 4 6 ] , p . 1 4 2 ) . For i n s t a n c e , F m a j o r was the k e y of t h e pastoral idyll, and F-sharp major was a t r a n s c e n dental k e y : " H a n d e l ' s entire h a r m o n i c s y s t e m and style o f m o d u l a t i o n s is based on the underlying m e a n i n g of the various k e y s " (ibid., p . 1 5 4 ) . S i m i l a r l y , i f n o r t h e r n Indian music claims t o b e able t o b r i n g out " a n u a n c e o f sadness, o r o f love . . . b y careful and i m p e r m a n e n t use o f the intervals that correspond with these emotions" (Alain Danielou, Northern Indian Music [ L o n d o n : H a l c y o n P r e s s , 1 9 5 4 ] , 2 : 9 ) , it is b e c a u s e t h e music is heard and performed in the c o n t e x t of Hindu culture and of a musical s y s t e m that is intricately related to it. T h e musical c o n v e n t i o n s o f t h e eighteenth c e n t u r y stand b e t w e e n t h e G i b b o n s madrigal and the T c h a i k o v s k y s y m p h o n y to w h i c h I referred earlier. A n d so I find it h a r d to accept that there has been a continuous musical tradition b e tween England in 1 6 1 2 and R u s s i a in 1 8 9 3 , in w h i c h certain musical figures h a v e had corresponding emotional c o n n o t a tions. T h e o n l y justification for such an a r g u m e n t would be that the emotional significance of certain intervals arises from fundamental features o f h u m a n p h y s i o l o g y and p s y c h o l o g y . If this is so, some relationships b e t w e e n musical intervals and

CULTURE human feelings

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ought

t o b e universal.

An example

Africa will be sufficient to question s u c h a t h e o r y . It is n o t sufficient to dismiss the theory altogether, b e c a u s e it is p o s sible that V e n d a musical c o n v e n t i o n s h a v e suppressed specific, universal w a y . Figure 6a s h o w s a V e n d a children's song in w h i c h small variations in the m e l o d y are generated by c h a n g e s of speech tone. W h e n I first learned to sing it, the V e n d a told me that I was doing well, b u t that I sang like a T s o n g a (their n e i g h bors to the s o u t h ) . I sang all word phrases to the m e l o d y of the first, and I t h o u g h t that my fault lay in the pitch of my intervals. Eventually, w h e n I realized that the m e l o d y should vary, t h e y accepted my p e r f o r m a n c e as truly V e n d a even if I deliberately sang out o f tune. T h e pattern o f intervals i s c o n sidered m o r e i m p o r t a n t than their e x a c t pitch, b e c a u s e in certain parts of a melody t h e y are expected to reflect c h a n g e s in speech t o n e . Figure 6b s h o w s a children's s o n g in w h i c h the s p e e c h - t o n e patterns of the first p h r a s e g e n e r a t e the b a s i c melody, rhythmic, musical and as subsequent well as variations in words bring about melodic, in variations. melody Such rhythmic may an i n n a t e desire in V e n d a people to express their e m o t i o n s in a

c h a n g e s are s o m e t i m e s called agogic accents in o r t h o d o x analysis. Variations and rhythm therefore indicate n o t musical p r e f e r e n c e s , but the incidental c o n s e q u e n c e s of c h a n g e s in speech tone, which are t h e m selves generated by the use of different words w h o s e sequence i s generated b y the " s t o r y " o f t h e song. Essential g e n e r a t i v e factors in t h e m u s i c of t h e s e and other V e n d a s o n g s are therefore e x t r a m u s i c a l . Parts o f the melodies are formal r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s o f p a t t e r n s o f speech t o n e , which are also formal and not n e c e s s a r i l y related to the m e a n i n g and expressive purpose o f t h e w o r d s . R e l a t i o n s h i p s b e t w e e n the specific e m o t i o n a l c o n t e n t o f the words a n d t h e s h a p e o f its associated m e l o d y m a y exist, b u t they would be c o i n c i dental.

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1. M a - e - le - lei Vho-ne Vho Mu-tshi-nyl!

2. M a - e - le - le! Vha i - t s e - m e - l a - ' n f ?

3. M a - e - l e - le! Ndftshf ta - mba zwa-nga,

4. M a - e - le - le! Na mu-da-vhu wa-nga,

5. M a - e - l e - le! Nge- f

b a - m b e - 1 6 - ni,

6. Ma-e - le - le! Nge- f

L u - vu

vhu?

4 FIGURE

a - high speech tone a = secondary high a falling high a - low + - points where some might clap to the melody

6. Parts of two Venda children's songs, illustrating effects of changing speech tones on the patterns of melody.

some

T h i s does n o t m e a n that the V e n d a are u n m o v e d b y music, or that they regard it as a m e r e e x t e n s i o n of l a n g u a g e . T h e treatment of a girls' tshigombela dance song illustrates this very clearly. T h e t e n d e n c y is for the music to b e c o m e m o r e musical as the p e r f o r m a n c e proceeds. Even in solo vocal music like the children's s o n g s , the f o r m of melodies can be divided into call and response s e c t i o n s , reflecting a social situation in which s o m e o n e " s o w s " (-sima) a song, and o t h e r s " t h u n d e r in response"(-buHme!)a m e t a p h o r derived from horticulture. It is only in the call section of the songs that melodies follow the speech-tone p a t t e r n s of words, and also the g e n eral rule that each syllable of a word m a y be a c c o m p a n i e d by only o n e tone. If performers substitute for words various

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c o m b i n a t i o n s of p h o n e m e s such as ee, ah.ee, huwelele wee, yowee, and so forth, they give t h e m s e l v e greater freedom of musical expression. T h i s is i m p o r t a n t , b e c a u s e it is the part of the shared experience o f m u s i c a l activity w h i c h m a y b e c o m e t r a n s c e n d e n t a l in its effect on individuals. In the development of a tshigombela song during a p e r f o r m a n c e that m a y last from ten to m o r e t h a n thirty m i n u t e s , the straightforward call and r e s p o n s e is elaborated into a quasi-contrapuntal s e q u e n c e , and words are a b a n d o n e d . D u r i n g the course of freer musical expression, a variety of melodies c o m e out " o n t o p " b e c a u s e in the e x c i t e m e n t of the dance the pitch of the girls' voices rises, and w h e n t h e y c a n n o t reach a tone t h e y transpose it down a fifth or an octave. T h u s , falling intervals m a y s o m e times express the feeling, " I c a n ' t reach the n e x t t o n e " ! T h e r e are also relationships b e t w e e n variations in the social and e m o t i o n a l c o n t e n t of a tshigombela dance and the form of t h e m u s i c , so that a formal analysis of different perf o r m a n c e s is also an expressive analysis. B u t unless the formal analysis b e g i n s as an analysis of the social situation that g e n e r a t e s the music, it is m e a n i n g l e s s . O n e h a s o n l y to listen to p e r f o r m a n c e s on an afternoon w h e n the girls are few in n u m b e r and bored, and on a n o t h e r o c c a s i o n w h e n there is a good turnout, an appreciative audience, and an a t m o s p h e r e o f e x c i t e m e n t and c o n c e r n , t o realize h o w and w h y two p e r f o r m a n c e s o f t h e s a m e song c a n b e entirely different in expressive p o w e r and in form. T h e n u m b e r and quality o f variations i n r h y t h m depend o n the ability o f the d r u m m e r s and dancers, b u t it is n o t simply a m a t t e r of running t h r o u g h the gamut of standard patterns which they k n o w . W h e n and h o w these variations are introduced i s w h a t gives the music its expressive p o w e r ; and this depends on the c o m m i t m e n t o f t h o s e p r e s e n t and the quality o f the shared e x p e r i e n c e that c o m e s into b e i n g a m o n g p e r f o r m e r s , and b e t w e e n p e r f o r m e r s and audience. I introduced D e r y c k C o o k e ' s t h e o r y o f the l a n g u a g e o f

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music b e c a u s e , although I c a n n o t accept it, it is undeniably t h o u g h t - p r o v o k i n g . I h a v e concluded my criticism with e x amples from V e n d a music in order to s h o w w h y an e t h n o musicological approach is n e c e s s a r y even in the study of European m u s i c b e t w e e n 1 4 0 0 and 1 9 5 3 . C o o k e c a n n o t b e faulted for c h o o s i n g a particular area of music, but, b e c a u s e his t h e o r y is n o t general e n o u g h to apply to any culture or society, it is automatically inadequate for European music. It is not sufficiently c o n t e x t - s e n s i t i v e . T o n a l music between 1 4 0 0 and 1 9 5 3 c a n n o t be isolated as a thing in itself, especially if it is to be related to h u m a n emotions. T h e aesthetic c o n v e n t i o n s o f the eighteenth century c a n n o t b e considered apart from the experience of t h e social groups w h o were or were n o t involved in them. If music serves as a sign or s y m b o l o f different kinds o f h u m a n e x p e r i e n c e , its p e r f o r m a n c e m a y help to channel the feelings of listeners in certain directions. A c o m p o s e r w h o hopes to c o m m u n i c a t e a n y t h i n g m o r e t h a n pretty sounds must be aware of the associations t h a t different sounds conjure up in t h e m i n d s of different social groups. It is n o t simply a m a t t e r of expressing feeling by relating sounds in the c o n t e x t of a single piece of m u s i c , as in B r i t t e n ' s War Requiem. T h e principles of musical organization must be related to social e x p e r i e n c e s , of which listening to and performing music form o n e aspect. T h e minuet is n o t simply a musical form b o r r o w e d from d a n c i n g : it h a s entirely different social and emotional associations b e f o r e and after the French R e v o l u t i o n . From a distance, the f o r m s , techniques, and building m a terials of music m a y seem to be cumulative, like a t e c h n o l o g i cal tradition. B u t music is n o t a b r a n c h of t e c h n o l o g y , t h o u g h it is affected by technological developments. It is m o r e like philosophy, which m a y also give a superficial impression of being evolutionary. Each apparently new idea in m u s i c , like a new idea in philosophy, does n o t really grow out of previously expressed ideas, though it m a y well be limited by

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them. It is a n e w emphasis w h i c h g r o w s out of a c o m p o s e r ' s experience of his e n v i r o n m e n t , a realization of certain aspects of the e x p e r i e n c e s c o m m o n to all h u m a n b e i n g s w h i c h seem to h i m to be particularly relevant in the light of c o n t e m p o r a r y events and personal experiences. T h e m o s t important thing about a cultural tradition at any time in its h i s t o r y is the w a y in w h i c h its h u m a n c o m p o n e n t s relate to each other. It is in t h e c o n t e x t of these relationships that e m o t i o n a l experiences are h a d and shared. A r t i s t i c enj o y m e n t i s " b a s e d essentially upon the reaction o f our minds to f o r m " ( F r a n z B o a s , Primitive Art [ N e w Y o r k : D o v e r , 1 9 5 5 ( 1 9 2 7 ) ] , p . 3 4 9 ) ; but the f o r m s are produced b y h u m a n minds w h o s e w o r k i n g h a b i t s are, I believe, a s y n t h e s i s of given, universal s y s t e m s of operation and acquired, cultural p a t t e r n s of expression. Since these patterns are always acquired through and in the c o n t e x t of social relationships and their associated e m o t i o n s , the decisive style-forming factor in a n y attempt to express feeling in music m u s t be its social c o n t e n t . If we w a n t to find the b a s i c organizing principles that affect the shapes o f p a t t e r n s o f m u s i c , w e m u s t look b e y o n d the cultural c o n v e n t i o n s of a n y c e n t u r y or society to t h e social situations in which t h e y are applied and to which they refer. T h e selection and use o f scales m a y b e the product o f social and cultural processes that are n o t necessarily related to the acoustical properties o f sound. I n V e n d a , the use o f p e n t a tonic, h e x a t o n i c , and heptatonic scales reflects a process of social c h a n g e , in which different groups, with different m u s i cal styles, h a v e b e c o m e incorporated into a larger s o c i e t y . It is strange that even a sociologist should ignore similar social processes in t h e development of t h e European tonal s y s t e m . In his study of The Rational and Social Foundations of Music (trans, and ed. D o n M a r t i n d a l e , J o h a n n e s R i e d e l , and G e r trude N e u w i r t h [ C a r b o n d a l e , 111.: S o u t h e r n Illinois U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1 9 5 8 ] ) , M a x W e b e r claimed that the E u r o p e a n musical s y s t e m w a s rationalized from within the tone s y s t e m : it was

