Journal of the Musical Arts in Africa

ISSN: 1812-1004 (Print)
            2070-626X (Online)
Publication frequency: 2 issues per year

Indexed in the Thomson Reuters Arts and Humanities Index®

Accredited with the DHET (SAPSE)

Co-published with RoutledgeClick here for Open Access options on this journal





Aims & Scope

The Journal of the Musical Arts in Africa (JMAA) is published by NISC (Pty) Ltd in association with the South African College of Music at the University of Cape Town. It is an accredited, internationally refereed journal that aims to combine ethnomusicological, musicological, music educational and performance-based research in a unique way to promote the musical arts on the African continent. This journal also incorporates book, audio and audiovisual media and software reviews.




Anri Herbst (South Africa – University of Cape Town: intercultural musicology, music education, aural perception studies)


Rebekka Sandmeier (Germany-South Africa – University of Cape Town: musicology, historically informed performance practices)

Operations Manager

Wilhelm Delport (South Africa – University of Cape Town: musicology)

Associate Editors

Zelda Potgieter (South Africa – Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University: musicology)
Albi Odendaal (South Africa – University of Cape Town: music education, educational psychology and sociology)

Composition Editors

Ralf Kohler (Germany-South Africa – Stellenbosch University: musicology)
Miles Warrington (South Africa – University of Cape Town: compositions, musicology, music technology)

Reviews Editors

Barry Ross (South Africa-United Kingdom – University of Cape Town: cognitive musicology)

Administrative Assistance

Barry Ross (South Africa-United Kingdom – University of Cape Town: cognitive musicology)

Editorial Office

Associate Professor Anri Herbst
SA College of Music, University of Cape Town
Private Bag, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa

Manuscript submission

All manuscripts presented in accordance with the instructions to authors should be submitted to the Editor-in-Chief.

Editorial Board

Akosua Addo (Ghana-USA – University of Minnesota: music education)
Kofi Agawu (Ghana-USA – Princeton University: musicology, ethnomusicology)
Daniel Avorgbedor (Ghana-USA – Ohio State University: urban ethnomusicology, cross-cultural aesthetics)
Stan Hawkins (Norway-South Africa – University of Oslo: popular music)
Edwin Hees (South Africa – Stellenbosch University: film, theatre)
Jean Kidula (Kenya-USA – University of Georgia: ethnomusicology)
Franklin Larey (South Africa – University of Cape Town: performance studies)
Minette Mans (Namibia: ethnomusicology, choreology, music education, integrated arts)
Florence Miya (Kenya – Daystar University: ethnomusicology, music education)
Penina Muhando Mlama (Tanzania – University of Dar-es-Salaam: theatre arts)
Michael Nixon (South Africa – University of Cape Town: ethnomusicology)
William Chapman Nyaho (Ghana-USA – various institutions)
Meki Nzewi (Nigeria-South Africa – University of Pretoria: ethnomusicology, performance studies, composition, music education)
Oscar Odena (Spain-UK – University of Glasgow: music education, qualitative research approaches, inclusion)
Hetta Potgieter (South Africa – North-West University: music education)
Chris Walton (Switzerland: musicology)

The Editorial Board includes guest peer reviewers who are invited per issue in disciplines not listed. Their names and areas of expertise will be listed in the relevant issues of the journals.

Publishing Manager

Contact regarding all aspects relating to the production of the journal, including scheduling and copyright issues:

Mike Schramm
NISC (Pty) Ltd 
4 Speke Street
PO Box 377
Grahamstown 6140
South Africa

Tel: +27 (0)46 622 9698
Fax: +27 (0)46 622 9550

Published in association with the South African College of Music at the University of Cape Town.

Latest Issue

Volume 15, Issue 1-2, 2018


African music research and the new empiricism
Author(s): Barry RossStellenbosch University,
Pages: (ix)–(xiii)



Audiation, aural training and the visually impaired pianist in South Africa
Author(s): Silvia van ZylSouth African College of Music, University of Cape Town,
Pages: 119–130


Meki Emeka Nzewi at 80: a commemorative interview
Author(s): Christian OnyejiDepartment of Music, Nigeria, Elizabeth OnyejiDepartment of Music, Nigeria
Pages: 131–136


Remembering Mitchel Strumpf (1943–2018)
Author(s): Benon KigoziMakerere University, Uganda, Dawn JosephDeakin University, Australia, Anri HerbstUniversity of Cape Town, South Africa
Pages: 137–139

Book Review

Listening for Africa: Freedom, Modernity, and the Logic of Black Music’s African Origins
Author(s): Claudia Jansen van RensburgAfrica Open: Institute for Music, Research and Innovation,
Pages: 141–142


Author(s): Maike WatsonIndependent scholar and composer,
Pages: 143–147
On Record: Popular Afrikaans Music & Society
Author(s): Kirsten Nicole AdamsStellenbosch University,
Pages: 149–151


