“If music be the food of love, then play on, ” William Shakespeare.
Music is an expression of man’s soul. From the very beginning of time, man has played music on special occasions: to mark the beginning and the end of life and to help celebrate all the main rituals on earth. Where would we be without music in our many ceremonies, that tell the tale of life and the sacred love for each other? Music was probably part of life before the spoken word and its patterns create the easiest way for the human brain to remember and re-inforce what is being said. Music goes straight to the heart evoking emotions we know and recognise within ourselves to be at the core of everything. Making music is a spiritual journey; it knows no bounds or cultural barriers; it is what it is and it inspires great thoughts and actions. There are many genres of music in South Africa and like its cultural heritage of different people, music in South Africa reflects this rich diversity in a kaleidoscope of possibilities. Wedding ceremonies mark the bond between two families as well as the crossover from child to adult and as such they are important spiritual events. Modern day weddings like to “borrow” music from traditional cultures that add to their special wedding day celebrations. Music is a universal language and it doesn’t matter which culture it comes from: Western, African or Eastern – the meaning is clear – Love Conquers All.
The African Wedding.
Using traditional African Music is a very special way to start a wedding ceremony. The heart of Africa is expressed in the rhythms of the Jemba drums and the harmonies of South African pate pate choirs. The African “wedding song” is a celebratory vocal dedication to the bride and groom with rich harmony and energy: “Let’s see this beautiful couple getting married; they must forget their stresses and jealousy and be happy together, we are happy to see their wedding” – “Ubu nomona uyakulawula uzo Saluneuncalaza nje nge nqeqe , phuma kwesosimo uzibizela unomnganga halalalala – later the high pitched traditional ‘Halalala’ ends the song in a stunning performance with such vigour that is sure to open hearts to the love that is present. African Music has a strong vocal element in ‘a cappella’ choir such as Khayelitsha United Mbazo. It can also be instrumentally based with Marimba players and Jembe Drummers.