(Wedding Song)


Catalogue No
JPM 005
Dual notation (staff & tonic solfa), Staff notation
choir SATTB
Joshua Pulumo Mohapeloa Critical Edition

Mohapeloa published Ncencethe in Morija in 1935 as song No. 5 of 32 in his first song collection, Meloli le Lithallere tsa Afrika. He referred to it as a ‘wedding song’ hence the translation of the title, although the word ‘Ncencethe’ is simply a vocable expressing joy and empathy. A wedding in Lesotho is a lengthy affair, whether part of the ceremony takes place in a church or not, with music and dance playing an important role. The text is punctuated by verbal whoops of joy such as ‘tarara’, ‘oi’, ‘oelelli’ and the blowing of a whistle (‘phala’), all of which helps to create an image of people dancing up a storm on a joyous occasion. In this song, Mohapeloa told anthropologist David Coplan in an interview in 1978, he ‘blended African and Western harmonization’. The sample on the right is of the score in staff notation and it is also available in dual staff-solfa notation. The audio file below it is extracted from the Sibelius file in which the score was typeset.