Category: News

Chair’s Address, Sasrim Eleventh Annual Congress, 31 August – 2 September 2017, North West University, Potchefstroom

Yesterday morning, I attended a performance by the Bandura Express marimba group, an ensemble from Northwest University who performed as part of the Sasrim African Music Meeting. These eight young performers were riveting: polished, energetic, utterly convincing. The ensemble includes marimbas, electric guitar, drum kit and saxophone, and their repertoire ranges from traditional music to arrangements of songs by R. Kelly and Sting and the Police. The venue for this performance was the university organ room… which meant the backdrop to the marimba ensemble was constituted of silver organ pipes reaching up to the ceiling; the audience were required to remain seated in formal auditorium-style throughout the performance, even though the impulse was to get up and dance along. As I sat there, spellbound, I found myself thinking how truly extraordinary this experience in fact was. I am old enough to remember a time when it would have been unthinkable to have an African instrumental ensemble perform in the hallowed halls of the Conservatory, especially at what we now euphemistically call ‘historically privileged institutions’. And these young people were not performing music that would in any narrow sense be considered ‘traditional’ by an ethnomusicologist from yonder years: the members of Bandura Express are performing traditional music, yes, but they are also playing modern tunes that they like, that they enjoy listening to daily, but re-imagined and re-made for an...

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SASRIM Newsletter 4 August 2017

Dear Members, There are now just less than four weeks remaining before the SASRIM Annual Congress 2017 kicks off in Potchefstroom! The conference programme is out, and registration is open. As always the conference programme is packed full of papers, demonstrations, panel sessions and performances, covering a wide range of topics. I much look forward to seeing you there! We are thrilled to host Dr Sylvia Nannyonga-Tamusuza as our keynote speaker this year. We are also presenting two music meetings in addition to the regular conference programme. From 28 August to 31 August, composers Clare Loveday, Andile Khumalo and Hannes Taljaard will be working with developing composers on new works, four of which will be performed by the ensemble in residence consisting of Magda de Vries (marimba), Elmarie van der Vyfer (viola), Morne van Heerden (clarinet) and Olivier Barrier (oboe). The works that have been pre-selected are by Kirsten Adams, Kristi Boonzaaier, Arthur Feder and Jaco Meyer, and these will be performed on the first morning of the conference, 31 August at 10:45. An African Music Meeting will run concurrently with the Sasrim congress, with workshops and performances by Cara Stacey (SA/Swaziland), Mpho Molikeng (SA/Lesotho), Matchume Zango (Mozambique) and Lungiswa Plaatjies (South Africa). Mpho Molikeng’s sound installation Linong will also be exhibited during the first day of the conference. Another fun addition to the programme is well-known music journalist and writer Charles Leonard – or as he will be known at this conference, DJ Charles....

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SASRIM newsletter February 2017

Dear SASRIM members, 2017 is well under way, and I am happy to share some exciting bits of news with you. Planning for the 2017 Annual Congress (Northwest University, 31 August to 2 September) is continuing apace, and I am happy to confirm our keynote speaker for 2017, Professor Sylvia Nannyonga-Tamusuza. The Reverend Professor June Boyce-Tillman will be joining the conference as a special invited speaker. Please note that the closing date for abstract submissions is 3 March; abstracts may be sent to . A Call for Scores was recently distributed for the 2017 SASRIM New Music Meeting, presented in collaboration with Northwest University. The South African faculty for this event includes Clare Loveday, Andile Khumalo and Hannes Taljaard; accepted works will be performed by an ensemble in residence during the conference. Please check our website for more details ( In addition to the New Music Meeting, SASRIM will also this year present an African Music Meeting, where performers, educators and scholars working in various spheres of African music will come together for three days of workshops, lectures, discussions and improvisation sessions. More details will soon follow – please check our website for further updates! SAMUS 34/35 has recently been printed, and hard copies are currently being distributed. The electronic version of the journal is available via Sabinet. SAMUS 36, although slightly delayed, is also well underway, and...

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Address from the Chair, Sasrim Tenth Annual Congress, 25 – 27 August 2016, Odeion School of Music, University of the Free State

Good afternoon colleagues, and welcome to this tenth AGM of the South African Society for Research in Music. It is wonderful to be welcomed here in Bloemfontein, the place where the first AGM of our Society was held in 2007. In 2006, the year in which Sasrim was established, our South African democracy was a twelve year old pre-teen, slightly awkward as kids of that age often are, and poised at the edge of early adulthood. Today, ten years later, our democracy has come of age – and, having outgrown much of its youthful idealism and no longer able to endorse the sense of naïve optimism that personified the early years following on 1994, our South African democracy of 2016 insists on new imperatives and urgencies. In a year exemplified by continued student protests on university campuses across the country, precarious economic and political realities and a clear indication of significant shifts in the power bases of the South African socio-political landscape, it is perhaps not surprising that a word that came up frequently at this 2016 conference was ‘crisis’. This term entered discussions across the spectrum of the material presented over the last days: crises of curriculum; of freedom of speech; of enforced neoliberal educational models; crises of history and historiography; the crises of the daily realities faced by students on the very campuses on which most of...