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c o n c e r n e d n o t with real distances on i n s t r u m e n t s , such as equidistance b e t w e e n frets or flute h o l e s , b u t with h a r m o n i c distances. " T h e a p p e a r a n c e o f theories dealing w i t h t h e diss o n a n c e s m a r k s the b e g i n n i n g o f t h e special musical developm e n t o f the O c c i d e n t " (p. 7 5 ) , b e c a u s e " d i s s o n a n c e i s the b a s i c e l e m e n t o f chordal m u s i c , m o t i v a t i n g the progression from c h o r d t o c h o r d " (p. 6 ) . W e b e r attributes this developm e n t to t h e scientific attitude that emerged at t h e t i m e of the R e n a i s s a n c e . A l t h o u g h h e a c k n o w l e d g e s that t h e o r y follows practice and that " m o d e r n chordal h a r m o n y b e l o n g e d to p r a c tical m u s i c long b e f o r e R a m e a u and the e n c y c l o p a e d i s t s p r o vided it with a theoretic b a s i s " (p. 1 0 3 ) , he does not go further and s h o w h o w h a r m o n i c music arose out o f p o l y p h o n y , and that p o l y p h o n y w a s at first m o d a l and distinguished from m o n o d y m o r e b y its r h y t h m than b y its tonal relationships. T h e p o l y p h o n y o f early European music i s i n principle not unlike t h e p o l y r h y t h m o f m u c h African m u s i c ; i n b o t h c a s e s , p e r f o r m a n c e depends on a n u m b e r of people holding separate parts within a f r a m e w o r k of m e t r i c unity, b u t t h e principle is applied " v e r t i c a l l y " to melodies in p o l y p h o n y , and " h o r i z o n t a l l y " t o r h y t h m i c figures i n p o l y r h y t h m . T h e source o f b o t h techniques is surely in cultural concepts and social activity, such as dancing. T h e c h a n g e in European musical technique from t h e m o n o d y o f p l a i n c h a n t t o p o l y p h o n y depended o n m e n s u r a t i o n , o n the strict organization o f r h y t h m s o that the different singing parts would fit. A n d m e n s u r a t i o n is the c h i e f feature of dance m u s i c , w h i c h was a vital activity of the p e a s a n t s . T h e medieval c h u r c h h a d allowed o n l y plainc h a n t , w h i c h w a s intended t o express the u n i t y o f society within the f r a m e w o r k of a c h u r c h dedicated to G o d ; its style was c o m p l e t e l y divorced from the regular r h y t h m s of secular dancing and the unsophisticated " t o n i c - d o m i n a n t " relationships that o c c u r in lively pieces such as " S u m e r is i c u m e n i n . " It is n o t surprising that the early m a s t e r s of p o l y p h o n y

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c a m e from t h e N e t h e r l a n d s and E n g l a n d , w h e r e the peasants had b e c o m e free during the t h i r t e e n t h and fourteenth c e n tries, respectively. As the p e a s a n t s ' political i m p o r t a n c e grew, so their dance m u s i c b e c a m e i n c o r p o r a t e d in the m u s i c written for the c h u r c h by professional c o m p o s e r s . It is p o s s i b l e that the p r e d o m i n a n c e of thirds and s i x t h s in the m u s i c o f J o h n D u n s t a b l e , and o f fourths i n the m u s i c o f the Flemish c o m p o s e r s , m a y be explained as a l e g a c y from the popular music of their societies. (In Africa today, societies w h o sing in parallel m o t i o n s h o w preferences for certain intervals.) A g a i n , the r e m a r k a b l e development o f p o l y p h o n i c music in E n g l a n d during the sixteenth century m a y h a v e b e e n stimulated a s m u c h b y the advent o f W e l s h m o n a r c h s and their followers as by the m u s i c a l invention of individual c o m posers in the first h a l f of the fifteenth c e n t u r y . W h e n the T u d o r K i n g H e n r y V I I c a m e t o t h e throne i n 1 4 8 5 , h e reestablished W e l s h influence i n E n g l a n d ; and W e l s h popular music had b e e n , noted for its p o l y p h o n i c technique since at least the twelfth c e n t u r y . A c o m p o s e r ' s style is " d i c t a t e d by the kind of h u m a n beings and h u m a n e m o t i o n s " he " t r i e s to b r i n g into his art, using the language elements o f his t i m e , " says S i d n e y F i n k e l stein in Art and Society ([New York: International Publishers, 1 9 4 7 ] , p . 2 9 ) . T h e influence o f popular culture i s strong i n the w o r k s o f m a n y great c o m p o s e r s , w h o h a v e striven to express t h e m s e l v e s , and h e n c e their society, in the broadest t e r m s . L u t h e r a n chorales were deliberately derived from " f o l k s o n g s , " and B a c h organized m u c h o f his music round t h e m . H a y d n , M o z a r t , and S c h u b e r t , in particular, organized their m u s i c round the A u s t r i a n " f o l k " idiom. B a r tok, K o d a l y , J a n a c e k , C o p l a n d , and numerous o t h e r c o m posers of n a t i o n a l schools h a v e found the greatest stimulus in the sounds of their o w n societies. In the third and fourth volumes of Man and His Music, and especially in The Sonata Principle (from c. 1750) (London: Rockliff, 1957), Wilfrid

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M e l l e r s h a s s h o w n h o w d a n c e f o r m s , the tone and stress o f the c o m p o s e r ' s o w n language, and particularly t h e melodies of " f o l k " m u s i c , h a v e all played as vital a part in the process of assimilation and creation as h a v e c o n v e n t i o n s of musical style. H e has drawn attention t o t h e successive d o m i n a n c e o f vocal and instrumental forms in the development of t e c h niques o f E u r o p e a n " a r t " music, and h a s linked these developm e n t s with c h a n g e s in t h e social order (Wilfrjd M e l l e r s , M u s i c and Society [ L o n d o n : D o b s o n , 1 9 5 0 ] , pp. 8 1 , 1 3 2 ) . Curt S a c h s h a s likewise discussed the influence o f s o c i e t i e s ' styles of dancing on their melodies (in World History of the Dance [New Y o r k : W . W . N o r t o n , 1 9 3 7 ] , pp. 1 8 1 - 2 0 3 ) . C h a n g e s in musical style h a v e generally b e e n reflections of changes in society. For e x a m p l e , after about A.D. 1 2 0 0 in Europe, k n i g h t s and other secular powers turned increasingly " t o the people, w h o s e popular style of singing they adapted to their m o r e refined t a s t e " (Leichtentritt, Music, History and Ideas, p. 6 0 ) . In turning a w a y from the social d o m i n a n c e of the c h u r c h , they also rejected its m u s i c . S i m i l a r l y , the various styles of V e n d a music reflect the variety of its social groups and the degree of their assimilation into the b o d y politic. M u s i c a l p e r f o r m a n c e s are audible and visible signs of social and political groupings in V e n d a s o c i e t y , and Figure 7 shows their pattern in the social structure. M u s i c in the traditional style is c o n t a i n e d in c o n c e n t r i c circles s y m b o l i c of V e n d a houses and d a n c e patterns, and nontraditional m u s i c is in rectangles, similar to the E u r o p e a n house designs that m a n y educated people h a v e adopted. T h e initiation schools vhusha, tshikanda, and domba are directly controlled by rulers, while murundu and sungwi are privately owned, but under the auspices of rulers and traditionally oriented. T o g e t h e r with the possession dances (ngoma dza midzimu), w h i c h are held by family cult groups with the permission of rulers, each of these institutions is regarded very seriously and called ngoma (literally, d r u m ) . O t h e r types of music m a y be referred to as

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FIGURE 7 . Diagram showing the relationships between musical and social structure in Venda society. Compare with Figure 5.

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a m u s e m e n t s (mitambo), b u t this does not m e a n t h e y are not an i m p o r t a n t part of V e n d a social and political life. T h e European-run c h u r c h e s c a m e and set t h e m s e l v e s up in total opposition to traditional V e n d a life, b u t schools and separatist churches h a v e developed m u s i c that reflects t h e s y n c r e tism of their social life. T h e variety and vigor o f V e n d a musical styles are the product of a political situation similar to that in A u s t r i a in the late e i g h t e e n t h century, w h e n p r o m i n e n t families and princes "rivalled each other in the e x c e l l e n c e of their private o r c h e s t r a s " (ibid., p . 1 7 3 ) . T h e diversity o f musical styles reflects a diversity that underlies the apparent h o m o g e n e i t y o f V e n d a culture and s o c i e t y , and h e n c e b o t h the historical p r o c e s s that has b r o u g h t t h e m about, and their m e a n i n g in c o n t e m p o r a r y life. T h e r e are o n l y two types o f politically regulated c o m munal music that can really bring traditionally oriented V e n d a together. T h e y are tshikona, the national d a n c e , and domba, the premarital initiation dance, which used to be performed by y o u t h s and girls but is n o w performed almost exclusively b y girls b e c a u s e m i g r a n t labor and the g r o w t h o f school education h a v e c h a n g e d the pattern o f V e n d a rural life. T h e m u s i c and dance of the domba initiation s c h o o l p r o vide an astonishing illustration of the w a y in w h i c h formal and expressive e l e m e n t s m a y be c o m b i n e d to p o r t r a y s y m b o l ically in music the essential t h e m e s of a culture. W h a t m a k e s t h e m all the m o r e r e m a r k a b l e is that the process of creation was almost certainly not s e l f - c o n s c i o u s , but the f o r m s are s y s t e m a t i c a l l y related t o their expressive purpose. T h e V e n d a explain that domba h a s b e e n with t h e m for centuries, and they h a v e m u c h to say on the functions of the initiation school and the b e a u t y and value of the c h i e f ritual dance. T h e y m a k e n o c o m m e n t o n the form o f the dance and its music, except to s a y that "domba is domba; it's an i m p o r t a n t rite (ngoma)." A n d yet the m u s i c and dance depict an e s s e n -

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tial feature of adult life, and their regular p e r f o r m a n c e s y m bolize the i m p o r t a n c e o f m a r r i a g e , childbirth, and institutionalized m o t h e r h o o d . On the surface, domba sounds like a regular piece of V e n d a music in c a l l - r e s p o n s e form, with p o l y r h y t h m i c a c c o m p a n i m e n t and musical development o f the response. T h e circular form of the d a n c e is characteristically V e n d a , and with a lot of girls in relatively small dancing grounds, it is not u n r e a s o n a b l e that they should hold each other. T h e m o v e m e n t has b e e n w r o n g l y called " T h e P y t h o n D a n c e " i n illustrated j o u r nals and tourist b r o c h u r e s , in w h i c h it is cited as o n e of the m o s t interesting things a b o u t the V e n d a p r e s u m a b l y b e cause it is performed by a chain of almost n a k e d m a i d e n s . A n d yet the d a n c e m o v e m e n t , the kind of musical developm e n t w h i c h the response is given, and the signals for the b e g i n n i n g and t h e end of the d a n c e m o v e m e n t s are all generated b y the expressive functions o f the music. W h a t i s m o r e , I could never h a v e discovered this if I had not attended scores o f p e r f o r m a n c e s o f the dance i n different parts o f V e n da, recorded hundreds of the word-phrases sung by the soloist, noted the relationships a m o n g words, dance, and music, and learned the esoteric s y m b o l i s m of the school. I had to i m m e r s e m y s e l f in V e n d a culture and society in order to understand this product o f V e n d a minds. T h e analysis of domba I present is derived from a c o m b i n a tion of different kinds of e t h n o g r a p h i c information. I do n o t claim that it is the last word on the subject, b u t at least it is logical and it arises out of the e t h n o g r a p h y . W h e n I b e g a n the analysis, I had no idea h o w it would turn out, and I never suspected that the formal and expressive elements would be s o unified. M y conclusions w e r e thrust o n m e b y the regularities and c o r r e s p o n d e n c e s that emerged from the material I had collected in the field. Domba is the last of a series of initiation schools that prepare girls for marriage. A l t h o u g h there is m u c h emphasis

