I am excited to announce Hal Leonard's release of the South African Folk Songs Collection. In this album are 24 songs from my native country, showcasing the rich diversity of cultures, languages, and traditions. One can also find background information on the various national entities, with a helpful map, and beautiful illustrations.
These arrangements are targeted to the early intermediate pianist, and as such, are accessible to a wide range of learners. It’s a great opportunity to find out about South Africa in the context of the country's music.
What a pleasure it has been, for me to work with Nkululeko Zungu in writing the music! We divided the book into half, each researching and arranging 12 songs. The results, while uniform in pianistic demands, show some delightful contrasts between our two characters.
In this short video you can hear excerpts from some of the songs:
Sarie Marais is a love song from the Afrikaner culture. Two young lovers are separated by war. “My Sarie Marais is so far from my heart, but I hope to see her again.”
Shosholoza means “Go Forward,” and was originally sung by the Ndebele as they migrated from the North to find work in South Africa.
Senzeni Na is a protest song from the Apartheid times. In the Xhosa language it means “What have we done?” and a further line translates to “Our only sin is that we are black.”
Masesa is a type of dance in the Tsonga culture. The driving rhythm creates a bubbling energy, and makes the piece perfect for the slightly more developed student.
The National Anthem is actually two songs: Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika which means "God Bless Africa," and Die Stem van Suid-Afrika which means “The Call of South Africa.” The anthem is sung in five different languages: Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Afrikaans, and English.
Click the link below to enjoy the preview of South African Folk Songs Collection, and purchase the album here.