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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

On-line version ISSN 2224-7912
Print version ISSN 0041-4751


GROVE, Izak. "Making the Dutchman proud of his language...": a century of Afrikaans art song. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2011, vol.51, n.4, pp.666-679. ISSN 2224-7912.

The development of the art song in Afrikaans can be traced back to the earliest example, a setting of the poem that can be considered the first of the young language, i.e. Eugène Marais' iconic text, Winternag (A Winter Night), composed by Jan Gysbert Bosman (pseud. Bosman di Ravelli) in 1908. In broader perspective the history of song began with early folklike attempts before the turn of the century, through patriotic song in the years immediately after the Anglo-Boer war (such as those by Stephen Eyssen), to popular songs during the 20's, on Afrikaans texts, written in the manner of the popular English drawing-room ballad, by Stephen le Roux Marais. The advent of the poetry of the 1930's also heralded the emergence of an independent art song tradition on European models, culminating in Arnold van Wyk's cycle Van Liefde en Verlatenheid (1953). Interestingly the advent of Afrikaans song coincided with the waning of the European tradition, but is still upheld by a handful of local composers and admirers of the art song..

Keywords : Afrikaans; art song; Winternag; Bosman di Ravelli; Arnold van Wyk; Hubert du Plessis; Annie Visser; Jan Bouws; Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners; Dawid Engela; Mimi Coertse; NP van Wyk Louw.

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