Mohapeloa Critical Edition, Volume Ia (with tonic solfa) revised 2016

Catalogue no:



This is the first critical edition of the complete works of Lesotho composer Joshua Pulumo Mohapeloa (1908–1982), who between the 1920s and 1970s created a modern African choral idiom in tonic solfa score, inspired by traditional Basotho music, jazz, Western classical music and hymns. Mohapeloa’s repertoire of almost 200 short unaccompanied choral songs has been newly transcribed from tonic solfa into staff notation, and his original Sesotho texts have been extracted from the solfa scores and translated into English where his own translations do not exist. His tempi, dynamics, and expressive markings are retained and where they do not exist editorial suggestions are made. All editorial interventions on the score are shown in square brackets. The historical and cultural background of the composer and various documents including his own writings, have informed the editorial work. The musical sources are given for each song. Accuracy and consistency have been aimed at as far as is practicable, respecting the composer’s legacy and presenting it in a form that scholars, teachers and performers can access. Mohapeloa wrote within the literary tradition of tonic solfa but his music was often disseminated orally and copied by hand or electronically; thus individual songs have sometimes been modified through popular practice. This edition returns to the available printed and manuscript sources in order to prepare a new performing score of each song, with critical commentary explaining why a particular version or aspect of a score is considered authoritative. Volume Ia contains thirty-two songs for unaccompanied choir, in staff notation plus tonic solfa.