Sika La Tholo, Khaoha

(Genealogy of Tholo, Break)


Dual notation (staff & tonic solfa), Staff notation
choir SATB
Joshua Pulumo Mohapeloa Critical Edition

‘Sika la Tholo’ is cryptic, unique in Mohapeloa’s output not only because it is not harmonised but unison: no doubt intended to be sung unison rather than solo, but it could be sung as a solo, but at only eight bars it is his shortest work. There is something about the way the score is written 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 it seems to be rooted in a traditional song; 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 preceding centuries.