1st Edition

Chopi Musicians Their Music, Poetry and Instruments

By Hugh Tracey Copyright 1970
    226 Pages
    by Routledge

    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    Originally published in 1948 and updated with a new introduction in 1970 this book is a classic study on the musical life of a Bantu people in Mozambique. It discusses the poetry on which the music and dances are based and provides, both in original and translation, 50 Chopi songs which are related to the social setting of Chopi life. It analyses some of the musical compositions and their structure with illustrations and transcriptions in score and describes the method of manufacture of the instruments. One chapter is devoted to full descriptions of the elaborate orchestral dances. The book is illustrated by numerous photographs and maps, and contains a glossary of musical terms, and extracts from early Portuguese accounts of the Chopi people and their music.

    1. The Music Makers

    2. The Lyrics: Poetic Justice

    3. The Dancers and Dances

    4. The Players and Their Leaders

    5. Chopi Musicians on the Rand

    6. Timbila: The Xylophones of the Chopi.


    Hugh Tracey (1903 – 1977) was a twentieth-century ethnomusicologist. He and his wife collected and archived music from Southern and Central Africa. He began making field recordings of music in the early 1920s, through the 1970s