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Student Financial Assistance for the 2016 Conference

Dear SASRIM student presenters, Please click here to download the application form for financial aid for the 2016 SASRIM conference. All applications must be sent by email to BEFORE 22 July 2016. All best, Mareli Dr Mareli Stolp Postdoctoral Fellow: Unisa Chair: South African Society for Research in Music E-mail:...

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SASRIM Newsletter July 2016

Dear Members, As I sat down to write this (long overdue) letter to you, I realised that time is indeed, as Jennifer Egan claims, a goon, and sometimes it pushes you around: there have been so many positive and exciting developments to share this year regarding our Society, and yet here we are in the month of July and not a single newsletter has seen the light from my electronic pen in 2016. I can only apologise, and offer the following in the hope that the good news reported here will help pardon me! As you know, a new Executive Committee was elected during the 2015 AGM in Cape Town. We were given a specific mandate which included key issues: our member demographics needed to be diversified, to become significantly more inclusive and representative; this needed to reflect in the constitution of our conferences; and SASRIM’s public profile should be developed and rejuvenated. We accepted this mandate wholeheartedly, and attempted through various means and strategies to address the issues raised at the 2015 AGM. Thus far I am happy to report that we received a record number of proposals for the 2016 Annual Congress, to be hosted by the Odeion School of Music in Bloemfontein from 25-27 August. This year, instead of a Call for Papers, the ExCo opted to send out a Call for Contributions, thus opening the door to a broader range of participation than what was common in the past....

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SASRIM Newsletter November 2015

Dear SASRIM member, As you know, a new Executive Committee was elected in July 2015 to serve SASRIM’s needs for the next three years. Since the last AGM where these elections took place, the new ExCo has met twice. I am happy to now be able to report on behalf of the ExCo some developments, changes, news, new directions and ideas, and I welcome all members’ responses. i) Strategy Document During the AGM of 17 July 2015, some strong statements were made in regards to particular aspects of SASRIM: our member demographics; the constitution of our conferences; inclusivity and representativeness; SASRIM’s public profile. The ExCo accepted as a mandate that these and other issues needed to be explored and addressed as a matter of urgency. A first step in this process was to develop a ‘strategy document’ for the society, which could clearly articulate specific steps and strategies that the ExCo would take in order to facilitate development and change. Matters addressed in this document include: conference structure and format; the creation of a curatorial brief for conference programming; development of specific recruitment strategies aimed at students, knowledge practitioners, performing artists and individuals not linked with academe; improvement of inter-societal relationships with groups such as New Music SA, the South African Society for Music Teachers, IASPM and others; and ways to increase the visibility and presence of the Society....

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SASRIM Newsletter January 2015

Dear Sasrim member, On behalf of the Sasrim Executive Committee, best wishes to you for 2015! I hope the year will bring continued innovative, quality and critical discussions, not only in your work environment, but also at conferences and in publishing. 2014 has sped by during which Sasrim has continued its annual activities that include hosting the 2014 conference (at Wits in September), the planning of this year’s conference (at UCT in July) as well as the publishing of our accredited journal, Samus. To achieve this, the society continues to rely on the unselfish input from the executive committee members, and I would like to thank them for their time and energy! A bit more on each of the above in this bulletin. For the day-to-day functioning of the executive committee, a number of routines have been put in place over the past year to ensure its effective functioning. Being spread throughout the country (currently members of the executive committee reside in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Potchefstroom, Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Grahamstown and Durban) the committee normally convenes 3 times a year: twice per telephone conference and once face to face, traditionally on the evening before the start of each conference. Most of the work is orientated towards administrative tasks. For some of the tasks, especially with regard to the programme committee and arrangements for the conference, formal procedures have been drawn...