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on sex and reproduction, the schools are n o t concerned solely with fertility. T h e y are designed to prepare girls for institutionalized motherhood, together with all the rights and obligations that go with it. T h e r e is evidence that the c o n t e n t and form of t h e school h a v e c h a n g e d over t h e y e a r s , particularly since its " n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n " by t h e ancestors of t h e ruling clans. In the past, w h e n domba was a ritual of t h e c o m m o n e r clans, the emphasis on physical growth seems to h a v e been stronger. T h e ruling clans have expanded t h e political significance of the initiation s c h o o l s , but the basically physical orientation of the music and dance remains. Each p e r f o r m a n c e of the d a n c e symbolizes sexual intercourse, and successive p e r f o r m a n c e s symbolize the building up of t h e fetus, for which regular intercourse is t h o u g h t to be n e c e s s a r y . T h e music and the dance are n o t m e a n t to be s e x y : they symbolize the m y s t i c a l act o f sexual c o m m u n i o n , conception, the g r o w t h of the fetus, and childbirth. A f t e r three warning dr u m b e a ts , the voice of the male soloist, the m a s t e r of initiation, " p i e r c e s the air like an a r r o w , " like a phallus, and the girls reply w i t h a low, murmuring response. T h e m a n ' s voice begins on what is functionally similar to a d o m i n a n t in V e n d a tonality, and t h e girls' voices t a k e the response t o the " t o n i c , " t h e point o f relaxation. T h r e e differently pitched drums enter in p o l y r h y t h m , two against three, and the song is under w a y . The girls are being symbolically roused. After a few repeats of the basic melody, the m a s t e r sings " t h e river reed u n w i n d s , " and the girls, w h o are in a line holding each other's bodies, begin to step around the drums. T h e river reed and the line of girls are b o t h phallic s y m b o l s , and the b e g i n n i n g of the dance m o v e m e n t s y m b o l i z e s t h e entry of the phallus. T h e girls immediately begin quasi-orgastic singing w h i c h they call khulo. As in t h e tshikona n a t i o n a l dance, h o c k e t technique is employed. A f t e r several m i n u t e s , w h e n the m a s t e r sings the word-phrase "gndu has stirred up your e n t r a i l s , " t h e girls

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stop m o v i n g and lean o v e r toward the center o f t h e d a n c i n g circle, s y m b o l i z i n g d e t u m e s c e n c e . T h e r e is a fire in the center of the dancing p l a c e , w h i c h m u s t b e k e p t alight t h r o u g h o u t the duration o f the s c h o o l .
Example 21

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Example 21 (continued) .CHORUS (" tivha khulo)

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Example 21 (continued)

Alternative pattern of basic melody: SOLO CHORUS

T h e " w h i t e " a s h e s s y m b o l i z e the semen that i s considered n e c e s s a r y for t h e g r o w t h o f t h e fetus. T h e s w i n g i n g b a s s drum is called " t h e h e a d of t h e c h i l d " in the esoteric s y m b o l i s m of t h e school. At the b e g i n n i n g of domba, it lies on t h e ground. A f t e r three or four m o n t h s (though s o m e t i m e s less, it s e e m s ) , there is a c e r e m o n y at w h i c h the drum is " c o o k e d " and then h u n g from t h e c r o s s b a r . T h i s is like the m o v i n g of the child i n t h e w o m b , symbolized b y the dance circle. T h e s y m b o l i s m is n o t conclusive about t h e drums, but it seems that their different b e a t s express t h e h e a r t b e a t s of father, m o t h e r , and fetus. O n the last n i g h t o f the initiation school, the girls d a n c e with their h a n d s a b o v e their h e a d s , symbolizing t h e pains of

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childbirth and a night of l a b o r . On the following m o r n i n g they are stripped and w a s h e d , and dressed in their graduation clothes. T h e y are carried, like b a b i e s , o n t h e b a c k s o f their " m o t h e r s " up to the ruler's courtyard, w h e r e they dance domba for the last time as n o v i c e s . T h e n c e f o r t h t h e y are ready for m a r r i a g e and for fuller participation in V e n d a society. O n e function o f the m u s i c and dance w a s t o c r e a t e a b a b y s y m b o l i c a l l y , and, as if to reinforce this, the b a s s drum is r e m o v e d from the c r o s s b a r for the final rites. T h e r e is an i m p o r t a n t relationship b e t w e e n the m u s i c of domba and of tshikona, which reflects the function of the t w o types of m u s i c in V e n d a society. A complete set of reed pipes is called mutavha. T h e w o r d refers to the set and n o t to the n u m b e r of tones to an o c t a v e . T h e s a m e word is used to refer to a set of k e y s on the mbira and t h e x y l o p h o n e . H o w e v e r , n a m e s are given to the n o t e s in such a w a y that their relationships within the o c t a v e and their musical functions are recognized. T h e c h i e f t o n e of a set of h e p t a t o n i c reed pipes is called phala, and the tone an o c t a v e a b o v e it is called phalana, or " l i t t l e phala." T h e tone a b o v e phala is called thakhula, the " l i f t e r , " b e c a u s e it leads the m e l o d y b a c k down o n t o the c h i e f tone. (It is functionally like a leading note in E u r o p e a n music.) Every tone h a s a c o m p a n i o n t o n e , a fifth b e l o w . T h i s is n o t a device limited to tshikona: it is implicit in every V e n d a m e l o d y b a s e d on h e p t a t o n i c m o d e s . T h e c o m p a n i o n t o n e s in a p e n t a t o n i c scale differ b e c a u s e of the spacing of t h e intervals, but the basically social principle that a t o n e m u s t h a v e a c o m p a n i o n t o n e still applies, and it m a y b e e x p r e s s e d explicitly i n the " h a r m o n i e s " improvised b y other singers. In i n s t r u m e n t a l music the interval of a tritone is permitted, b u t in vocal m u s i c it is avoided as a chord. An interesting contrast exists b e t w e e n tshikona and the khulo of domba, in which girls sing with their voices almost the s a m e pattern that m e n play o n their reed pipes (see Figure 8 ) . T h e per-

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mitted tritone is n o t in the same position in the pattern of tshikona (c"I f%" in 8 a ) as it would be in the pattern of khulo (second chord in 8 b ) , if it were not avoided. T h i s is evidence that khulo is not a simple transposition of tshikona: if it were, the avoided tritone would appear, as in tshikona, in the
(a) TSHIKONA (b) KHULO

(c)

(d)

8. Illustration of the transformation process by which khulo is related to tshikona, and summary of modes and basic chord sequence. (a) The upper tones of tshikona, transposed down a semitone. (b) The basic pattern of khulo for girls' voices. (c) Transposition of tshikona to the same pitch as khulo. Note the I natural and the position of the tritone. (d) Transformation of tshikona, rewriting d" as phala instead of a". Note how the position of the tritone differs from tshikona in 8c, but agrees with khulo in 8b. (e) The three modes used in tshikona and khulo, rewritten without accidentals. (f) The harmonic basis of khulo. The sequence of chords also fits the tshikona pattern, regardless of the different modes used. Note: the figures indicate the number of semitones in the intervals of the modes.
FIGURE

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penultimate, and n o t in the s e c o n d chord. Khulo i s , rather, a t r a n s f o r m a t i o n that is generated by t h e different function of the music. T h u s the c o m p a n i o n tones of the m e n ' s tshikona (B i n 8 a , 8 c , and 8 e ) h a v e b e e n selected a s the chief m o d e o f the girls' khulo, for which a further set of c o m p a n i o n tones h a s been taken (C in 8 b , 8d, and 8 e ) . It is as if tshikona embodies within its mutavha a m a l e and a female m o d e , and the m a l e m o d e h a s been c h o s e n for the m e n ' s music and the female m o d e for t h e girls' m u s i c . B o t h are united by their c o m m o n relationship to a single basic h a r m o n i c progression ( 8 f ) . N o t i c e that in t h e h a r m o n i c progression there is a shift of tonal power from phala (d" in 8 c , 8 e , and 8f) to thakhula (e" in 8 c , 8 e , and 8 f ) , and t h e n b a c k to phala. T h e relationship b e t w e e n the chords is determined by the fact that in the tshikona pattern every tone h a s t w o c o m p a n i o n t o n e s t h e first a fifth b e l o w and the s e c o n d a fifth above. T h u s d"/g and e"la' are functionally " s t r o n g e r " chords than d"la' and e"lb' (see Figure 9 ) .

Harmonic Progression

9. Diagram of the harmonic and tonal progressions of tshikona and khulo, showing how the power of phala (d") and thakhula (e") alters as they change their companion tones. The rectangles symbolize shifts of tonality, and the changing thickness of the "wedges" illustrates the decrease and increase of the tonal power of phala and thakhula.
FIGURE

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In spite of their different t i m b r e and tempi, the musical affinity of tshikona and khulo o u g h t to be apparent even to one w h o h a s n o k n o w l e d g e o f V e n d a culture. T o a certain extent t h e m u s i c speaks for itself. B u t , although t h e general nature of the relationship is clearly audible, the precise w a y in which this musical relationship h a s b e e n achieved c a n n o t possibly be derived from a study of the n o t e s alone. T h e analysis m u s t b e g i n with the role of music in V e n d a society and culture (see Figures 5 and 7 ) , so that we c a n see h o w patterns of culture and society h a v e emerged in the s h a p e of h u m a n l y organized sound.

Soundly Organized

Humanity
f | N T H E F I R S T C H A P T E R I stated that, i f w e w a n t t o H I know h o w musical man is, w e must b e able t o describe exactly w h a t happens to any piece of music. In the second and third chapters I have tried to show w h y we shall never be able to do this until we understand what happens to the human beings w h o make the music. M u s i c is a synthesis of cognitive processes which are present in culture and in the human b o d y : the forms it takes, and the effects it has on people, are generated by the social experiences of human bodies in different cultural environments. Because music is humanly organized sound, it expresses aspects of the experience of individuals in society. It follows that any assessment of human musicality must account for processes that are extramusical, and that these should be included in analyses of music. T h e answers to many important questions about musical structure m a y not be strictly musical. W h y are certain scales, modes, and intervals preferred? T h e explanation m a y be historical, political, philosophical, or rational in terms of acoustical laws. W h a t comes next when a certain musical pattern has been played? Is the next tone determined by the logic of the melodic pattern,

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or by a m o r e g e n e r a l rule relating m e l o d y to p a t t e r n s of speech tone, a s i n V e n d a m u s i c ? W h y s h o u l d a p a t t e r n b e r e p e a t e d at a certain p o i n t ? W h y s h o u l d it be r e p e a t e d at all? M u s i c o l o g y m u s t be a b l e to a n s w e r these q u e s t i o n s if it is to e x p l a i n w h a t is g o i n g on in m u s i c ; b u t I b e l i e v e that it w i l l not succeed in a n s w e r i n g g e n e r a l questions a b o u t m u s i c until it r e c o g n i z e s the peculiarities of different m u s i c a l s y s t e m s . E v e n the d i s c o v e r i e s o f s y s t e m a t i c m u s i c o l o g y m a y a p p l y o n l y to the m u s i c a l traditions of s y s t e m a t i c m u s i c o l o g i s t s a n d to the p e r c e p t u a l faculties t h a i h a v e b e e n d e v e l o p e d i n their o w n cultures. I w i l l reinforce this point w i t h reference to f o u r of the children's songs included in my book, Venda Children's Songs ( J o h a n n e s b u r g : W i t w a t e r s r a n d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 6 7 ) . T h i s w i l l s h o w h o w a n a n a l y s i s o f their s o u n d a l o n e i s inadequate and misleading. We will consider the songs ( E x a m p l e s 2 2 - 2 5 ) first a s " p u r e " m u s i c , then a s s o u n d o r g a nized in a p a r t i c u l a r cultural a n d social context.
Example 22