Instructions for Authors

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Author FAQ


Instructions for Authors

Full-length articles: The following factors are considered when evaluating a manuscript’s suitability for publication in Journal of the Musical Arts in Africa (JMAA):
•     The manuscript offers new, original insights or interpretations and is not merely a restatement of published ideas and views;
•     The manuscript makes a significant contribution to the field and extends the boundaries of musical arts discourse;
•     The manuscript is likely to arouse readers’ interest and stimulate debate;
•     The manuscript reflects sound scholarship and uses a research design with appropriate, correctly interpreted references to other authors and works; or
•     Should the manuscript challenge the conventions and/or boundaries of published scholarly presentation, it is sufficiently credible and persuasive to warrant publication.

Reviews and review articles: Succinct, critical, evaluative reviews of professional books, texts and other resources, including computer software and audio and audio-visual recordings. Reviews should provide a descriptive and evaluative summary, briefly discussing the work’s significance in the context of current theory and practice. In addition to adopting conventional review formats, reviewers are encouraged to use alternative methods of presentation, such as critically engaging the author in a dialogue.

Brief reports and summaries: Short reports on any aspect of theory and practice in academia (conferences, workshops, etc.). We encourage the submission of manuscripts that either showcase preliminary findings of research in progress or focus on larger studies.

Editorial policy: Papers submitted to JMAA will be reviewed by two appropriately qualified and experienced referees to ensure that all articles accepted for publication are methodologically and conceptually sound and make an original contribution to the field. The journal adheres strictly to a double-blind review process. Submission will be taken to imply transfer of copyright to the publishers, NISC (Pty) Ltd.

The editors of JMAA reserve the right to make editorial changes in any manuscript accepted for publication to enhance clarity or style. The author will be consulted only if the editing has been substantial. The views expressed by contributors to JMAA do not necessarily reflect those of the editors or the editorial board of JMAA.

General guidelines:
1. Papers are accepted for submission provided that:
•     The work is original;
•     The copyright is transferred to the publisher [NISC (Pty) Ltd];
•     The work has not previously been published and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere;
•     The author has secured the permission of all named co-authors, who have agreed on the order of the names for publication;
•     The author has secured all permissions for reproducing original or derived material from copyright sources;
•     If the work includes statistical calculations, a declaration from an institution (e.g. a university department which offers statistical services) that the calculations and interpretation of the statistics are correct, has been included;
•     The work is accompanied by an abstract of not more than 200 words;
•     Full-length articles are between 3000–7000 words;
•     Reviews are between 1000–1500 words;
•     Brief reports are between 3000–4000 words;
•     The author-date system of referencing is used – see JMAA house style at the author information page available for download below.
•     UK spelling conventions are adopted;
•     Comments and cross-references appear as footnotes and not endnotes;
•     Abbreviations and acronyms are avoided;
•     Music examples are submitted in .jpg, .gif, .tif or .eps format and are legible and clear;
•     Scanned images are at least 300 dpi and saved as eps or tif files;
•     Manuscripts are prepared in MSWord document format;
•     Text is presented in 12 pt font with 1.5 line spacing and without text columns, creative formatting or unnecessary additional fonts;
•   Biographical note of 75 words with the name(s) of author(s), postal address, major publications, etc. is included on a SEPARATE sheet to enable anonymous reviewing.

2. The cost of colour printing must be borne by the author and should be discussed with the editors.

3. Contributors are reminded that the language and content of papers should be non-discriminatory, i.e. it should be non-sexist and non-racist:

(a) The notion that ‘man’ is a generic term which includes women is now unacceptable; thus when reference is to both sexes, ‘man’ and ‘men’ should be avoided. Some alternatives are ‘person’, ‘people’, ‘human beings’ or ‘men and women’. The use of ‘he’ and ‘him’ can be avoided in most cases by using the plural forms ‘they’ or ‘their’.

Examples of sexist and non-sexist formulations are: 

The child … he                              Children … they 

Man’s achievements                    Human achievements, people’s achievements 

Headmasters                                 Headteachers, Heads, Principals 

Wives/husbands                           Spouses/families

(b) In empirical research, avoid generalisations from a single sex group or an unrepresentative group to a broader category such as ‘youth’, ‘children’or ‘teachers’.

Manuscripts that do not conform to the requirements listed above will not be considered for publication.

For additional guidelines, please refer to the below documents available for download.

Submissions should be sent to:
Associate Professor Anri Herbst
SA College of Music, University of Cape Town
Private Bag, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa

Open access: Journal of the Musical Arts in Africa is a hybrid journal which allows authors the option of publishing their article Open Access for a set fee. Further details are given at the Open Access at NISC page.


Instructions for Authors

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JMAA Style Guide

PDF File | Size: 176.89 KB download »view online »

JMAA Code of Ethics

PDF File | Size: 113.14 KB download »view online »


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