In Township Tonight!: South Africa's Black City Music and Theatre, Second Edition / Edition 2

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Overview

David B. Coplan’s pioneering social history of black South Africa’s urban music, dance, and theatre established itself as a classic soon after its publication in 1985. As the first substantial history of black performing arts in South Africa, In Township Tonight! was championed by a broad range of scholars and treasured by fans of South African music. Now completely revised, expanded, and updated, this new edition takes account of developments over the last thirty years while reflecting on the massive changes in South African politics and society since the end of the apartheid era.

In vivid detail, Coplan comprehensively explores more than three centuries of the diverse history of South Africa’s black popular culture, taking readers from indigenous musical traditions into the world of slave orchestras, pennywhistlers, clergyman-composers, the gumboot dances of mineworkers, and touring minstrelsy and vaudeville acts. This up-to-date edition of a landmark work will be welcomed by scholars of ethnomusicology and African studies, world music fans, and anyone concerned with South Africa and its development.

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Editorial Reviews

Voice Literary Supplement - Robert Christgau

“I know of few more compelling investigations of popular culture: it has scope, color, a sense of pace, loads of information, and an intellectual organization that does well to center around that elusive notion, urbanization.”—Robert Christgau, Voice Literary Supplement, on the first edition

Christine Lucia

In Township Tonight! was a landmark, appearing in a desert of writing about South African music but rapidly becoming the most quoted source in the literature. This new edition, twenty two years on, is a rich and insightful reimagining of the original, as beautifully written and engaging as the first, but the story it tells is not only of black South African music and its history, but of a writer who speaks unforgettably to the way an entire country and its collective cultures have ‘come of age’ in the early twenty-first century.”—Christine Lucia, Professor of Music, University of the Witwatersrand

Pop Matters - Deanne Sole

"[The book] flies through the decades at a swift pace, densely-packed, expansive, introducing new pieces of information and building on old ones. . . . If you're looking for a comprehensive overview then you'll have to search hard to find a better one than this."
International Journal of African Historical Studies - Carol Muller

"The significantly expanded second edition of In Township Tonight! is an essential read for those interested in understanding South Africa's political transformation as it manifests itself through live and recorded musical and theatrical performance. . . . Throughout this book one senses a capacious longing to know, to understand, and to convey to readers around the world a taste of the past, present, and future of black South African performance in all its fullness from someone who has seen and heard an extraordinary amount of South African music and theater in the last forty odd years."
World of Music - Lara Allen

"Part of what makes In Township Tonight! transformative is that Coplan really can write. He says what he has to say clearly, with elegtance and style. . . . The revisions of the core of the first edition, and the significant additions to the second, re-establishes David Coplan as the pre-eminent scholar in the field, and In Township Tonight! as the most important book on black popular culture in Southern Africa that has been written."
Voice Literary Supplement
I know of few more compelling investigations of popular culture: it has scope, color, a sense of pace, loads of information, and an intellectual organization that does well to center around that elusive notion, urbanization.—Robert Christgau, Voice Literary Supplement, on the first edition

— Robert Christgau

Pop Matters
[The book] flies through the decades at a swift pace, densely-packed, expansive, introducing new pieces of information and building on old ones. . . . If you're looking for a comprehensive overview then you'll have to search hard to find a better one than this.

— Deanne Sole

International Journal of African Historical Studies
The significantly expanded second edition of In Township Tonight! is an essential read for those interested in understanding South Africa's political transformation as it manifests itself through live and recorded musical and theatrical performance. . . . Throughout this book one senses a capacious longing to know, to understand, and to convey to readers around the world a taste of the past, present, and future of black South African performance in all its fullness from someone who has seen and heard an extraordinary amount of South African music and theater in the last forty odd years.

— Carol Muller

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226115672
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 2/15/2008
  • Series: Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

David B. Coplan is professor in and chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of the Witwatersrand. He is the author of Lyrics of the Basotho Migrants and In the Time of Cannibals: The Word Music of South Africa’s Basotho Migrants, the latter also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Table of Contents

A note on terminology

1 Introduction: In township last night 1

2 City life and performing arts in nineteenth-century South Africa 13

3 Black Johannesburg, 1900-1920 74

4 Black performance culture between the world wars: the 'rank and file' 110

5 Black performance culture between the world wars: the 'situations' 135

6 Sophiatown: culture and community, 1940-1960 170

7 Township music and musicians, 1960-1980 224

8 Twenty years of black theatre: the struggle for black city culture 264

9 The darkness and the dawn: black popular music since 1980 293

10 Jazz and other (con)fusions since 1990 340

11 Out of the townships tonight: emerging South African theatre 367

12 Conclusion: In township tomorrow night 396

Appendix A 423

Appendix B 427

Appendix C 432

Glossary 438

Index 445

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