An African Festivity for Flute: sensing diversity, creolisation and knowledge through sound

Published in: Journal of the Musical Arts in Africa
Volume 14, issue 1-2, 2017 , pages: 69–86
DOI: 10.2989/18121004.2017.1321233
Author(s): Marietjie PauwAfrica Open – Institute for Music, Research and Innovation, South Africa


This article begins by exploring the concept of diversity in music and arts education. A survey undertaken maps lesser and greater musico-cultural diversity amongst selected tertiary institutions that offer Music as a degree subject in South Africa and in Uganda. The results indicate that the term diversity is perhaps inadequate for Music and Arts education in Africa. An investigation of terminology that educators have used in recent publications presents an alternative category to diversity, namely creolisation. The author’s playing of a selected solo by Justinian Tamusuza, An African Festivity for Flute, engages with creolisation as a heard and experienced phenomenon. Listeners’ responses are documented as experiences of hearing creolisation instead of hearing diversity. From this exercise, some of the conclusions drawn are found to be applicable to Music and Arts education, so that the notion of ‘creol-ing’ as an analytical tool and as experience might well further an education that helps cultivate a ‘shared humanity.’ The article documents an inquiry into knowledge generation through sound, motivated by artistic research through music. Finally, this project indicates that a search for one or the other ‘category’ is perhaps less satisfactory than the quest for an experientially-sensed, embodied knowledge emanating from sound and music performance.

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