Global perspectives on the intersection of music and politics

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This chapter discusses the distinctive features which make the qualitative research techniques suitable to the retrospective-prospective analysis of patriotic renditions evoked by musical compositions expressed in Shona, Ndebele and English conceptualised as Zimbabwe-centred musical texts in this study. The discussion foregrounds the central tenets guiding the qualitative research paradigm which are divergent from those in the quantitative research paradigm with the insight to explain why the qualitative approach is preferred in this research. In explaining the recourse to qualitative research approach, the chapter pays attention to the pertinence of qualitative research techniques such as documentary analysis, semi-structured interviews, internet interviews,and key informant interviews as well as the qualitative sampling methods which encompass purposive sampling, quota sampling, and expert sampling. It advances the argument that the qualitative research paradigm is appropriate for the research of this kind because it “elicits multiple constructed realities, studied holistically”, and “tacit knowledge and subjective understandings and interpretations” by “delving in depth into complexities and processes” (Marshal and Rossman,2011: 91). The chapter also presentsthe data preparation for the analysis which involved two main tasks of producing a verbatim transcript of the audio song and translating the transcript. It also outlines the procedures that are taken in selecting songs as well as transcribing audio songs and translating song lyrics. In explicating the features of the qualitative research methods to be used, attention is also drawn to the retrospective-prospective nature of the inquiry. This is essential in the pursuit to link the nature of the research to the techniques utilised in order to critically analyse the various versions of patriotic consciousness in Zimbabwean music.

The retrospective-prospective nature of the research

The most crucial component for the success of any research is a clearly detailed procedural plan,arrangement, structure and strategy of the investigation so conceived, by the researcher, as to obtain answers to research questions (Linger, 1986; Thyer, 1993; Kumar, 2012). This involves outlining how the research study is carried out in as far as selecting a sample of interest to the inquiry, collecting data to be utilised and analysing data. As mentioned in the above introductory segment of this chapter, this inquiry is a retrospective-prospective study into patriotic renditions evoked by musical compositions conceptualised as Zimbabwe-centred musical texts in this research. In this study, the retrospective-prospective nature of the research is understood as an investigative strategy that critically establishes “what has happened in the past, what is happening now and what is likely to happen in the future in a study population” (Kumar, 2012: 22). It
combines the critical tenets of the retrospective and prospective dimensions which places importance on the interrelatedness between the past, present and future in interpreting history. This
conception of history is in sync with the Afrocentric paradigm which put emphasis on “African agency in the context of African history insisting that Africans should be at the centre of their own
history in every conceivable situation where Africans are involved” (Asante, 2007: 16). This is in consonant with the emphasis that Karenga (2001: 78) place on “historical reconstruction which involves returning to the rich resource of the African past and using it as a foundation to improve the present and enhance the future.” Thus, the retrospective-prospective nature of this study historically locates the imaginative contestations on patriotic renditions evoked by musical texts.Thus, the past, in this study, is retrospectively and prospectively seen an embodiment of diverse and dynamic experiential disputations, agreements and compromises on the basis of which to make sense of the present interpretive positions in contemplation of the future presaging renditions. Retrospectively, this inquiry investigates the evolution of controversies on patriotic interpretations which have been prominent from 1970 up to 2015 on the basis of the available Zimbabwe-centred musical texts in this period. Prospectively, it attempts to establish the interpretive contestations, by locating and explaining the likely eminent future ideological and conceptual clashes realisable by extrapolating past and present patriotic renditions raised by song texts under study. This prognostic engagement of Zimbabwe-centred musical texts on national politics clarifies the trends of these interpretive contestations essential in checking the regression, sustenance and progression of democracy in the nation. The study selects a number of musical compositions at specific points in the past, from 1970 to 2015, extrapolating the interpretive picture of the present or immediate past with respect to patriotic renditions, then making predictions as to future trends. From these cross-sectional song texts, the research draws the conclusions about the interpretive pattern of change which Zimbabwe-centred musical texts evoke as responses to various realities of the nation’s diverse historical contexts. The study unfurls in the context of looking back from what has happened in the history of Zimbabwe’s politics, as mirrored by the available recorded songs, from the period under study,that attest the past trends in the interpretation of patriotic consciousness. In this respect, music is seen as intricately interwoven with the proceedings that cause shifts of realities of a nation (Nketia,1975; 1990; Bebey, 1975; Blacking, 1971; 1973; Nzewi, 1991 and Agawu, 1995; 2003). The inquiry does not only go back to the past but visualises the “past as a way of talking about the present” (wa Thiong’o, 1972:19) and searching for the likely prominence of particular patriotic renditions in the future as evoked by musical texts. It establishes the possible interpretive tendencies and direction that are likely to be eminent in the future. In all this, the study follows the following procedural stages. The initial stage of the research involved listening and scouting for songs that lyricise national politics through the terms Zimbabwe and Nyika/Ilizwe which constitute what this study conceptualises as Zimbabwe-centred musical texts. It is followed by transcribing these song texts from the period 1970-2015. At the third stage, the research identified and classified songs in terms of historical epochs showing the total number of songs in quotas. This is followed by sampling of songs according to historical epochs displaying selected number songs in respective quotas which ensured that the sample represents thematic, language, style and music genre diversity. The sampled songs are analysed using the Afrocentric paradigm and the Socio-semantic theory of music as theoretical pedestals which have been discussed in chapter three of this research.