Fottlo s e e m s to be b a s e d on ten h a i r - n o t e beats d i v i d e d b} the m e l o d y into 4 4 - 4 + 2 , a n d i n c o r p o r a t i n g thirty w o r d s y l l a b l e s w h i c h are g r o u p e d into threes a s l + l - ) - 2 e i g h t ! notes. O n e can i m a g i n e s e v e r a l i n g e n i o u s e x p l a n a t i o n s of th( metrical structure of the s o n g , w h i c h m a y or m a y not b<

correct; b u t the V e n d a w h o p e r f o r m it are c o n s c i o u s of a single e x p l a n a t i o n , w h i c h i s a s s i g n e d b y its cultural context. Potilo is a c h i l d r e n ' s s o n g (luimbo Iwa vhana) in the s u b c a t e g o r y of c o u n t i n g s o n g s (nyimbo dza u vhala): on e a c h halfnote beat, a finger is g r a s p e d a n d c o u n t e d , from the left little finger to the t h u m b , and then t h r o u g h from the right t h u m b to the fourth finger, w i t h a clap of the h a n d s on the tenth half beat.
Example 23

T h e s e c o n d s o n g , Nde' ndi ngei thavhani, u s e s five tones a n d is b a s e d on repetitions of f o u r dotted q u a r t e r n o t e s . In this c a s e , w e w i l l consider n o t the m e t e r but the c h a n g e s i n the m e l o d y . A g a i n , a " p u r e l y " m u s i c a l a n a l y s i s w i l l n o t d o , b e c a u s e o f the V e n d a s y s t e m o f relationships b e t w e e n speech tone a n d m e l o d y . T h e tonal s e q u e n c e at the b e g i n n i n g of each p h r a s e v a r i e s f r o m G E D t o C E D and C D , a n d there are different p a t t e r n s in later repetitions of the b a s i c m e l o d y . T h i s m a y b e h e a r d a s m e l o d i c v a r i e t y that i s b a l a n c e d and p l e a s i n g to the ear, b u t it is n o t c o n c e i v e d m u s i c a l l y . It is a c o n s e q u e n c e of c h a n g e s in the speech tone of the different w o r d s , w h i c h i n turn are g e n e r a t e d b y the " s t o r y " o f the s o n g (see a l s o F i g u r e 6 ) . T h e f o r m o f the s o n g i s d e r i v e d from a social m o d e l , so that the v a r y i n g call and the u n c h a n g -

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ing r e s p o n s e reflect a situation in w h i c h a soloist w o r k s w i t h a c h o r u s . T h u s , s p e e c h - t o n e c h a n g e s are reflected in the first, but not the s e c o n d , section of e a c h p h r a s e , so that in the p e r f o r m a n c e of a single p e r s o n there is a c o n d e n s a t i o n of a social situation w h i c h children w i l l encounter w h e n t h e y g r o w up and p a r t i c i p a t e in l a r g e r social g r o u p s .
Example 24

T h e third s o n g also u s e s five t o n e s , but a different a r r a n g e ment o f five t o n e s . N o t i c e the p a t t e r n E G C E , s i m i l a r t o that in Potilo, C E A C . T h i s m i g h t be called a f a n f a r e p a t t e r n ; b u t b u g l e s a n d f a n f a r e s are i r r e l e v a n t in the context of traditional V e n d a culture. A g a i n , the first part of the m e l o d y is like the call of c a l l - r e s p o n s e f o r m , a n d there are m i n o r v a r i a tions of m e l o d y d e p e n d e n t on c h a n g e s in s p e e c h tone. T h e s a m e principles a p p l y in the fourth song> w h i c h uses s i x tones and also h a s the " f a n f a r e " pattern C E A C .

Example 25

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SOLO

CHORUS

3.

Se - se

tshi

bva -'flu?

Vhu - t w a - na - mba.

4.

Fha - la

ha

Mu - kwa - I

vho

kwa - ya

vha

vhti - ya.

It could be argued that t h e s e four songs represent stages of musical evolution from a four-tone nucleus E D C A . It is possible to a n a l y z e t h e m j u s t as musical p a t t e r n s , in terms of the iteration of tones and their c o n v e r g e n c e on tone centers, the rhythmic reinforcement of tones, tonic-dominant tonality, p a t t e r n s of melodic relaxation and tension, and so on. If you treat these melodies as things in themselves, as " s o n i c o b j e c t s , " w h i c h is t h e kind of approach I am o b j e c t i n g to, you can w o r k out several different a n a l y s e s . T h i s procedure is very c o m m o n i n a n a l y s e s o f E u r o p e a n music and m a y b e o n e o f the reasons w h y musical j o u r n a l s are s o full o f c o n t r a d i c tory e x p l a n a t i o n s o f the s a m e m u s i c . E v e r y o n e disagrees h o t l y and s t a k e s his academic reputation on what M o z a r t really m e a n t i n this o r that b a r o f o n e o f his s y m p h o n i e s , c o n c e r t o s , or quartets. If we k n e w e x a c t l y w h a t went on inside M o z a r t ' s m i n d w h e n h e w r o t e t h e m , there could b e o n l y o n e e x p l a n a tion. If we a n a l y z e the four s o n g s as music in culture, it seems that we can explain t h e m w i t h o u t resort to a r g u m e n t s about musical evolution or the merits of alternative a n a l y s e s . Fur-

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thermore, it is n o t n e c e s s a r y to c o n c o c t a theory that the songs are part of a musical Cradus by which children prepare for adult m u s i c , like Carl Orff's Music for Children. T w o of the first s o n g s that small children were singing in 1 9 5 6 - 5 8 were t h e f o u r - t o n e Potilo and the six-tone Ndo bva na tshidongo ( E x a m p l e s 2 2 and 2 5 ) . T h e y were the m o s t popular children's s o n g s , they b e l o n g e d to classes of s o n g s that are sung by b o y s and girls together, and they were generally learned b e f o r e certain t w o - or three-tone songs that a c c o m panied g a m e s children rarely played at an early age. S o c i a l factors tend to regulate the age at which V e n d a children learn the s o n g s , and the fact that o n e has four t o n e s , and others h a v e five, six, or seven t o n e s , h a s little to do with the learning process. It is the total pattern of the music and its associated situations which are m o r e significant than the n u m b e r of tones used in songs. Children learn these s o n g s as they learn l a n g u a g e , as c o m p l e t e ideas, and n o t gradually by musical progression. T h e children's songs are t h e first music V e n d a children learn, in the s e n s e of actively performing music. T h e y are not the first music they h e a r , w h i c h is m o r e likely to be the music of t h e national dance (tshikona), the premarital initiation dance (domba), or the m a n y b e e r songs that will assail their ears as t h e y are strapped to their m o t h e r s ' b a c k s . O t h e r music t h a t V e n d a b o y s h e a r and play is the music of the b o y s ' d a n c e (tshikanganga) and a series of associated reedpipe dances for t h e pentatonic pipes (nanga dza lutanga). Tshikona, the national dance, is played on different sets of heptatonic pipes. As I pointed out in t h e second and third chapters, it is the m o s t i m p o r t a n t V e n d a m u s i c ; and there is a close relationship b e t w e e n its musical form and its e x pressive purposes. T h e music of tshikona is such that if y o u ask a V e n d a to sing it, he m a y give o n e of several p o s s i b l e versions (see Figure 1 0 ) . He m a y e v e n attempt to give a m o r e graphic representation in which snatches of vocal p h r a s e s

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10. Different ways in which the Venda may sing tshikona, their national dance for reed pipes and drums. The figures indicate the number of semitones in each interval. D and are the nearest equivalents to a scale that the Venda sing: singers do not complete the octave, but pause on the seventh tone or repeat the pattern. The names of one octave of reed pipes are given. Tshikona is here transposed down a minor third.
FIGURE

a c c o m p a n y an imitation of the pipes. All these variations, and m a n y o t h e r s , can be drawn from the tshikona pattern (see Figure 1 1 a ) . All are t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s that are accepted b y the V e n d a as tshikona. Figure 11 also s h o w s h o w three of the children's s o n g s ( E x a m p l e s 2 2 , 2 4 , and 2 5 ) m a y b e derived from the tshikona p a t t e r n : the recurrence of the " f a n f a r e " patterns suggests s t r o n g l y that the relationship is n o t an imaginary creation o f the music analyst. Besides, o n o n e o c c a sion a group of V e n d a b o y s actually c o n v e r t e d Thathatha (Example 2 4 ) into tshikona, a b a n d o n i n g the words for sounds that are said to represent t h e sound of reed pipes, fhe, fhe, fhe.

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Pattern of Ndo boa na tshidongo FIGURE

(Example 25)

1 1 . Relationship between the melodies of three Venda children's songs and the music of tshikona, only part of which is given, transposed down a minor third. Similarly, the song Nde' ndi ngei thavhani (Example 2 3 ) is related to t h e pattern of Mutshaini (see Figure 1 2 a ) , w h i c h is o n e o f t h e p e n t a t o n i c reed-pipe melodies. T h e relationship o f a four-tone song Nandi Munzhedzi (see Figure 1 2 c ) to an(see other reed-pipe m e l o d y , Mangovho (see Figure 1 2 b ) , s h o w s h o w that s o n g is not related to tshikona, as is Potilo Figure l i b ) , although b o t h use the same t o n e s . W h a t reveals their relationship is the pattern of their melodies. T h u s o n e four-tone s o n g is derived from a pentatonic model and another is derived from a h e p t a t o n i c model. T h e principles of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n are the s a m e , and t h e musical results are similar at the surface level, b u t their basic conceptual models are different. T h i s is w h y I maintained above that t h e total pattern of a m e l o d y m a y be m o r e significant than t h e n u m b e r o f tones used. A n apparently e l e m e n t a r y product m a y conceal a complex process, and vice versa. T h e r e are m a n y o t h e r s o n g s that are related to tshikona and

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12. Relationship between two Venda children's songs two pentatonic reed-pipe melodies played by youths and boys 4 in Figures 5 and 7).
FIGURE

and (No.

to the b o y s ' reed-pipe d a n c e s , as I h a v e d e m o n s t r a t e d in my b o o k . M y point i s that formal musicological analysis m a y b e c o m e inadequate and even irrelevant as soon as the s o n g s are analyzed in relation to o t h e r items of V e n d a music and in terms of the V e n d a music s y s t e m , and also in relation to the social " o r i g i n s " o f that s y s t e m . T h e children's s o n g s are t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s of music that children m u s t h a v e heard and will a l m o s t certainly p e r f o r m later in their lives. T h e y h a v e b e e n condensed by a process of ellipsis n o t unlike t h a t w h i c h occurs in the early speech of children. Instead of imitating a d o w n w a r d - m o v i n g , often heptatonic pattern o f m e l o d y , t h e y exhibit a n e w type of pattern, which happens to suit the m o r e limited r a n g e o f children's voices. T h e processes o f creation w e r e p r o b a b l y u n c o n s c i o u s ; and it is even possible that the s o n g s w e r e originally c o m p o s e d by children. B u t i f they were n o t , and t h e y are n o w learned b y conscious imitation rather than by o s m o s i s , there w a s a time w h e n they w e r e c o m p o s e d , and the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n process used was similar in principle to that which relates the pattern of tshikona to the khulo of domba, as discussed in c h a p ter 3 (see Figure 8 ) . T h e i m p o r t a n t point h e r e is t h a t the principles of the creative process cannot a l w a y s be found in the surface structures o f the music, and m a n y o f the g e n e r a -

