Repository logo

Evaluating Shona liturgical music in localised practices of inculturation within the Catholic Mass in Zimbabwe.

Thumbnail Image


Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This study evaluates practices of inculturation in the composition and performance of Shona liturgical music for the Catholic Mass in the parishes of St Theresa Seke and Glen Norah-Budiriro, which are both located in Harare, Zimbabwe. Whilst focusing on Shona liturgical songs and their performance as expressions of Shona culture, this research is premised on diversity in local interpretations of inculturation among the Shona Catholic subjects of this study. Chapter 1 introduces elements of the conceptual framework of the research topic, the research methodology and also presents the theoretical underpinnings of the study. Chapter 2 focuses on the interpretations of inculturation by the parishioners and local leadership, represented by bishops of the two local parishes under focus. In Chapter 2, only the bishops‟ and parishioners‟ interpretations are taken into consideration. Chapter 3 deals further with interpretations of inculturation by Shona composers and probes how this influences their approach to composition. Chapter 4 discussions are centred on the role of parishioners in the performance of Shona songs for the Mass, and also investigates the musical ramifications of differences between parishioners‟ and composers‟ views of the Shona culture in Shona liturgical songs. By focusing on musical instruments, dance and language both the composed and performed elements of Shona liturgical songs are investigated in terms of how they express the Shona culture, using pioneering and current examples of Shona liturgical compositions by important composers such as Stephen Magwa Ponde, Chaka Chawasarira, Nicholas Muchenu, and John Kina Dzingai. Chapter 5 presents a summary and conclusion to this thesis.


M. A. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 2014.


Liturgies., Hymns, African., Ethnomusicology--Zimbabwe., Shona (African people)--Zimbabwe--Music--History and criticism., Music--Zimbabwe--History and criticism., Mass (Music), Theses--Music., Hymns, Shona.