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Date: Tue, 3 Jan 1995 18:59:37 -0700
From: waynej(a)c.ABAC.PeachNet.EDU (Wayne P. Jones)
Subject: Re:Multicultural music sources

Earlier, during the summer, there were several requests for sources of
multicultural music. One of the sources referred to in the thread was
Cultural Bridge Choral Innovations. There were incomplete details as to how
to contact Caroline Lyon at Cultural Bridge at the time. I have since
tracked her and spoke with her today. It seems that she has available a
collection of 10 South African pieces for various voicings and also has
three West African pieces which will be available shortly. Knowing how
difficult it is to locate such music, I felt a number of you might
appreciate knowing how to contact Caroline (who is also an expert on Latin
American music).

She can be reached at the following:

Cultural Bridge Choral Innovations
808 Keasby St.
Austin TX 78751
(512) 454-9054
email: cslyon(a)

I have ordered her collection and, therefore, can not comment on the
contents but would be interested to hear if any of you have heard these
pieces. Happy hunting!

Wayne P. Jones
Asst. Prof. of Music
Abraham Baldwin College
ABAC 54, 2802 Moore Hwy.
Tifton, GA 31794-2601

Phone: (912) 386-3097
FAX: (912) 386-7006
Email: waynej(a)

Date: Thu, 5 Jan 1995 21:09:56 -0700
From: Treblemakr(a)
Subject: Re:Multicultural music sources

>I have ordered her collection [of South African pieces] and, >therefore, can
not comment >on the
>contents but would be interested to hear if any of you have >heard these
pieces. Happy hunting!

I have this collection and have used a few of these pieces with my choirs. I
think the arrangements are well-done, and my students enjoy them a lot!
Especially helpful are her comments about the context and performance of
each piece. I highly recommend this set!

Alexa Johnson

Date: Fri, 30 Sep 1994 14:20:52 -0600
Subject: Re: "Cry Out Freedom"

What you're apparently looking for is a collection of South African
songs of protest and praise entitled "Freedom Is Coming." They are
collected and edited by Anders Nyberg. Yes, "Siyahamba" is one of
the songs in the collection. There is also a cassette tape of these
songs available from the publishers below.

In the USA and Canada, you may order from Walton Music Corp., P.O.
Box 470, Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514. The publication number is WB-528

Outside of USA/Canada you may contact the European publisher Utryck,
Falhagsleden 8 A, S-753 24 Uppsala,
| D. Brent Ballweg Collin County Community College |
| Dir. of Choral Activities 2800 E. Spring Creek Pkwy. |
| bballweg(a) Plano, TX 75074 (214) 881-5653 |

Dear friends, and Philip Kern who had suggested this compilation...

Thanks so much for your quick and rich content responses. And I am so sorry
for the late compilation. I really have a hard time both with my work and
with the choir. Orfeon Chamber Choir which I am singing and managing will be
performing at 19th.International Ankara Music Festival next month as the
only choir for this year.
We were planning to sing an African Song at this concert but unfortunately
we agreed that it will be impossible for us to make enough rehersals even we
receive the piece as quickly as possible. At the moment we will have a
programme of 30 songs which 20 is new.
So we will not be able to sing it for this time but will be performing one
as soon as possible. I could'nt reply to you who responsed till now but I
will in a couple days. And ask for additional help.

Below is your suggestions.

Thanks once more.

Warmest best wishes,

Ilker Ersil
Orfeon Chamber Choir


We are rehersaling for a special project and looking for an acapella piece
from the continent Africa.
It could be from any country from Africa, but must be an enjoyable one about
2-4 minutes.
Probably a folkloric piece will be suitable.
Does anyone has a suggestion? Please also suggest where we can provide the
Thanks for all your interest.



Shut-de-do is a wonderful selection. It is acapella and you can always add
a bongo or congo drum to it. My select ensemble is doing a piece called
"Siyahamba" right's a little short in length but it lasts about
2-3 minutes.