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tive factors are n o t musical. For i n s t a n c e , I also s h o w e d h o w a b a s i c m e l o d y m a y be restructured to suit c h a n g e s in t h e speech-tone patterns o f words (see Figure 6 ) . E v e n V e n d a children are able to set entirely n e w strings of words to an existing m e l o d y in a w a y that is recognized as c h a r a c t e r i s t i c ally V e n d a (see page 6 9 ) , a l t h o u g h they receive n o f o r m a l instruction and t h e rules of the s y s t e m can be derived o n l y from a c o m p a r a t i v e analysis of m a n y different s o n g s . C r e ativity in V e n d a music depends on the use and t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of the b a s i c conceptual models that generate its surface s t r u c t u r e s ; and b e c a u s e these models are acquired u n c o n sciously as part of the maturation p r o c e s s , I do not t h i n k that they can be used really creatively by s o m e o n e w h o is n o t deeply involved in V e n d a society. In o t h e r words, the rules of V e n d a music are not a r b i t r a r y , like the rules of a game. In order to create n e w V e n d a m u s i c , you must be a V e n d a , sharing V e n d a social and cultural life from early childhood. T h e technical resources o f V e n d a music m a y n o t s e e m very great to o n e a c c u s t o m e d to E u r o p e a n c l a s sical music, and the b a s i c rules of c o m p o s i t i o n could p r o b a b l y be learned from a study of recordings and of my own analyses. B u t I am convinced t h a t a trained musician could n o t c o m p o s e m u s i c that was a b s o l u t e l y n e w and specifically V e n d a , and a c c e p t a b l e as s u c h to V e n d a audiences, unless he had b e e n b r o u g h t up in V e n d a society. B e c a u s e t h e c o m p o s i tion of V e n d a m u s i c depends so m u c h on b e i n g a V e n d a , and its structure is correspondingly related to that condition of being, it follows that an analysis of the sound c a n n o t be conceived apart from its social and cultural c o n t e x t . T h e music o f the four songs could h a v e b e e n analyzed i n t e r m s o f their n o t e s o n l y , but such a n a l y s e s would not h a v e revealed the deep structures o f the m u s i c , t h e processes b y w h i c h t h e y were created in the c o n t e x t of V e n d a society. A c o n t e x t sensitive analysis turns out to be m o r e general, b e c a u s e it explains the music of the children's songs according to a

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s y s t e m that applies to o t h e r items of V e n d a music, a n d in terms of their respective social functions. T h a t is, the social and expressive relationships between the function o f the children's s o n g s and the different reed-pipe dances in V e n d a society is reflected in their f o r m a l , musical relationships. A n a l y s e s o f music are essentially descriptions o f s e q u e n c e s of different kinds of creative a c t : t h e y should explain the social, cultural, p s y c h o l o g i c a l , a n d musical e v e n t s in the lives of individuals and groups t h a t lead to the production of organized sound. At the surface level, creativity in m u s i c is expressed chiefly in musical c o m p o s i t i o n and in p e r f o r m a n c e , in the organization of n e w relationships b e t w e e n sounds or n e w w a y s of producing t h e m . C o n c e r n for the sound as an end in itself, or for the social m e a n s to the a t t a i n m e n t of that end, are t w o aspects o f m u s i c a l creativity that c a n n o t b e separated, and b o t h seem to be present in m a n y societies. W h e t h e r the e m p h a s i s is on h u m a n l y organized sound or on soundly organized h u m a n i t y , on a tonal e x p e r i e n c e related to people or a shared experience related to tones, the function of music is to reinforce, or relate people m o r e closely to, certain experiences which h a v e c o m e to h a v e m e a n i n g in their social life. M u s i c a l creativity c a n b e described i n t e r m s o f social, musical, and cognitive processes. In two o t h e r published analyses of over o n e hundred V e n d a s o n g s , I h a v e drawn up six sets of rules that explain their patterns of sound. T h e first set, " s o c i a l and cultural f a c t o r s , " b e g i n s with t h e rule 1.0.0. " M u s i c is performed as part of a social s i t u a t i o n . " T h i s m a y seem absurdly o b v i o u s , but it is a n e c e s s a r y prelude to m o r e c o m p l e x rules that explain musical patterns as products of their social a n t e c e d e n t s . T h e n e x t four sets are b a s i c a l l y m u s i c a l : " T e m p o , m e t e r , a n d r h y t h m , " " S p e e c h t o n e and m e l o d y , " " H a r m o n y and t o n a l i t y , " and " M u s i c a l developm e n t " ; and t h e last i s c o g n i t i v e : " T r a n s f o r m a t i o n p r o c e s s e s . " T h e s e rules are c l u m s y and provisional, and t h e y are i n a d e -

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quate b e c a u s e they a s s u m e a w o r k i n g k n o w l e d g e of V e n d a culture and society. I shall n o t discuss t h e m further, b u t I w a n t to suggest h o w and w h y such rules could be generalized and refined in terms of a unified t h e o r y of cognition, s o c i e t y , culture, and creativity. First, let me outline certain theoretical a s s u m p t i o n s . Emile Durkheim, in The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life ( [ L o n d o n : A l l e n and U n w i n , 1 9 6 8 ( 1 9 1 5 ) ] , p . 4 4 7 ) argues that society is " n o t a nominal being created by reason, b u t a s y s t e m of active f o r c e s . " I believe that b e h a v i o r is an integral part of an a n i m a l ' s c o n s t i t u t i o n ; t h a t h u m a n b e i n g s are not infinitely p l a s t i c ; and that we shall learn m o r e about music and h u m a n musicality if we l o o k for basic rules of musical b e h a v i o r which are biologically, as well as culturally, conditioned and species-specific. It seems to me t h a t w h a t is ultimately of m o s t i m p o r t a n c e in music c a n n o t be learned like other cultural s k i l l s : it is there in the b o d y , waiting to be brought out and developed, like the basic principles of language formation. Y o u c a n n o t really learn to improvise, but this does n o t m e a n that improvisation i s random. T h e m a n w h o does it is n o t i m p r o v i s e d : all aspects of his b e h a v i o r are subject to a series of interrelated, structured s y s t e m s , and, when he i m p r o v i s e s , he is expressing these s y s t e m s in relation to the reactions he picks up from his audience. S i m i l a r l y , married V e n d a w o m e n do n o t relearn the music of domba every four or five y e a r s , w h e n a n e w school is set u p : they relive a social situation, and t h e right music emerges w h e n that experience is shared under certain conditions of individuality in c o m m u n i t y . T h e rules of musical b e h a v i o r are not arbitrary cultural c o n v e n t i o n s , and techniques of music are not like developments in t e c h n o l o g y . M u s i c a l b e h a v i o r m a y reflect varying degrees of consciousness of social forces, and the structure and function of music m a y be related to basic h u m a n drives and to the biological need to m a i n t a i n a b a l a n c e a m o n g them.

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If the V e n d a perform c o m m u n a l music chiefly w h e n their s t o m a c h s are full, it is not simply to kill time. If drives of cooperation, reproduction, and exploration are o v e r l o o k e d in the pursuit of self-preservation, the h a r m o n y of nature is disturbed. M a n c a n n o t b e satisfied with h a v i n g : h e must avoid also b e , and b e c o m e . But neither can he b e , w i t h o u t having. W h e n the V e n d a are h u n g r y , o r b u s y w o r k i n g t o hunger, they do n o t h a v e the time or energy to m a k e m u c h music. N o r do they imagine that music might in s o m e magical w a y alleviate their hunger, a n y m o r e than their rain m a k e r s expect rain to fall before they h a v e seen the insects w h o s e m o v e m e n t s precede it. T h e music is in them, b u t it requires special conditions to emerge. I suggest that the V e n d a m a k e music w h e n their s t o m a c h s are full because, c o n s c i o u s l y or u n c o n s c i o u s l y , they sense the forces of separation inherent in the satisfaction of self-preservation, and t h e y are driven to restore the b a l a n c e with exceptionally cooperative and e x ploratory b e h a v i o r . T h u s forces in culture and society would be expressed in h u m a n l y organized sound, b e c a u s e the chief function of music in society and culture is to p r o m o t e soundly organized h u m a n i t y b y e n h a n c i n g h u m a n c o n s c i o u s n e s s . In the third chapter I suggested that m a n y formal c h a n g e s in European music c a m e a b o u t as a result of a t t e m p t s by c o m p o s e r s t o m a k e people m o r e aware o f social d i s h a r m o n y and inequality. M u s i c a l creativity was thus a function of c o m p o s e r s ' attitudes to the separation of people in societies which should h a v e b e e n fully cooperative. In much t h e s a m e w a y , we m a y say that the thematic relationships of tshikona and the V e n d a children's songs express corresponding social relationships. Tshikona s y m b o l i z e d the largest society k n o w n to the V e n d a in the p a s t ; and b e c a u s e the oppression of apartheid restricts t h e m in the larger society of w h i c h they are painfully a w a r e , this traditional society still r e m a i n s the largest in w h i c h they can m o v e a b o u t w i t h c o m p a r a t i v e freedom. Tshikona is universal b o t h in c o n t e n t and in f o r m : e v e r y o n e

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attends it; it epitomizes the principle of individuality in c o m m u n i t y (like a B a c h chorale, it is interesting for all p e r f o r m ers, in c o n t r a s t to the average h y m n a c c o m p a n i m e n t w h i c h reduces altos and tenors to slaves of sopranos and b a s s e s ) ; and its musical structure incorporates the m o s t i m p o r t a n t features of V e n d a music. It is a shared experience, b o t h s o cially and musically. V e n d a children's songs are also universal, rather than parochial, in that every V e n d a child is expected to sing s o m e of t h e m and their performance is n o t limited to a cult group or social clique. T h u s it is n o t surprising to find musical relationships between tshikona and the children's songs that parallel their social relationships. In the c o n t e x t of V e n d a social and musical life, t h e children's songs can be seen as " c o n t r a s t i n g on the surface but identical in s u b s t a n c e , " as Rudolph R e t i h a s described s o m e great w o r k s of music in his book, The Thematic Process in Music ([London: Faber and Faber, 1 9 6 1 ] , p . 5 ) . It is tempting to see the basic musical form of t h e m e and variation as an expression of social situations and social forces transformed according to patterns of culture and the state of the division of l a b o r in society. T h u s the essential differences b e t w e e n music in one society and a n o t h e r m a y be social and n o t musical. If English music m a y seem to be m o r e c o m p l e x than V e n d a music and practiced by a smaller n u m b e r of people, it is b e c a u s e of the c o n s e q u e n c e s of the division of labor in so ci e t y , and n o t b e c a u s e the English are less musical or their music is cognitively m o r e c o m p l e x . T h e r e are n o t m o r e or less things for an individual to learn in different societies, and in the c o n t e x t of each culture they are n o t basically m o r e or less difficult. T h e r e are m o r e or fewer different fields in which to learn. It is neither easier n o r m o r e difficult to be a B u s h m a n than an A m e r i c a n . It is different. As a result of the division of l a b o r in society, s o m e people must do things for others. If I were a B u s h m a n I would h a v e

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m a d e my o w n clothes and I w o u l d hunt for my o w n f o o d : I would really be an individual in a w a y no A m e r i c a n c a n b e . ( A m e r i c a n s w h o opt out and live a folksy or Utopian life are not really escaping the division of l a b o r in their society. B e c a u s e o f the protection o f the larger society they enjoy a n easy life that has almost n o t h i n g in c o m m o n with the lives of peasants and t r i b e s m e n w h o c a n n o t afford the luxuries they take for g r a n t e d , and they t r y to avoid the p r o b l e m s of collective responsibility with which the more extensive division of l a b o r presents them.) In any s o c i e t y , cultural b e h a v i o r is learned; although the introduction of new skills m a y represent an intellectual b r e a k through, t h e learning of accumulated skills does n o t present essentially different or m o r e difficult tasks to the m e m b e r s of different cultures. If there is a pattern to the difference, it is that A m e r i c a n s h a v e t o learn m o r e a b o u t less. T h i s m e a n s that they m u s t learn less t h a n the B u s h m e n a b o u t s o m e things. P r o b l e m s in h u m a n societies begin w h e n people learn less about love, b e c a u s e love is t h e basis of our e x i s t e n c e as h u m a n b e i n g s . K i e r k e g a a r d h a s expressed this in the following w o r d s : One generation can learn much from another, but that which is purely human no generation can learn from the preceding generation. In this respect every generation begins again from the beginning, possessing no other tasks but those of preceding generations and going no further, unless the preceding generation has betrayed itself and deceived itself. . . . No generation has learned how to love from another, no generation begins at any other point than the beginning, and no subsequent generation has a shorter task than the generation which preceded it [Fear and Trembling (London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1 9 3 9 ) , pp. 1 8 3 - 8 4 ] . T h e hard task is to love, and m u s i c is a skill that prepares m a n for this m o s t difficult t a s k . B e c a u s e in this respect every generation has t o b e g i n again from t h e b e g i n n i n g , m a n y c o m posers feel that their task is to w r i t e new music n o t as if they