The qualitative research paradigm: Understanding its uniqueness

In order to appreciate the role played by the qualitative methods of collecting and analysing data in the present study, it is imperative to understand the dynamics of the qualitative paradigm.Qualitative research can be defined as “any kind of research that produces findings not arrived at by means of statistical procedures or other means of quantification” (Strauss and Corbin, 1990:17) as the case with quantitative research.

1.0 Context and statement of purpose 
1. 1 Statement of the problem 
1.2 Aim of the study 
1.3 Research objectives
1.4 Research questions
1.5 Justification of the research 
1.6 Definitions of key terms 
1.7 Literature review
1.8 Theoretical framework
1.9 Research methods
1.10 Scope of the study
1. 1 1 Ethical considerations 
1.1 2 Conclusion 
2.0 Introduction
2.1 Perspectives on patriotic consciousness outside Africa
2.2 Perspectives on patriotic consciousness in Zimbabwe 
2.3 Perspectives on musical culture of Africa
2.4 Global perspectives on the intersection of music and politics
2.5 The intersection of music and politics in Africa
2.6 The intersection of music and politics in Zimbabwe
2.7 Conclusion 
3.0 Introduction
3.1 Paradigm, meaning and context: Underlying premises
3.2 The Afrocentric paradigm
3.2.1 The Afrocentric paradigm in analysing Zimbabwean musical patriotic renditions
3.3 The Socio-semantic music paradigm
3.3.1 The Socio-semantic music paradigm in analysing Zimbabwean musical patriotic renditions
3.4 Divergences and Convergences: Afrocentricity and Socio-semantic theory of music 
3.5 Conclusion
4.0 Introduction
4.1 The retrospective-prospective nature of the research
4.2 The qualitative research paradigm: Understanding its uniqueness
4.3 The selection, transcription and translation of song lyrics/texts
4.4 Sampling methods
4.4.1 Quota sampling: Selection of songs
4.4.2 Expert sampling: Critics of music
4.5 Documentary analysis 
4.6 In-depth qualitative interviews
4.6.1 Semi-structured interviews: Local musicians
4.6.2 Internet interviews: Musicians abroad
4.6.3 Key informant interviews: Critics of Music
4.7 Conclusion 
5.0 Introduction
5.1 Presentation and analysis of data from Interviews
5. 2 The political history of the liberation war: An overview 
5.3 The political history of independence: An overview
5.4 The political history of early disgruntlement 
5.5 The political history of the economic adjustment: An overview
5.6 The political history of the decade of crisis: An overview
5.7 The political history of the coalition government: An overview
5.8 The Post-2013 election era: An Eyeshot from 2015
5.9 Conclusion 
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Research Findings 
6.3 Recommendations 
Appendix A: Interview Guide for Music Critics
Appendix B: Interview Guide for Musicians


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