African Composers Edition

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Sika la Tholo, Khaoha (unison vocal score)

Sika la Tholo, Khaoha is very cryptic, unique in any songbook of Mohapeloa’s because it is not harmonised (no doubt intended to be sung unison rather than solo, but it could be sung as a solo); and at only eight bars it is the shortest song in his output. There is something about the way it is set out that suggests it could be sung as a round, and musically this would work. One also remembers that these songs were written for schools, and schoolchildren no doubt knew some Western rounds, so it would have been novel to write a Sesotho one. There is also a sense in which this song seems to be rooted in a traditional song of some kind; but whatever source(s) inspired it, it has been adapted to Western-style singing. Lineage, families and larger clans are extremely important in the social life and history of Lesotho, a small country whose people are largely descended from a handful of major clans in the region during the nineteenth century.



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