PARADING RESPECTABILITY, the cultural and moral aesthetics of the Christmas Bands Movement in the Western Cape, South Africa

: Bruinders (S.)

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205pp., illus., map, paperback, Grahamstown, 2017


Sylvia Bruinders draws on her own background as well as her experience of being a band member to present a social history of the Western Cape Coloured communities' centuries-old practice of ushering in Christmas through music.

"This book will fill a gap in existing scholarship. It has relevance to the humanities in Africa in general in its attention to the impact of colonialism and the attendant marginalization of this population group to the point that this tradition emerged as a vehicle to establish a semblance of 'respectability' in reactions to a negative stereotype." Diane Thram, International Library of African Music, Rhodes University

Sylvia Bruinders is a senior lecturer and Head of Ethnomusicology and African Music at the University of Cape Town. A former Fulbright scholar, her dissertation on the Christmas Bands Movement in the Western Cape received the Nicholas Temperley Award for Excellence in a Dissertation in Musicology at the University of Urbana-Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.