n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Yemoja in momente : 'n Uitvoerderperspektief

Volume 53 Number 2
  • ISSN : 0041-4751


The compositional output of South African composer Stefans Grové has, in the past, often been analysed in a context of Afrocentrism. This approach is understandable, given the political landscape of the country during the years before and directly after the end of apartheid. This article will posit a reading of Grové's oeuvre that moves beyond this Afrocentric approach, and suggests an analytic strategy that allows for new insights and interpretations of meaning in Grové's music
The ways in which musical meaning is created for the performer, composer and listener is inherently different. When performers have the possibility to meet and engage with the composer of a work, an added dimension of meaning must be negotiated: there exists a tension between composers' understanding of a composition and that of performers; performers must ultimately balance their own interpretations of compositions with those of the creator of the musical works. As a frequent performer of Grové's compositions for piano, I have been able to work with the composer in a close manner, and he has shared his own thoughts on some of the piano works with me. These encounters led to particular understandings of his compositions, further enriched by my own interpretation of the works. The contributions of the composer during my initial process of assimilating and working on the composition played an important part in my understanding of the meaning of this music; this engagement with the composer also provided the initial impetus to analyse this work from a performer's perspective.
The ways in which musical meaning is engaged by music analysts differ from how this meaning is discovered by performers. The outcome of a traditional analysis of music is discursively articulated; performers' analysis of music usually becomes implicit in the way the music is performed. A central tenet of the approach followed in this article is that performers, as receivers of meaning, are uniquely positioned to analyse musical compositions with which they are performatively engaged. It will be posited here that performers' approaches to analysis are encapsulated within a matrix of different types of involvement with the musical work, and that these conditions allow for an engagement with the music which is "bodily" as well as analytical in nature. This approach suggests that meaning can be revealed through engagement with the embodied experience of music: there resides implicit musical meaning within the performing body, which can be made explicit through a self-reflexive approach to performers’ subjective experiences of meaning while performatively involved with the work. Such an analytic strategy is rooted in phenomenological musical analysis, but departs from this method in that the insider perspectives of performers serve as primary input, rather than the listening experience of analysts.
The ideas put forward in this article will be explicated through a "bodily" or "somatic" analysis of Stefans Grové's . Issues of form, as well as an examination of tempo as structural element will be discussed. The conclusions presented here are based on the embodied knowledge of the performer of this music, engaged with through a body-based analysis of the music.

Analises van Stefans Grové se komposisies fokus dikwels op idees rondom Afrosentrisme in sy werk. As uitvoerder van Grové se werke vir soloklavier vind ek egter dat die Afrosentriese benadering tot die verstaan van Grové se oeuvre soms beperkend kan wees. Die "verstaan" van musiek word eng verbind met die uitgebreide diskoers rondom musiek en "betekenis". Die manier waarop musiek verstaan word deur uitvoerders is nie dieselfde as die manier waarop dit deur 'n luisteraar verstaan word nie, en daar bestaan ook 'n onderskeid tussen komponiste se verstaan van of bedoeling met 'n werk en dit wat uiteindelik deur uitvoerders of luisteraars begryp word. Verder word musiekuitvoering en -analise van musikale komposisies in musikologiese diskoers dikwels as twee verskillende aktiwiteite gesien wat verskillende tipes resultate oplewer. Daar bestaan 'n wesenlike verskil tussen die uitsette van die analis en uitvoerder: eersgenoemde se projek het 'n diskursief geartikuleerde resultaat, terwyl die resultaat van die uitvoerder se analise gewoonlik implisiet in die uitvoering self vervat word. Hierdie artikel beweer dat dit moontlik is om analise vanuit die uitvoerdersperspektief te benader, en dat so 'n benadering belangrike insigte tot die kennisveld kan bydra. Uitvoerders se verstaan van 'n werk word gegrond op 'n konstellasie van verskillende tipes betrokkenheid by die werk, wat elk diverse parameters vir die verstaan van die werk skep. Dit is die doel van hierdie artikel om te toon hoe, deur middel van 'n self-refleksiewe proses, hierdie verskeie dimensies van verstaan op mekaar kan inspeel en mekaar kan aanvul. 'n Analise van Grové se 1999-komposisie Yemoja vanuit die uitvoerdersperspektief dien as gevallestudie.

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