Developing the documentation program

The results of the documentation research program in Zimbabwe will provide a blueprint for the development of a new documentation training program which will be implemented in both the South East African Campus and the East African Global Music Campuses. This training will form part of the second phase of the training program in South East and East Africa.

Using a mobile film documentation Unit the participants will be taught how to document their own musical cultures in order to prepare new curricula for their schools. This process can only begin once the musicians being trained in the Campus have completed the first phase of the training where they learn the core skills (reading and writing music) necessary to be able to transcribe their music accurately. As part of the documentation training Guardians of Culture will be brought into the Campuses to allow the participants to practice using a portable film documentation unit.

The focus of the documentation program

The documentation training focusses on two different types of music. On the one hand the hybrid traditions that arose in the 20th century before and after colonization which produced many styles of Afro-Fusion which use elements derived from traditional instruments transferred to guitar, bass and drum kit and other western instruments, on the other hand the older pre-colonial traditions and instruments which are often found in more remote areas preserved by communities who often also maintain the old religious practices.

Lastly the documentation program will encourage the participants to research and document the different microtonal pentatonic, heptatonic and septatonic modes used in their countries in order to develop a systematic approach to teaching them.

Based on the shared methodological work of the partner organizations, the trainee teachers will be encouraged to develop documentation programs in each partner country, involving youth workers, local communities and guardians of culture, as well as public authorities and other relevant local stakeholders.

Drums Rhythms from the Chisamba Dance


Malawian Guitar Styles: Zosiyilana


Malawian Guitar Styles: Kongolowene


Malawian Guitar Styles: Chinafula m’bale