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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Whistling: A Performance Technique and a Cultural Phenomenon
Author:Dontsa, L.
Periodical:South African Journal of Ethnology
Geographic term:South Africa
traditional music
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:This article deals with whistling from an anthropological point of view. In 1993, the author recorded 34 examples of whistling at Malungeni township in the district of Ngqeleni, a rural, mainly Pondo village, in the Transkei, South Africa. He subsequently played the recordings to a class of forty music students at the University of Transkei. The students were asked to identify and comment on the different whistles. Their comments and explanations were compared with those provided by the whistlers themselves. The two sets of explanations corresponded to such a degree that it became clear that whistles were meaningful non-verbal sounds. A spectrographic analysis of the recorded whistles shows two types. One is performed by letting out the air rather forcefully. This type is used for domestic animals and birds. The other is performed by letting the air out softly. This type is more often used to communicate with fellow human beings. Bibliogr., note, sum. in Afrikaans and English.