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SASRIM Newsletter January 2014

Dear Sasrim member, On behalf of the Sasrim Executive Committee, warm wishes to you for the New Year! In the coming year we are looking forward to Sasrim’s eighth annual conference to be held at Wits in Johannesburg in September, as well as the publication of Samus 33 (which is on its way to you shortly) and Samus 34. For those of you who were not able to attend last year’s conference at Fort Hare, a short recap. We had a most successful conference in July 2013 that featured Susan McClary and Robert Walser, both from Case University in Cleveland in the USA as keynotes, speaking on current issues in and around university curricula and jazz performance respectively. The conference also showcased much indigenous music from the Eastern Cape through the presentation of papers as well as live performances by music groups from the area. Dave Dargie and Andrew Tracey both read papers and Dargie presented a special session on applied ethnomusicology where delegates had the opportunity to build their own bows and learn to play them. This was a truly unique happening which we hope will be repeated in the future. The only disappointment was the large number of presenters who cancelled at the last minute, resulting in schedule changes and budget overruns – something we need to avoid in future. This year’s conference will be held from...

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SASRIM Newsletter April 2013

Dear Sasrim member, The annual Sasrim Conference will be held from 18-20 July and for the first time it will be hosted by Fort Hare University at their new East-London Campus. This year we are excited to have two renowned international scholars as keynote speakers: Prof Susan McClary and Prof Robert Walser, both from Case University in Cleveland in the USA. Prof McClary’s paper ‘From the Universal and Timeless to the Here and Now: Rethinking Music Studies’ will discuss current concerns regarding curricula at tertiary institutions. Prof Walser will speak on the diversity of musical taste and its relation to the classical canon in his paper ‘Why Are There So Many Songs?’. We look forward to welcoming both these distinguished guests. Apart from the keynote addresses, this year’s conference program will include approximately 50 papers, round table discussions and other presentations, covering a wide variety of sub-disciplines within our field. These include presentations on African music, theatre studies, music education, gender studies, popular music & jazz studies, boeremusiek, censorship, the classical canon, music archiving as well as new music composition. The conference will also have a special session on applied ethnomusicology where delegates will have the opportunity to build their own bows and learn how to play them. The afterhours program for the conference will include concerts by music groups from Ngqoko and Mkonjana and the UFH Music Department’s...

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SASRIM Newsletter December 2012

Dear Sasrim members, 2012 is drawing to a close and I would like to briefly update you on some of the activities of this year as well as new developments within the Society. The Executive Committee At the 2012 SASRIM Conference a new committee has been elected. At such occasions continuity between the outgoing and incoming committees is always a concern, but as you will see from below list, this has been achieved. The outgoing exco members were SASRIM’s chair of the past three years, Zelda Potgieter, Michael Nixon, Claudio Chipendo and Beverley Parker. I would like to use this opportunity to thank them for their contribution to the Society. Special thanks go to our previous chair who has steered our relatively young Society into consolidation as well as Beverley who has served the Society, and its predecessor the Musicological Society of Southern Africa, with distinction for many years. The newly elected executive committee members have made themselves available for various tasks within the committee. They are as follows: Office bearers: Chair: Hilde Roos – Deputy chair: Brett Pyper – Secretary: Annemie Stimie – / Treasurer: Claudia Jansen van Rensburg – Programme committee: Jaco Kruger – Alvin Petersen – Rebekka Sandmeier – Publications committee: Jeff Brukman – Willemien Froneman – / Etienne Viviers – SAMUS editor (ex-officio):...

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SASRIM Newsletter March 2012

Dear SASRIM Members My annual newsletter reaches you later this year than has been the case in the past two years, for which I sincerely apologise. It has been a busy start of year for me, as I am sure it has for all of you. 1. News from the Executive Committee Our last general election of executive committee members was held at the AGM in Durban in June 2009. This means that the three-year term of the current committee is fast coming to an end and that a new committee will have to be voted in at our forthcoming AGM in Pretoria this year. Some current committee members have declared themselves willing to stay on for a second three-year term and will thus be available for re-election, as is permitted according to our constitution, whilst others have opted not to do so. In the interim I urge you all to think seriously about colleagues you wish to nominate to manage the affairs of SASRIM on your behalf. It is particularly important, I think, that we constitute an executive committee that will actively (and pro-actively) represent the diversity of our scholarly interests and, if at all possible, will also be inclusive of the various geographic centres in our country. Each university music department, in particular, inclines to a scholarly sub-culture somewhat unique to itself, and it would be a...

