Global Elements and Local Principles in Mozambican Music as Social Intervention

Our earlier studies about Maputo Rap (Rantala) and musician João Paulo (Maungue) illustrate that young musicians often receive ideas and inspiration from abroad for their locally motivated artistic expression. In this paper we analyse how Mozambican musicians have practiced social critique appropriating southern african principle of ‘poetic licence’ as well as musical patterns which are considered imported. Either elements of Blues, Jazz, Funk, Psychedely, Rock or Rap nor multiple influences from South African mines and other places of displacement and exile could not be ignored in explorations of Mozambican music’s local meanings. Bringing from research literature, Mozambican music material and ethnographic reading of our interviews and other field material, we assume that ”foreign” musical elements, althought historically marginalised in official discource, help musicians to amplify, in discrete manner if needed, their affirmation for freedom for their public. Senior musician’s nearly secret love for Jazz and Blues and Rap music’s communicative power in present-day Maputo show this. Methodologically we propose that better understanding about Mozambican music could be reached by giving up searching for authenticity approach and purely nationalistic perspectives into Mozambican music.
Janne Rantala

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