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were designing a n e w model of a u t o m o b i l e , b u t as if they were assessing t h e h u m a n situation in w h i c h n e w a u t o m o b i l e s are m a d e and used. T h e t a s k o f designing n e w a u t o m o b i l e s i s basically a technical and c o m m e r c i a l p r o b l e m that m a y be c o m p a r e d to writing incidental music in t h e style of T c h a i k o v s k y , M a h l e r , or D e b u s s y . Provided a p e r s o n is b r o u g h t up in a certain social class, w i t h adequate e m o t i o n a l opportunities, writing music i n t h e style o f T c h a i k o v s k y could b e learned w i t h o u t great effort and carried on from o n e generation to a n o t h e r , like m a n y o t h e r cultural skills. A l t h o u g h a c o m p o s e r m i g h t h a v e the greatest respect for T c h a i k o v s k y ' s music, i f h e w e r e aware o f and c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e c o n t e m p o r a r y t a s k o f being h u m a n and w a n t e d t o say s o m e t h i n g about it in his music, he could n o t reproduce that sort of music in a society w h o s e t a s k s are different from T c h a i k o v s k y ' s . ( S t r a v i n s k y ' s Le Baiser de la Fie m a y h a v e b e g u n as a r e h a s h of T c h a i k o v s k y , b u t it turns out as pure S t r a v i n s k y , and essentially a n e w w o r k . ) T h u s if a c o m p o s e r w a n t s to produce music that is relevant to his c o n t e m p o r a r i e s , his chief p r o b l e m is n o t really m u s i c a l , t h o u g h it m a y s e e m to h i m to be s o : it is a p r o b l e m of attitude to c o n t e m p o r a r y society and culture i n relation t o t h e b a s i c h u m a n p r o b l e m o f learning to be h u m a n . M u s i c is n o t a l a n g u a g e that describes t h e w a y society s e e m s to b e , but a m e t a p h o r i c a l expression of feelings associated with t h e w a y society really is. It is a reflection of and r e s p o n s e to social forces, and particularly to t h e c o n s e quences of the division of l a b o r in society. S o m e music expresses t h e actual solidarity o f groups w h e n people c o m e together and produce patterns of sound that are signs of their group a l l e g i a n c e s ; and other music e x p r e s s e s theoretical solidarity w h e n a c o m p o s e r brings t o g e t h e r patterns o f sound that express a s p e c t s o f social experience. J u s t as diverse social groups in, s a y , V e n d a society m a y be b r o u g h t together by a p e r f o r m a n c e of their national d a n c e , so i n a n industrial society c o n t r a s t i n g patterns o f sound m a y b e

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b r o u g h t together by a c o m p o s e r t h r o u g h the single idea, and corresponding t h e m a t i c unity, of a s y m p h o n y . J u s t as a V e n d a chief said to m e , " Y o u shall h e a r the finest p e r f o r m a n c e i m a g i n a b l e of our national d a n c e : I will call to my capital every available player i n the district," s o M a h l e r said, " T o write a s y m p h o n y m e a n s , to m e , to construct a world with all the tools of t h e available t e c h n i q u e . " R e l a t i o n s h i p s b e t w e e n formal and expressive analyses of music c a n be established even in m a t t e r s such as the quality of creativity, an issue that c o n s t a n t l y occupies musicologists and critics. In recent y e a r s , creative ability has b e e n assessed in terms of a c o m p o s e r ' s ability to produce t h e m a t i c unity with expressive contrast, and the impressive studies of H e i n rich S c h e n k e r , R u d o l p h R e t i , H a n s Keller, A l a n W a l k e r , and others h a v e tended to stress that this m a y often be an u n c o n scious process. For example, A l a n W a l k e r has s h o w n h o w the themes o f T c h a i k o v s k y ' s Fourth S y m p h o n y spring from the opening " f a t e t h e m e , " w h i c h t h e c o m p o s e r recognized intuitively as t h e g e r m of the entire s y m p h o n y (A Study in Musical Analysis [London: Barrie and Rockliff, 1 9 6 2 ] , pp. 1162 6 ) . M a n y critics h a v e dismissed this s y m p h o n y a s poorly constructed on the grounds that its thematic material is n o t treated as it ought to be according to the c o n v e n t i o n a l rules o f s y m p h o n i c construction. T h e w o r k could b e described a s an intellectual leap forward, in that T c h a i k o v s k y was led to a new way of w o r k i n g out s y m p h o n i c f o r m ; and it is interesting that t h e musical c o n s e q u e n c e s o f this basically h u m a n achievement though are appreciated by intuitively the by lay minds audiences, of some poorly understood closed

musical e x p e r t s . T h e theories o f Rudolph R e t i and his followers m a t c h well with recent research that h a s s h o w n that the ability to think creatively and to construct n e w forms is a function of personality. C r e a t i v i t y requires b r e a d t h o f view, o r w h a t M i l t o n R o k e a c h calls an " o p e n m i n d , " and the ability to synthesize

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is a critically i m p o r t a n t factor. People with open m i n d s , w h o are low in e t h n o c e n t r i c i s m , reveal a c o m p r e h e n s i v e cognitive organization, w h i c h is potentially m o r e creative than the n a r rower cognitive organization e x h i b i t e d b y people with closed minds. (I should add that surface e t h n o c e n t r i c i s m should n o t always be t a k e n as evidence of real e t h n o c e n t r i c i s m . For e x a m p l e , i n S o u t h A f r i c a the surface e t h n o c e n t r i c i s m o f b l a c k s w h o see a form of B l a c k P o w e r as the o n l y m e a n s of regaining their land and freedom is very different from the e t h n o c e n t r i c i s m o f the whites w h o oppose them.) T h e r e is evidence w h i c h suggests that, although h u m a n creativity m a y appear to be the result of individual effort, it is in fact a collective effort t h a t is expressed in t h e b e h a v i o r of individuals. Originality may be an expression of innate exploratory b e h a v i o r with the a c c u m u l a t e d materials of a cultural tradition; and the ability to synthesize, w h i c h is often said to distinguish genius from talent, m a y express t h e c o m prehensive cognitive organization that is generated by e x p e rience of the relationships that exist b e t w e e n the social groups w h o use and develop the techniques of the tradition. If this is s o a n d I am convinced that it is truedifferences in cultures and d e v e l o p m e n t s in t e c h n o l o g y are the result of differences n o t o f intellect, but o f h u m a n organization. I f the whites o f S o u t h Africa seem t o perform better than the b l a c k s , or the rich and elite of a c o u n t r y seem to perform better than the poor or the m a s s e s , it is not b e c a u s e they or their p a r e n t s are cleverer or h a v e a richer cultural h e r i t a g e : it is b e c a u s e their society is organized in such a w a y t h a t they have better opportunities to develop their h u m a n potential, and c o n s e q u e n t l y their cognitive organization. If intelligence tests devised by m e m b e r s of a certain class s h o w p o o r perf o r m a n c e by the m e m b e r s of a n o t h e r class in a theoretically " o p e n " s o c i e t y , we should first a s k j u s t h o w open the society is and consider to what degree its class divisions m a y inhibit the cognitive development of its less fortunate m e m b e r s .

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C h a n g e s and d e v e l o p m e n t s in culture and s o c i e t y are a function o f population g r o w t h and o f people's r e l a t i o n s h i p s and attitudes w i t h i n given p o p u l a t i o n s . G r e a t e r productivity h a s b e e n achieved b y larger groups o f people involved i n joint enterprises. In such c a s e s , an i n c r e a s e in t h e division of labor is d y n a m i c a l l y productive, b u t o n l y w h e n it is n o t also a division of people. T h e i n t e r a c t i o n of minds developed under different conditions is a stimulus to invention in a n e w , shared situation, provided that t h e situation really is shared. If a shared situation b e c o m e s static or formalized, or disintegrates a l t o g e t h e r , it follows that creativity will tend to dry up, and it will b e c o m e i n c r e a s i n g l y hard for m e m b e r s of a society to adapt to the c h a n g e s that must result i n e v i t a b l y from the birth, life, and death of its individuals. It s o m e times h a p p e n s that r e m a r k a b l e cultural d e v e l o p m e n t s can t a k e place in societies in w h i c h m a n ' s h u m a n i t y is p r o g r e s sively abused, restricted, and disregarded. T h i s is b e c a u s e cultural d e v e l o p m e n t can r e a c h a stage w h e r e it is a l m o s t m e c h a n i c a l l y s e l f - g e n e r a t i v e b u t o n l y in certain fields and for a limited time. T h e h i s t o r y of m a n y civilizations h a s s h o w n that a society and its culture m a y ultimately collapse b e c a u s e o f h u m a n alienation. T h e m a c h i n e runs d o w n w i t h o u t the only p o w e r that can c h a n g e it, the creative force that springs from h u m a n s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s . This is why the V e n d a stress that " m a n i s m a n b e c a u s e o f his asociations with other m e n , " and reinforce their b e l i e f with music. W h e n t h e y s h a r e the e x p e r i e n c e of an invisible conductor in their drumming and singing and pipe playing, they b e c o m e m o r e a w a r e o f s o c i e t y ' s s y s t e m o f active f o r c e s , and their o w n c o n sciousness is e n h a n c e d . M u s i c c a n n o t c h a n g e societies, a s can c h a n g e s i n t e c h n o l o g y a n d political organization. It c a n n o t m a k e people act unless t h e y are already socially and culturally disposed to act. It c a n n o t instill b r o t h e r h o o d , as T o l s t o y h o p e d , or a n y other state or social value. If it can do a n y t h i n g to people,

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the b e s t that it can do is to confirm situations that already exist. It c a n n o t in itself generate t h o u g h t s that m a y benefit or h a r m m a n k i n d , as some writers h a v e s u g g e s t e d ; b u t it can m a k e people m o r e a w a r e o f feelings that t h e y h a v e experienced, or partly experienced, by reinforcing, n a r r o w i n g or expanding their consciousness in a variety of w a y s . S i n c e music is learned in these k i n d s of c o n t e x t , it is c o m p o s e d in the s a m e spirit. A person m a y c r e a t e music for financial gain, for private pleasure, for e n t e r t a i n m e n t , or to a c c o m p a n y a variety of social events, and he need n o t e x p r e s s overt concern for the h u m a n condition. B u t his music c a n n o t escape the s t a m p of the society t h a t m a d e its creator h u m a n , and the k i n d of music he c o m p o s e s will be related to h i s consciousness of, and c o n c e r n for, his fellow h u m a n b e i n g s . H i s cognitive organization will be a function of his personality. N o w t h o s e w h o are c o n c e r n e d w i t h m u s i c o l o g y and e t h n o musicology m a y be disappointed, b e c a u s e I seem to suggest that there are no grounds for comparing different musical s y s t e m s ; t h e r e i s n o possibility o f a n y universal t h e o r y o f musical b e h a v i o r , and n o h o p e o f cross-cultural c o m m u n i c a tion. B u t if we consider our o w n experiences, we m u s t realize that this is n o t in fact so. M u s i c can transcend t i m e and culture. M u s i c that was e x c i t i n g to the c o n t e m p o r a r i e s of M o z a r t and B e e t h o v e n is still exciting, although we do not share their culture and society. T h e early B e a t l e s ' s o n g s are still exciting although the B e a t l e s h a v e u n f o r t u n a t e l y b r o k e n up. S i m i l a r l y , s o m e V e n d a s o n g s that must h a v e b e e n c o m posed hundreds of years ago still excite the V e n d a , and they also excite m e . M a n y of us are thrilled by koto m u s i c from J a p a n , sifar m u s i c from India, C h o p i x y l o p h o n e m u s i c , and so on. I do n o t say that we receive the music in e x a c t l y the same w a y as the players (and I h a v e already suggested that even the m e m b e r s of a single culture do not receive their o w n music in the s a m e w a y s ) , b u t our o w n experiences suggest that there are s o m e possibilities of cross-cultural c o m m u n i c a -