Hope this helps.
Snezana Lazich


Do you have "Siyahamba"? That makes a fine song, with some percussion

Pat Maimone
Post Chapel, West Point, NY


I am the publisher of a few African pieces from Ghana and Zimbabwe. You can
obtain them from our European agent, MusicPress Distributors in the
Netherlands. If you tell me your full mailing address, I can send you
samples of three pieces, which you can then order from MPD. Visit our
website at to see descriptions of them (click on
choral, then look for Vamudara, Wonfa Nyem and Somagwaza, and also under
book/audio click on Africa and see Let Your Voice Be Heard! Songs from Ghana
and Zimbabwe, which includes a few multipart songs suitable for choirs).

Judith Cook Tucker, Publisher
World Music Press
Intercultural Understanding through Music


Run, do not walk to your nearest music store and order

Horizons by Peter Louis Van Dijk

Hal Leonard 08742856

It is the story of the killing of the San People. It will move your
audience greatly.

Daniel Craig


What about "Siyahamba" (We are marching in the light of Christ) You can
find it in most recent hymnals (Presbyterian and United here in Canada -
look in the U.S. Presbyterian ). Great piece, although perhaps a bit short
for your needs.



Walton Music has a collection of South African songs. Also, World Music
Press has many pieces from all over the world.

Try finding them on the web, or contact

How about:

Mbiri Kuna Mwari (
Babethandazaa (Sweet Honey in the Rock; Ysaye Barnwell; Sing Out)
Tshotsholosa (Sing Out; probably a bunch of arr. out there)
Somo Guaz-A (Ysay Barnwell)

Best wishes,
Cynthia Frank
Mendocino Women's Choir
155 Cypress Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437
707-964-9520 * fax: 707-964-7531 *


If I were you, I would contact American composer/arranger, Richard McKinney.
He could arrange such a piece at an extremely reasonable rate. He can be
reached at mcknotes(a) Good Luck!

William Schmitz

try World Music Press
1-(203) 748-1131


Dear Ilker,

Iwould like to offer you three African song arrangements. Two are published
by alliance music whilst the third is unpublished.

The two published arrangements are:

1. Old Tante Fiena Snuifbek - about a busy-body gossip (qith some gossipy
noises at the start)

2. Steam Train - a song of longing

The unpublished song is:

3. The Tale of Two Pigeons - a magical tale of two pigeons bringing new life
to a barren princess.

If you are interested in the first two then please speak to Martha Palmer at
Alliance Music who will ('m quite sure) supply you with complimentary copies
of both songs. If you would like the third piece (unpublished and as yet
unperfomed) please let me know and I will send you a copy. If you have
Sibelius I can send you a file by e-mail or if not I will mail it to you.

Best wishes


Jabula Jesu, arr. Stephen Hatfield, published by Boosey and Hawkes
OCTB6723. Great piece, easy to put together.
Buena Suerte,
Ricardo Soto


There's this really good piece that I worked with one time under the
direction of Dr. Andre Thomas, Director of Choral Activites, (a) Florida State
University. The name of the song is: Jabula Jesu (pronouced with the "J"
sound) by Stephen Hatfield. If you can find a recoeding of it, and listen
to it, you can decide. I really enjoyed it.

Good Luck,

Gene Gray


I have no specific African song to recommend, but would you please compile
list you get from other choralist individuals and send it back out to the
I'm sure all would benefit from your generosity!

Best wishes,

Philip Kern


Betelehemu is a great one and as authentic as I can come up with. Yes,
it's about the birth of Jesus, but that needn't keep you from performing
it outside of Christmas!



There is a piece arranged by John Leavitt titled "One by One" It is
published by the walt disney company and uses african language and all that
jazz. I truly reccomend it.


Jason A. Mincy


Siyahamba.....a real toe-tapper, and you could invite the audience to
sing along.


O Sifuni Mungu (a few bongos would help, and maybe keyboard...or at least
a string bass?)...... or Orff-type instruments? or recorder?

Have fun!



I don't know if this helps or not, but a Canadian women's acapella quartet
called Malaika sings a Swahili song by the same name. There is a sample of
song at this web address: I don't know
you might get the music for it, but if you listen to the sample and like
you hear, at least you will have a song title to go after.

Good luck.

Jim Taylor


Here are three:

Louez le seigneur, arr Johnson, pub. Earthsongs. Easy

Hombe, by Laz Ekueme, pub. ? medium (American pub; Lawson-gould?)

Nno, by Laz Ekeume, medium (American pub.)

Good Luck!

