• Document: THE ZULU BOW SONGS OF PRINCESS MAGOGO
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THE ZULU BOW SONGS OF PRINCESS MAGOGO 41 THE ZULU BOW SONGS OF PRINCESS MAGOGO by DA VID K RYCROFT The Mntwana (Princess} Con- stance Magogo kaDinuzulu has for a great many years been recognised as the greatest living authority on Zulu music, besides being an expert per- former without peer. Her vast re- pertoire of traditional Zulu songs extends back as far as the eight- eenth century and she is herself a prolific composer. Her favourite instrument is the large ugubhu mus- ical bow, used for self-accompanied singing, and she appears to be the last remaining player of this import- ant historic instrument. She also plays the umakhweyana bow (with divided string) and, for music of a lighter style, the European auto- harp. Her singing has a richness and power of expression. which is quite unique. Though her most charac- teristic range is contralto, she can effortlessly change to the high, thin soprano style of a young Zulu girl musing about love, or even some- Plate 1. Princess Constance Magogo kaDinuzulu. times descend to the bottom of the Photograph: David Rycroft, 19.12.74 bass clef quite comfortably. Her overall compass appears to be about three octaves. A new LP stereo recording of fourteen self-accompanied songs by this outstanding royal artist has recently been published 1 and the present paper will mainly be concerned with discussing the musical items on this disc. The exposition comprises the following sections: Brief biography; Texts of fourteen of Princess Magogo's songs; The ugubhu musidtl bow; Musical structure of the bow songs; Comments on the individual songs; Transcrip- tions; Appendix (additional titles); Notes and references; Bibliography. BRIEF BIOGRAPHY Born at the Usuthu royal homestead at Nongoma in 1900, Princess Constance Magogo kaDinuzulu kaCetshwayo kaMpande kaSenzangakhona is a direct descend- ent of the Zulu royal lineage. Her father was the late Paramount Chief Dinuzulu 42 AFRICAN MUSIC SOCIETY JOURNAL (1868-1913, son of King Cetshwayo, son of Mpande, son of Senzangakhona and brother of Shaka and Dingane). Princess Magogo was the first child born to Silomo (daughter of Ntuzwa, son of Ntlaka, of the Mdlalose clan) principal wife of Dinu- zulu, after Dinuzulu's return from banishment on the island of St. Helena after the Anglo-Boer war. Her earliest musical education, so she claims, was at the hands of her grandmothers, the widowed queens of King Cetshwayo, in whose huts she fre- quently slept as a child, as well as her mother and her mother's eo-wives. On one occasion the Princess narrowly escaped death through the jealousy of another of the wives of Dinuzulu. During the Bhambatha rebellion the Princess was sent to live in safety with the Buthelezi clan, where she was cared for by Sonkeshana. When peace returned she went back to her parents. Her mother, Silomo, died soon after- wards and the responsibility fell upon Princess Magogo, at an early age, to look after her two brothers, Solomon Maphumuzana Nkayishana, and Mshiyeni, until such time as they obtained wives of their own. (Solomon later reigned as Paramount Chief from 1916 to 1933, and Mshiyeni served as regent.from 1933 to 1945 during the minority of Solomon's heir, Cyprian). Princess Magogo attended Nkonjeni school, at Mahlabathini, where she learned to read and write in Zulu, but did not study English. After her father's death, and the accession of her brother Solomon as Paramount Chief, the royal capital was moved further north and Princess Magogo went to live there also. In 1923, her brother, Paramount Chief Solomon, sent an emissary to the ruling chief of the Buthelezi Clan, Chief Mathole, to suggest that a marr

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