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tion. I am c o n v i n c e d that t h e e x p l a n a t i o n for this is to be found in the fact that at the level of deep structures in music there are e l e m e n t s that are c o m m o n to the h u m a n p s y c h e , although t h e y m a y n o t appear in the surface structures. C o n s i d e r the m a t t e r of " f e e l i n g in m u s i c , " w h i c h is often i n v o k e d to distinguish t w o technically correct p e r f o r m a n c e s of the s a m e piece. T h i s doctrine of feeling is in fact b a s e d on the r e c o g n i t i o n o f the e x i s t e n c e and i m p o r t a n c e o f deep structures in music. It asserts that m u s i c stands or falls by virtue of w h a t is h e a r d a n d h o w people respond to w h a t t h e y hear " i n the n o t e s , " b u t it a s s u m e s that the surface relationships b e t w e e n t o n e s w h i c h m a y b e perceived a s " s o n i c o b j e c t s " are o n l y part o f o t h e r s y s t e m s o f relationships. B e c a u s e the a s s u m p t i o n s are n o t clearly stated and are o n l y dimly understood, t h e a s s e r t i o n s b e c o m e all the m o r e d o g m a t i c and are often clothed in t h e language of an elitist sect. T h e effect of this confusion on musically c o m m i t t e d people can be traumatic, and t h e musically inclined m a y be discouraged a l t o gether. W h e n , as a b o y , I m a s t e r e d a technically difficult piece of piano m u s i c , I w a s s o m e t i m e s told that I played w i t h o u t feeling. As a result of this I tended to play m o r e loudly or aggressively, or to fold up altogether. It seemed as if an assault w a s b e i n g m a d e on my integrity as a person, rather than o n m y t e c h n i c a l ability. I n fact, m y " u n f e e l i n g " p e r f o r m ance w a s the result o f inadequate, hit-or-miss techniques o f teaching in a society w h o s e educational theory w a s founded on a confused doctrine relating success to a c o m b i n a t i o n of superior i n h e r i t a n c e , hard w o r k , and m o r a l integrity. A s n o b b i s h distaste for technical e x p e r t i s e , t e c h n o l o g y , and " m e r e " craftsmanship discouraged attention to basic mechanical p r o b l e m s unless t h e y were w r a p p e d up in an aura of m o r a l i t y a s w a s t h e diligent practice o f scales and a r p e g g i o s . T h e V e n d a attitude t o w a r d playing well is essentially technical and not ego-deflating. W h e n the r h y t h m o f a n alto drum i n

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domba is n o t quite right, the player m a y be told to m o v e in such a w a y t h a t h e r b e a t is part of a total b o d y m o v e m e n t : she plays with feeling precisely b e c a u s e she is s h o w n h o w to experience the physical feeling of m o v i n g with h e r instrum e n t and in h a r m o n y with the o t h e r d r u m m e r s and dancers. T h e r e is no suggestion that she is an insensitive or inadequate person. W h a t is a c o m m o n p l a c e of V e n d a musical instruction seems to be a rarity in " m y " society. So often, the expressive purpose of a piece of music is to be found t h r o u g h identification w i t h the b o d y m o v e m e n t s that generated it, and these in turn m a y have their origins, in culture as m u c h as in the peculiarities of an individual. T h e r e are so m a n y different tempi in the world of n a t u r e and the b o d y o f m a n t h a t music h a s endless possibilities o f physical coordination with any one o f t h e m , o r several o f t h e m t o gether. W i t h o u t this kind of coordination, which c a n be learned only b y endless e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n , o r m o r e quickly b y direct aural transmission, there is little possibility t h a t music will be felt. W h e n we k n o w the associated dance step, we should be t h o u g h t of as 1 - 2 - 3 - 1 2 3 , 1 2 3 1 - 2 - 3 - , o r 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 , o r whatever. I t m a y b e n e c e s s a r y to slow d o w n o n e ' s b r e a t h i n g in order to " f e e l " a piece of K o r e a n music, w h o s e unique elegance and refinement are hard for a European to appreciate. A similar control of the b o d y m a k e s it easier to catch the innigster empfindung o f B e e t h o v e n ' s P i a n o S o n a t a , O p . 1 0 9 , last m o v e m e n t . J u s t b r e a t h e s l o w l y , relax the b o d y completely and p l a y a n d the empfindung comes through the body. It is no longer an elusive, m y s t e r i o u s T e u t o n i c quality! O b v i o u s l y the most deeply felt p e r f o r m a n c e of a n y piece of music will be that which approaches m o s t closely t h e feelings of its creator w h e n he b e g a n to capture the force of his individual experience with musical form. S i n c e this experience m a y often begin as a r h y t h m i c a l stirring of the b o d y , it may be possible for a performer to recapture the right feeling by

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finding the right m o v e m e n t . Is it surprising, then, that m a n y people a b a n d o n m u s i c b e c a u s e t h e y c a n n o t play w h a t they feel, or c a n n o t feel w h a t they p l a y ? By creating a false dichoto m y b e t w e e n the deep and surface structures o f m u s i c , m a n y industrial societies h a v e taken a w a y from people m u c h of the practice and pleasure o f m u s i c m a k i n g . W h a t i s t h e use o f teaching a pianist to play scales and arpeggios according to s o m e didactic s y s t e m , and then e x p e c t i n g him to feel the piano music o f M o z a r t , B e e t h o v e n , C h o p i n , D e b u s s y , and R a v e l by a separate effort of the will, or the e m p l o y m e n t of s o m e m y s t e r i o u s spiritual a t t r i b u t e ? Exercise of the finger muscles is o n e thing, but the scales and arpeggios of a c o m poser's m u s i c will perhaps be felt m o s t deeply w h e n they are played according to his s y s t e m . T h a t is, if you find out by feeling for it h o w D e b u s s y m i g h t h a v e held his h a n d s and b o d y w h e n he played the piano, y o u m i g h t get a better feeling for his music. Y o u m i g h t find that you could play the music with feeling without h a v i n g to be i m m e n s e l y " d e e p . " In fact y o u w o u l d be profoundly deep, b e c a u s e y o u would b e sharing the m o s t i m p o r t a n t thing a b o u t music, that w h i c h is in the h u m a n b o d y and w h i c h is universal to all men. It would be m y s t e r i o u s o n l y in so far that we do n o t understand w h a t h a p p e n s in the r e m a r k a b l e bodies all h u m a n b e i n g s possess. It would not be m y s t e r i o u s in the sense of b e i n g s o m e t h i n g for o n l y a c h o s e n few. Perhaps there is a h o p e of cross-cultural understanding after all. I do n o t s a y that we can e x p e r i e n c e e x a c t l y the s a m e thoughts associated with bodily e x p e r i e n c e ; but to feel with the b o d y is p r o b a b l y as close as a n y o n e can ever get to resonating with a n o t h e r person. I shall not attempt to discuss the issue of musical c o m m u n i c a t i o n as a physiological p h e n o m e n o n ; b u t if m u s i c b e g i n s , as I h a v e suggested, as a stirring of the b o d y , we can recall the state in which it was conceived b y getting into the b o d y m o v e m e n t o f the music and so feeling it very nearly as the c o m p o s e r felt it. S o m e

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m a y be f o r t u n a t e enough to be able to do this intuitively; but for m o s t people it will be easier if t h e n o t e s of music are regarded as the product of cognitive, physical, and social processes. I w o u l d like to consider again t h e e x a m p l e s of tshikona and t h e children's songs. I am no longer satisfied w i t h t h e analysis I gave in Venda Children's Songs. I tried to explain musical p h e n o m e n a as expressions of social s i t u a t i o n s ; b u t I no longer consider this to be sufficiently general. For e x a m p l e , the use of t h e terms call and response implies a socially derived musical form, rather t h a n seeking a basic structure from which b o t h responsorial form and s o l o - c h o r u s / l e a d e r follower social situations m a y be derived. S u p p o s e we look at the social, musical, e c o n o m i c , legal, and other s u b s y s t e m s of a culture as t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s of basic structures that are in the b o d y , i n n a t e in m a n , part of his biological e q u i p m e n t ; then we m a y h a v e different explanations for a lot of things that we h a v e t a k e n for granted, and we m a y be able to see correspondences b e t w e e n apparently disparate elements in social life. For e x a m p l e , t h e following relationships m a y be t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s of a single structure: c a l l / r e s p o n s e , t o n e / c o m p a n i o n tone, t o n i c / c o u n t e r t o n i c , i n d i v i d u a l / c o m m u n i t y , c h i e f / s u b j e c t s , t h e m e / v a r i a t i o n , m a l e / f e m a l e , and s o forth. E t h n o m u s i c o l o g y is in s o m e respects a b r a n c h of cognitive a n t h r o p o l o g y . T h e r e seem to be universal structural principles in music, such as t h e use of mirror forms (see E x a m p l e 1 6 , for i n s t a n c e ) , t h e m e and variation, repetition, and b i n a r y form. It is always possible that these m a y arise from e x p e r i e n c e of social relations or of the natural w o r l d : an u n c o n s c i o u s c o n cern for m i r r o r forms m a y spring from the regular experience of mirror forms in nature, such as observation of t h e two " h a l v e s " o f the b o d y . I f different aspects and fields o f h u m a n b e h a v i o r are analyzed in this w a y , we m a y h a v e a n e w view of h u m a n societies and h u m a n " p r o g r e s s , " and a n e w concept of the future of m a n , which is m o s t important.

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T h e evolution o f t e c h n o l o g y and a n i n c r e a s e i n the size o f societies c a n n o t t h e n b e t a k e n a s signs o f the evolution o f culture i n general, o r o f m a n ' s intellectual p o t e n t i a l . An A f r i c a n " f o l k " s o n g i s n o t n e c e s s a r i l y less intellectual t h a n a s y m p h o n y : the apparent simplicity of sound produced m a y conceal c o m p l e x p r o c e s s e s o f g e n e r a t i o n ; i t m a y h a v e b e e n stimulated by an intellectual leap forward in w h i c h its c o m poser saw b e y o n d t h e b o u n d a r i e s of his culture and w a s able to invent a powerful n e w form to express in sound his vision of the unlimited possibilities of h u m a n development. As a h u m a n a c h i e v e m e n t , this would b e m o r e significant t h a n t h e surface c o m p l e x i t y of a c l a s s r o o m s y m p h o n y produced in the c o n t e x t of a t e c h n o l o g i c a l l y advanced society, and so c o m parable to an original m a s t e r p i e c e . A n d , like a s y m p h o n i c m a s t e r p i e c e , it m i g h t survive b e c a u s e of its musical quality and w h a t it m e a n s to critical listeners. T h r o u g h the o p e r a t i o n s o f the b r a i n , three orders o f c o n sciousness are w o r k i n g at the s a m e time in o n e p e r s o n ' s body: the universal, a u t o m a t i c c o m p l e x i t y o f the n a t u r a l w o r l d ; group c o n s c i o u s n e s s , w h i c h has b e e n learned t h r o u g h t h e shared e x p e r i e n c e o f cultural l i f e ; and individual c o n s c i o u s n e s s , w h i c h m a y transcend the boundaries o f group c o n s c i o u s n e s s w h e n an individual uses or develops areas of b a s i c a u t o m a t i c c o m p l e x i t y w h i c h h a v e n o t b e e n explored b y his society. I use the term " g r o u p c o n s c i o u s n e s s " deliberately, b e c a u s e I regard the m o r e generalized " s o c i a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s " as an a s p e c t of individual c o n s c i o u s n e s s . T h e r e is an i m p o r tant difference b e t w e e n a n individual's " n a t u r a l " a w a r e n e s s o f a n y m a n n e x t to h i m as a h u m a n n e i g h b o r , and his " c u l t u r a l " a w a r e n e s s o f n e i g h b o r s a s people w h o speak certain l a n g u a g e s or b e l o n g to certain races, c l a s s e s , or creeds. B e c a u s e h u m a n beings already are physiologically in the parts of of the natural world, I doubt if t h e y c a n create a n y t h i n g w h o s e principles are not inherent system automatic complexity t o w h i c h t h e y b e l o n g . C o m p u t e r s , radios, X - r a y p h o t o g r a p h y ,

