An interrogation of the context referentiality of postcolonial Shona popular music in Zimbabwe : a search for the contemporary leitmotifs
Shona (African people) -- Zimbabwe -- Music
Popular music -- Zimbabwe
Popular music -- Social aspects -- Zimbabwe
Popular music -- Political aspects -- Zimbabwe
Songs, Shona -- Zimbabwe
Songs, Shona -- Social aspects -- Zimbabwe
Songs, Shona -- Political aspects -- Zimbabwe
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AbstractThe study interrogates the context reflectivity of postcolonial Shona popular music in Zimbabwe. It also explores the extent to which the legal environment in which the same music is produced, disseminated and consumed affects expressivity and artistic precision. The study is inspired by the New Historicism theory which assumes that every work of art is a product of the historical moment that created it and can be identified with the cultural and political movements of the time. The same is believed of popular music. The study is also beholden to the Marxist literary tradition for its assessment of the discourse of politics and socio-economic issues in popular music. For all the analysis, an Afrocentric eye view informs the thesis.
Being qualitative in perspective, the research mainly uses the hermeneutic research design as an operational framework for the interpretation of lyrical data. Hermeneutics, as a method of textual analysis, emphasizes the socio-cultural and historic influences on qualitative interpretation. Postcolonial Shona popular music is purposively sampled and critically studied using the hermeneutic method to tease out latent social and political nuances in lyrical data. Interviews are roped in as alternative opinions to validate hermeneutic data.
The research observes that the legislative environment in which Zimbabwean popular music is composed is, on paper, very conducive for the art but in practice severely restrictive. The constitution allows the artiste sufficient space to sing any subject but confessions by some critics alert on the incidences of some censored products. Even against that backdrop artistes have gone on to compose politically suggestive music. However, from the first decade of independence, the tendency for the artiste has been to flow with the meta-narrative or hegemonic discourses of the state, while in the later decades the artiste sounds critical of the nationalist government. Realising the power of music to articulate serious national issues; among other prescriptions, the study recommends that government creates a flexible and democratic legislation that allows for unbounded creativity and consumption of artistic products.
D. Litt. et Phil. (African Languages)
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