African Composers Edition

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This song celebrates the images and sound of birds in the countryside: from the text, they seem to be mostly weaver birds, who chatter constantly as they build nests in marshy areas or near rivers (‘liphula’). Some species of birds are returning to Lesotho since tree planting was undertaken some decades ago to help protect the soil from further soil erosion, although this is still a major problem. With its lilting 6/8 time and simple diatonic harmonies, the song seems to reflect 19th-century pastoralism. Mohapeloa might have learnt or heard pieces such as Schumann’s Song of the Reaper, for example, during his piano lessons at the Morija mission when he was an adolescent.

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