Paul Meers
American University of Beirut


Siyahamba is a wonderful piece as it's a cappella but you can add
drums and such if you wish. There are several arrangements of it in all
voicings and most music publishers carry it as it is becoming very popular.

All the best,

Stacey Campbell
Deben High School
Felixstowe, England



I was given your name by Brenda Kayne, who noted that you were looking for
African-based choral piece of about 2 minutes. She thought that the piece I
recently submitted to the Euphonia Competition would work nicely. It's
on a traditional welcoming song (with foot stomps and hand claps) from
Zimbabwe. I also have two other African pieces a cappella published by Hal
Leonard, Inc. One is called "An African Musical Geography", and the second
is called "An African Game Song." Finally, one of my most popular pieces is
called "An Afro-Celtic Diddle," which combines African and Celtic rhythms
words, and it's been performed quite a bit since it was published 3 years
ago. If you are interested in any of these pieces, I can send you copies of
the music and an excerpt of the composition.

Looking forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Michael Coolen


I have sung some a cappella pieces from Africa which were really fun:

Siyahamba (We are marching)
for SATB
Zulu song edited by Doreen Rao
Copyright 1991 Boosey & Hawkes, USA

South African Suite
1. Tshotsholoza
2. Siyahamba (same as above, dedicated to Doreen Rao)
3 Gabi Gabi
arranged by Henry Leck (Indianapolis Children's Choir)
Copyright 1993 Plymouth Music Co. 170 NE 33rd St, Ft. Lauderdale FL 33334

Sansa Kroma


SAB and Percussion (Claves, Bell, Axatse (like maracas), Deep Drum
Akan playground song arr. by Felicia A.B. Sandler (West African)
(This one has a leader, and with an echo by the choir)
Copyright 1994 E C Schirmer Music Co, ECS Publishing, Boston

Hope this helps!


Rosemary Gretton


Zungo by Uzee Brown.

Hello. We are doing Derek Bermel's "Kpanlongo" this term. It's from West
Africa, uses figures that imitate percussion, and is very lively, about 2
minutes long. Publisher: Santa Barbara Music Publishing, available on the
Some others: He Came Down, Marty Haugen, GIA Publications.
Two South African Ceremonial Songs, Lawrence Kaptein and Caroline Lyon,
Alliance Music Publications.
Two South African Freedom Songs, Henry Lick, Walton Music Corporation.
Zungo, Uzee Brown Jr., Roger Dean Publishing Company.

Susan Marrier
Lakehead University

on May 22, 2002 10:00pm

Earth Music from Corvallis Oregon has a tone of tunes not mentioned in the previous posts. One which is delightful but diificult is Sigalagala. There is also a great recording of it by the St Olaf Choir available. The only difficlulty is trying to actually read the rhythms. I'm sure it can be done but it just got to straight. What I ended up doing was listening to the CD of St Olaf, interpreting the Octavo, and then sequencing each part on a midi keyboard. Time consuming but very worth the time.

on January 6, 2003 10:00pm
One great African song is Telele Mama which is a Nama Traditional song in SATB with a very amusing translation- Mama, I love you. You make good chicken. Another is Ipharadisi which is a South African Zulu song. You can hear both of them at under cool stuff. That choir has 5 cd's out. Telele Mama is on Colour, and Ipharadisi which roughly means "in Paradise we can all sing and be with our loved ones again" is featured on Freedom.
on April 1, 2003 10:00pm
Any music retailer can order this for you; it's published by one of the big publising companies (Warner, I believe). Or go to an online store such as or

on April 1, 2003 10:00pm
Hi there. I'm trying to locate sheet music for "Bethelehemu" - our community choir, I believe, would perform it well... I'm having some difficulty finding it. Can anyone assist?
Thank you so much for your help. :)

Thanks again. :)
on September 17, 2004 10:00pm
I was wondering if anyone could help me. I am a new music teacher at a charter high school in Boston which is 98% black and hispanic. The kids are concerned that I won't be able to give them music they can relate to because I am white with a madrigal background. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions.
Thanks for your help.
on September 29, 2006 10:00pm
For more information about South African Music (not just in african languages) be sure to visit the website of Palissander Chamber Choir from South Africa. The Website contains mp3 samples of some of their recordings. The recordings also feature the soccajasco kids- traditional drummers. So, if you are looking for African music performed by an african choir do visit their site.