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SASRIM Newsletter March 2011

Dear SASRIM Members  2011 is already well under way, and no doubt you have long forgotten the summer break and are as busy as I am with the many things that require your attention in your personal and professional lives every day. I trust that the year ahead will be a wonderful one for us all. 1. News of the Executive Committee But for two changes, our executive committee remains as it was in my newsletter of last year. At our AGM of last year we announced the co-option of Santie de Jongh, who has been and remains extremely helpful in her assistance with our website, as well as with the dissemination of our jounal on the Sabinet, Ebsco and AJOL electronic databases. In this regard we are proud to announce that, in addition to the electronic access to SAMUS that has thus far been available full-text through Sabinet, and as abstracts through AJOL and RILM (Ebsco), SAMUS articles will soon also be downloadable in full text through Ebsco, which we believe will greatly expand our readership across the globe and thus hold significant financial and scholarly advantages for our society and its members. Sadly, we bid farewell to Musonda Chimba, who resigned from the executive committee late last year due to pressing work commitments. Aside from myself as chairperson, therefore, our executive committee is at present consituted thus:...

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SASRIM Newsletter February 2010

Dear SASRIM Members A very happy and prosperous new year to you all. 2010 promises to be an exciting year, not only for soccer fans, but also for those of us who look forward with keen anticipation to the joint SASRIM and IMS Regional Conference in Stellenbosch in July, the first of its kind in South Africa and indeed on the African continent! 1. News of the Executive Committee and Message from the Chairperson In addition to myself as chairperson, the 2010 executive committee members, elected at the SASRIM AGM in Durban in July 2009, comprise the following people: Brett Pyper – deputy chairperson Annemie Stimie – secretary Hilde Roos – treasurer Musonda Chimba – membership drive Claudio Chipendo – membership drive Willemien Froneman – membership drive Beverly Parker – programme committee Michael Nixon – programme committee Alvin Petersen – programme committee Jaco Kruger – publications committee Nishlyn Ramana – publications committee. These individuals invest a great deal of time and effort in the Society and I wish to thank them most sincerely. We are also grateful for the services of co-opted subcommittee members Santie de Jongh (who assists our secretary in maintaining our website), and Diane Thram and David Smith (who assist on the publications committee). Sadly we must report that two longstanding and valued members elected in July 2009 – Christine Lucia and Sylvia Bruinders – have...

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SASRIM Newsletter May 2009

Dear SASRIM members, With the first quarter of 2009 already behind us, this newsletter serves to keep you up to date with SASRIM developments. SASRIM congress 2009 Planning for this year’s SASRIM conference (29 June-1 July in Durban) is proceeding smoothly. Samro has provided us with a grant of R15 000 for a composer’s panel and, in addition, Dr Suzel Reily has accepted our invitation to be the keynote speaker. Dr Reily is the curator of the John Blacking website and has edited and contributed to the book, The Musical Human:  Rethinking John Blacking’s Ethnomusicology in the Twenty-First Century.  In keeping with our conference theme (Postcolonialism and the future of music research in South Africa), Dr Reily will be drawing on her fieldwork undertaken in Brazil and the preliminary title for her talk is “The Musical Human: 21st-Century Musicologies after Colonialism” AGM and election of new Exco, 2009 As usual, the annual general meeting of SASRIM’s members will take place on the second day of this year’s conference, i.e. at 16h00 on 30 June 2009, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. We hereby remind the membership that, as the three-year term of the current Exco will draw to a close at this year’s congress, elections for a new Exco will be held at the AGM in Durban. The Society is deeply reliant on members volunteering to serve on the Exco,...

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SASRIM Newsletter December 2008

Dear SASRIM members, Much has happened in the few short months after our conference in August. This newsletter serves, along with the enclosed minutes of the AGM in Port Elizabeth, to keep you informed of recent developments. Composition of Exco Shortly after our gathering in Port Elizabeth, the Exco received, with regret but gratitude for their service, resignations from both Marianne Feenstra and Martina Viljoen. The Exco has decided to leave these positions vacant until the election of a new Exco at the 2009 congress. The remaining members of the Exco continue to work hard on their respective tasks, including conference arrangements, programme co-ordination, publications and recruiting new members. An updated list of the SASRIM Exco, with contact details, is included with this message.  Website Since Marianne, who handled the initial negotiations in this regard, is no longer available, Brett and Marie have met with the company who is designing the SASRIM website and have clarified the Society’s needs in this regard. There are a number of issues that still need to be resolved, however, and we are negotiating with 05webdesign, with the assistance of Mark Brand of NMMU in order to ensure that SASRIM obtains the best and most sustainable website product for its needs. We expect our new website to be up and running early in the new year.  ICTM 2009 The Exco is in full agreement...

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SASRIM 11th Annual Conference 2017:
School of Music and Conservatory, North West University, Potchefstroom
31 August–2 September 2017

Please click here for conference information. Conference registration has closed.

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