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and television are in a sense no m o r e t h a n e x t e n s i o n s and props t o m a n ' s i n b o r n p o w e r s o f calculation, t e l e p a t h y , sensory diagnosis, and clairvoyance. Inventions may be described as purposeful discoveries of situations that are already possible by m e a n s that already exist. I would m o d i f y t h e hypothesis through t h a t " m a n m a k e s h i m s e l f " b y s u g g e s t i n g that centuries of cultural achievement man has the

extended h i m s e l f in the world, and h a s developed the e x p r e s sion o f his c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f the world. H e h a s devised e x p e r i m e n t s i n living that m a y help h i m b e t t e r t o b e w h a t h e already is. I am n o t claiming that cultures in t h e m s e l v e s are genetically inherited, but that t h e y are generated by p r o cesses that are acquired biologically and developed through social i n t e r a c t i o n . A n analysis o f the deeper p r o c e s s e s o f V e n d a musical b e h a v i o r suggests that s o m e i n n a t e capacities are as n e c e s sary as are experiences of learning for realizing even e l e m e n tary musical a b i l i t y , let alone e x c e p t i o n a l musical ability. T h e most c o n v i n c i n g evidence of i n n a t e creative capacities is to be found in the w a y s the V e n d a apply themselves to n e w experiences of sonic order, and in the processes t h a t h a v e generated different features of their musical tradition and c o n s t a n t l y g e n e r a t e the variations within that tradition. T h e V e n d a adoption and adaptation of European music is testim o n y t o the u n c o n s c i o u s , creative application o f musical processes. T h e so-called " m i s t a k e s " i n their singing o f E u r o pean m u s i c m a y s o m e t i m e s be due to inadequate learning facilities, b u t t h e y m a y also b e intentional. T h e V e n d a are able to i m i t a t e c h r o m a t i c intervals or sharpened leading notes or European c h o r d s e q u e n c e s ; but t h e y generally prefer to create rather than imitate, and t h e y c h o o s e to i g n o r e t h e s e European features or even i m p r o v e on t h e m n o t b e c a u s e they are b o u n d t o learned patterns o f b e h a v i o r , b u t b e c a u s e there are deeper processes at w o r k in their m u s i c m a k i n g , which inspire a creative adaptation of the n e w sounds t h e y

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hear. I am n o t arguing that particular musical s y s t e m s are i n n a t e , b u t t h a t s o m e o f the p r o c e s s e s that g e n e r a t e t h e m m a y be i n n a t e in all m e n and so species-specific. S i m i l a r evidence o f creativity m a y b e found i n V e n d a children's s o n g s , m a n y o f w h i c h m a y h a v e b e e n c o m p o s e d b y children. T h e i r structures suggest a creative use of features of the musical s y s t e m which extends beyond techniques that might have been learned in s o c i e t y . I do not see h o w the deeper, a p p a r e n t l y u n c o n s c i o u s p r o c e s s e s o f g e n e r a t i o n could h a v e b e e n taught or learned in s o c i e t y except t h r o u g h a w h o l e complicated process o f relationships b e t w e e n i n n a t e potentialities and t h e realization of t h e s e in culture t h r o u g h social i n t e r a c t i o n . If we study m u s i c in the w a y s I h a v e suggested, we o u g h t t o b e able t o learn s o m e t h i n g a b o u t structures o f h u m a n interaction in general by w a y of the structures involved in the creation o f m u s i c , and s o learn m o r e a b o u t the inner n a t u r e o f m a n ' s m i n d . O n e o f the a d v a n t a g e s o f studying music is that it is a relatively s p o n t a n e o u s and u n c o n s c i o u s p r o c e s s . I t m a y represent the h u m a n m i n d w o r k i n g w i t h o u t i n t e r f e r e n c e , and therefore o b s e r v a t i o n o f musical structures m a y reveal s o m e o f the structural principles o n w h i c h all h u m a n life i s b a s e d . I f w e can s h o w exactly h o w musical b e h a v i o r (and, p e r h a p s , all aspects o f h u m a n b e h a v i o r i n culture) is g e n e r a t e d by finite sets of rules applied to an infinite n u m b e r o f variables, w e shall learn n o t o n l y w h a t aspects o f musical b e h a v i o r are specifically m u s i c a l , b u t also h o w and w h e n these rules and v a r i a b l e s m a y be applied in o t h e r kinds o f h u m a n b e h a v i o r . B y learning m o r e a b o u t the a u t o m a t i c c o m p l e x i t y o f the h u m a n b o d y , w e m a y b e able t o prove conclusively that all m e n are b o r n w i t h potentially brilliant intellects, or at least a very high degree of cognitive c o m p e t e n c e , and that the source of cultural creativity is the c o n s c i o u s n e s s that springs from social c o o p e r a t i o n and loving i n t e r a c t i o n . By discovering precisely h o w m u s i c is created and appreciated in different

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social a n d cultural c o n t e x t s , a n d p e r h a p s e s t a b l i s h i n g that m u s i c a l i t y is a u n i v e r s a l , species-specific characteristic, we can s h o w that h u m a n b e i n g s are e v e n m o r e r e m a r k a b l e than w e p r e s e n t l y b e l i e v e them t o b e a n d not j u s t a f e w h u m a n b e i n g s , b u t all h u m a n b e i n g s a n d that the m a j o r i t y o f u s l i v e f a r b e l o w o u r potential, b e c a u s e o f the o p p r e s s i v e n a t u r e o f m o s t societies. A r m e d w i t h this vital i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t the m i n d s o f m e n , w e can b e g i n t o discredit f o r e v e r the m y t h s a b o u t the " s t u p i d i t y " of the m a j o r i t y a n d the s u p p o s e d l y " i n n a t e " selfishness and a g g r e s s i v e n e s s o f m a n , w h i c h are p e d d l e d all the time b y p e o p l e w h o u s e t h e m t o j u s t i f y the coercion of their f e l l o w m e n into u n d e m o c r a t i c social s y s t e m s . In a w o r l d in w h i c h a u t h o r i t a r i a n p o w e r is m a i n t a i n e d by m e a n s of s u p e r i o r t e c h n o l o g y , a n d the s u p e r i o r t e c h n o l o g y is s u p p o s e d to indicate a m o n o p o l y of intellect, it is n e c e s s a r y to s h o w that the real s o u r c e s of t e c h n o l o g y , of all culture, are to be f o u n d in the h u m a n b o d y a n d in c o o p e r a t i v e interaction b e t w e e n h u m a n b o d i e s . E v e n falling i n l o v e m a y b e m o r e significant as a c o g n i t i v e a c t i v i t y in w h i c h learned c a t e g o r i e s are r e a l i g n e d , than as an e x e r t i o n of the s e x o r g a n s or a h o r m o n a l reaction. In a w o r l d s u c h as o u r s , in this w o r l d of cruelty a n d exploitation i n w h i c h the t a w d r y a n d the m e d i o c r e are p r o l i f e r a t e d e n d l e s s l y for the s a k e of financial profit, it is n e c e s s a r y to u n d e r s t a n d w h y a m a d r i g a l by G e s u a l d o or a B a c h P a s s i o n , a sitar m e l o d y f r o m India or a s o n g f r o m Africa, Berg's or Wozzeck or Britten's be War Requiem, a Balinese for gamelan or a C a n t o n e s e o p e r a , or a s y m p h o n y by M o z a r t , Beethoven, Mahler, may profoundly necessary h u m a n s u r v i v a l , quite apart f r o m a n y merit t h e y m a y h a v e a s e x a m p l e s of c r e a t i v i t y and technical p r o g r e s s . It is also n e c e s s a r y to e x p l a i n w h y , u n d e r certain c i r c u m s t a n c e s , a " s i m p l e " " f o l k " s o n g m a y h a v e m o r e h u m a n v a l u e than a " c o m p l e x " symphony.

THE LATE JOHN BLACKING w a s professor o f social a n t h r o p o l o g y

at the Q u e e n ' s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland. In 1 9 7 0 he w a s a p p o i n t e d professor of a n t h r o p o l o g y at Western M i c h i gan University, w h e r e he first taught courses in a n t h r o p o l o g y and ethnomusicology in 1 9 7 1 . Born in England on October 22, 1928, he was educated at S a l i s b u r y C a t h e d r a l a n d S h e r b o r n e s c h o o l s , w h e r e h e received his early musical training. D u r i n g a period of c o m p u l sory military service, h e w a s c o m m i s s i o n e d i n H.M. C o l d s t r e a m G u a r d s a n d spent the y e a r 1948-49 i n M a l a y a . H e learned the M a l a y l a n g u a g e and, w h i l e on military operations i n the j u n g l e , v i s i t e d s e t t l e m e n t s o f the S a k a i a n d S e n o i tribesmen w h o lived there. T h e s e experiences, together with m a n y e n c o u n t e r s with Malay, C h i n e s e , a n d Indian p e o p l e a n d their cultures, c h a n g e d the direction of his career a n d forced a g r a d u a l reassessment of his o w n culture and its values. I n 1 9 5 3 , Dr. B l a c k i n g graduated from K i n g ' s C o l l e g e , C a m bridge, with a b a c h e l o r ' s d e g r e e in social anthropology. During the s u m m e r o f 1 9 5 2 , h e h a d studied e t h n o m u s i c o l o g y a t the M u s e e de l ' H o m m e , Paris, under Andre Schaeffner. An appointment as Government Adviser on Aborigines in

M a l a y a lasted six d a y s , until he w a s dismissed after a disagreement with General Sir Gerald Templer in N o v e m b e r 1 9 5 3 . Thereafter, he did some anthropological research, taught at a secondary school in Singapore, broadcast on Radio M a laya, accompanied Maurice Clare on a concert tour, returned to Paris for piano lessons in June 1 9 5 4 , and went to South A f r i c a as musicologist of the International Library of A f r i c a n Music. He worked with D r . H u g h T r a c e y on recording tours in Zululand and Mozambique, and transcribed and analyzed music in the library's collection. During 1 9 5 6 - 5 8 he undertook fieldwork among the V e n d a of the Northern T r a n s v a a l , and in 1 9 5 9 he w a s appointed lecturer in social anthropology and African government at the University of the W i t w a t e r s rand, Johannesburg. He w a s awarded his doctorate by the university in 1 9 6 5 , and at the end of the year appointed professor and head of the department. In 1 9 6 5 , he w a s also visiting professor of African M u s i c at Makerere University, Kampala. In 1 9 6 6 , he was appointed chairman of the A f r i c a n Studies Programme at the University of the Witwatersrand, and at the end of 1 9 6 9 he left South Africa. Dr. Blacking has carried out ethnomusicological fieldwork among the G w e m b e T o n g a and N s e n g a of Z a m b i a , and in parts of U g a n d a and South A f r i c a , as well as anthropological research in and around Johannesburg. He is the author of many publications on V e n d a initiation rites and music and on the relationship between the patterns of music and culture. A m o n g his publications Nsenga African Society. music, Girl, Black Venda Analysis, are two long-playing records The Songs: and Childhood A Study Product of in in a of Background: Children's and Process South EthnoHuman

musicological

HOW MUSICAL IS MAN? John Blacking


How Musical Is Man? explores the role of music in society and culture, and of society and culture in music. T h e author, an anthropologist and ethnomusicologist, draws examples from Western music and from the music of the Transvaal Venda people. " N o matter h o w respected the author is for his ethnomusicological research, he is first and last a h u m a n i s t . . . T h e philosophy bloss o m s forth as facilely here as melodies c a m e from Mozart's imagination. A l w a y s lucid and frequently informal, Blacking m o v e s through techniques of music analysis to aesthetic concepts, and from there through the social sciences . . . This slender v o l u m e should certainly be required reading for every academically oriented musicologist and performer. T h e music e x a m p l e s will be no barrier to those w h o are not music readers, but they are as provocative as the t e x t . " C h o i c e " T o u c h e s upon s o m e important issues and involves a variety of disciplinesmusicology, ethnomusicology, musical analysis, aesthetics, anthropology, music education and the sociology of m u s i c . . . . Stimulating from a variety of points of view."African Studies " T h i s b o o k invites us profoundly to revise the notions we generally hold about the role of music in society. It contains observations of great interest about the place of musical praxis in the general education of m a n k i n d . . . . A passionate, Times Literary Supplement

JESSIE AND JOHN DANZ LECTURE SERIES

T h e late J o h n Blacking w a s professor of Q u e e n ' s University of Belfast. A c c o m p a n y i n g audio cassette Venda Music is available University of Washington Press Seattle and London