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Abstract

This article documents one year (1900) in the musical life of a colonial Anglican cathedral in Grahamstown (Cape Colony, South Africa), during the British colonial period. The source material for the music-lists is drawn mainly from the Saturday editions of two local newspapers: Grocott’s Penny Mail and the Grahamstown Journal. The author analyses the musical trends of the cathedral by exploring the content of the cathedral’s musical repertoire and relating it to the choir’s size and competency; commenting on the preference for certain composers and what this might imply about local musical taste; examining the precentor’s hymn choices and how they might reflect the ecclesiastical ethos of the cathedral; and discussing special services which took place and how they relate to the wider South African context of the Boer War and the fierce Anglican debates both for and against Anglo-Catholicism. Through these analyses, the author demonstrates that the cathedral reflected attributes of a typical moderate English Victorian parish church, slightly influenced by the Anglo-Catholic movement, but not overwhelmed by it.

Author Biography

Dr Bethke is post-doctoral fellow in the department of theology at the University of South Africa. He is also Director of Music at Grahamstown Cathedral. His first book, Celebrating the Seasons, was published in September by the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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