Segments in this Video

South African Sounds (02:55)


Hear traditional instruments and singing. See landscapes and city life with South Africans wearing traditional and modern attire. Johannesburg is a musical hub.

San People (05:05)

The San people have been living in the veld for 20,000 years. A xhoga is a handmade string instrument for leisure time. Traditional dance and song are often used for healing, prosperity, and rites of passage.

Ceremonies: Music and Dance Styles (05:15)

The San people use very little instruments and instead use their voices in a polyphonic style. They are able to create a unique sound by layering their voices in technical rhythms for different rites, including coming of age ceremonies for boys and girls.

Tradition in the Modern World (05:52)

Many Zulu people are becoming more westernized and moving to the city for work. Tradition is kept alive through a continued interest in musical heritage.

Iscathamiya Music (02:55)

Iscathamiya is a musical style that is a mix of modern and Zulu music. It originated in hostels where workers lived in the city.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo (06:42)

The founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo was inspired to begin the musical group after hearing harmonious angels. They use a more joyful and harmonious style of singing rather than traditional Zulu music.

Zulu Music (04:58)

In the last 150 years, Zulu music has been heavily influenced by missionaries and African-American gospel. The musical landscape in South Africa is consistently evolving while holding onto traditional roots.

Western Influence (06:14)

Some traditional dances would only be accompanied by vocals, hand claps, and Basotho drums made from animal skins. With western influence, more instruments are integrated to modernize the sound.

Xhosa People (05:01)

Amampondo music originated in Mpondoland in the Transkei, now called the Eastern Cape. It has been modernized while still keeping a traditional essence.

African Jazz (05:32)

African Jazz is a fusion of traditional African music, American Jazz, and world music. This modern style began in the 1920s and new generations in the last decade have kept traditional African elements, which further preserves the unique culture.

Credits: South Africa: Talam (02:49)

Credits: South Africa: Talam

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South Africa: Talam

Part of the Series : Talam
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



The origins of South African music can be traced back to the San, the earliest inhabitants of this part of Africa. In the present, we hear the integration of these traditional forms with American influences in the music playing in clubs all over the country. The urbanized Zulu have produced a successful sound, which has become known all over the world thanks to the great African poet Joseph Shabalala and his Ladysmith Black Mambazo. This program also explores ways of life, music and dance of the N’debele, the Xhosa, and the Basotho.

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: BVL147969

ISBN: 978-1-64347-250-8

Copyright date: ©2006

Closed Captioned

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