The history and heritage of popular Afrikaans music

Authored by: Schalk van der Merwe

The Routledge Companion to Popular Music History and Heritage

Print publication date:  May  2018
Online publication date:  May  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138237636
eBook ISBN: 9781315299310
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter explores the contours of popular Afrikaans music studies, a dynamic field that has only recently emerged from its nascent phase. Its historiography is presented against the complex sociopolitical background of the development of the Afrikaans language itself (and with it, its music traditions and recording industry), the influence of the racial politics of apartheid and the context of the post-apartheid era. Some key issues in the literature include: the history of racial exclusion in Afrikaans music and its impact on language politics today, the protest music of the late-apartheid era, expressions of white Afrikaner nationhood in post-apartheid South Africa, coloured Afrikaans hip hop artists and the controversial group, Die Antwoord. The chapter also informs on the various repositories of information on popular Afrikaans music, from archives (at the South African Broadcasting Corporation, a number of universities and the vaults of record companies), to online archives and websites, as well as heritage projects involved in the conservation of coloured Afrikaans music traditions of the Cape.

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