Volume 4

Khalima-Nosi tsa ’Mino Oa Kajeno: Harnessing Salient Features of Modern African Music and Meluluetsa ea Ntšetso-pele le Bosechaba Lesotho (Anthems for the Development of the Lesotho Nation)

Volume IV of the Mohapeloa Critical Edition comprises two songbooks, Khalima-Nosi tsa ’Mino Oa Kajeno: Harnessing Salient Features of Modern African Music (1951; Khalima is pronounced ‘Khadima’) and Meluluetsa ea Ntšetso-pele le Bosechaba Lesotho (Anthems for the Development of the Lesotho Nation) (1976; Meluluetsa is pronounced ‘Meduduetsa’). Khalima-Nosi had five songs and Meluluetsa 25, but three songs from Meluluetsa had already appeared in Meloli II – ‘Mafeteng’, ‘Maseru’, and ‘TY’ – and were reprinted in Meluluetsa without change. The shaded areas in the columns below give the page numbers in Vol. II; these three songs are not reproduced in Vol. IV. Four other songs from Meluluetsa – ‘Leribe’, ‘Butha-Buthe’, ‘Maloti a Lesotho’ and ‘Quthing’ – had also appeared in a previous songbook, called Binang ka Thabo (Songs of Joy, 1963) published by Mazenod Institute (Lesotho). Mohapeloa retained copyright over these songs and included them in Meluluetsa, and since they have not yet appeared in this Critical Edition they are included in Vol. IV. Many songs in Meluluetsa were composed before those in Khalima-Nosi. From a list of works in Mohapeloa’s handwriting in the Huskisson Collection in the SAMRO Archive, Johannesburg, dating from the mid 1960s, it is clear that the composer originally imagined the collection that eventually became Meluluetsa was going to be published by MSBD as Meloli le Lithallere tsa Afrika IV. The development work that characterised Lesotho after it became independent in 1966 brought Diparata Gosh (among others) to the country, and it was under Gosh’s influence that Mohapeloa was persuaded to publish Meloli IV through O.U.P. as Meluluetsa ea Ntšetso-pele le Bosechaba Lesotho. In the process he removed a few songs destined for Meloli IV and added others. The O.U.P. book may have been regarded as a more prestigious publication, and was in a larger format than the humble mission-press’s Meloli books, but it never went beyond a first edition and is now out of print, while the other three Meloli books were reprinted several times. If O.U.P. had translated the texts into English and transcribed the tonic solfa notation into staff notation, it might have had the wider international circulation that was probably imagined for it. Khalima-nosi and Meluluetsa had different aims, as Mohapeloa’s own prefaces reveal: the songs in Khalima-Nosi are expressions of an African cosmopolitan modernity of the early 1950s and are ‘town’ oriented, while those in Meluluetsa are ‘nation’ oriented, patriotic in tone and often celebrating new national institutions that emerged just before or after Lesotho’s independence in 1966. The genesis of Meluluetsa was longer than Khalima-Nosi, some songs being conceived in the 1940s while others were completed just before the book was published in 1976. Khalima-nosi was conceived in a more integrated way and makes a coherent ‘set’. Khalima-Nosi tsa ’Mino Oa Kajeno literally means, ‘Shining stars of today’s music’, but since Mohapeloa himself seems to subtitle it on the front cover, in English, Harnessing Salient Features of Modern African Music, this is taken as both translation and subtitle. The 1st edition of 1951 was followed by a 2nd only in 2001, 30 years after the composer’s death. There is no difference at all between the two, except that a photograph of the choir committee of the Johannesburg Traditional Choristers, Mohapeloa’s Basotho choir on the Reef in the 1940s, appeared in the frontispiece of the 1st edition and not the 2nd. The 27 songs in Volume IV (5 Khalima-nosi, 22 Meluluetsa) were originally written in tonic solfa notation and without texts translated (because they were written for Sesotho speakers). They are newly transcribed into staff notation here and are presented together with translations, notes, and commentaries. The works are numbered JPM093 to JPM119 for the composer’s catalogue and ACE185, 087, 089, etc. to ACE237 (odd numbers) for the publisher’s catalogue for Vol. IV. Vol. IVa presents the same songs and critical apparatus as Vol. IV but tonic solfa notation is added to the staves and even nos. are used for the publisher’s catalogue with new ISMNs assigned to the works in Vol IVa as they are effectively different works.

Works in this volume