Type of Document Thesis Author Kafumbe, Damascus Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-10302006-104424 Title The Kabaka’s Royal Musicians of Buganda-Uganda: Their Role and Significance during Ssekabaka Sir Edward Frederick Muteesa Ii’s Reign (1939-1966) Degree Master of Music Department Music, College of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Frank Gunderson Committee Chair Douglass Seaton Committee Member Joseph Hellweg Committee Member Keywords
- (A)Badongo [Sing. (O)Mudongo]
- (A)Bagoma [Sing. (O)Mugoma]
- Abagoma Ba Kabaka
- A)Bakondeere [Pl. (O)Mukondeere]
- (A)Balere [Sing. (O)Mulere]
- Bakazanyirizi Ba Kabaka
- Ebika [Sing. Ekika]
- Emibala (Sing. Omubala)
- Eng’ngo’ma Ez’emibala
- Abakubi Be Bivuga Mu Lubiri Lwa Kabaka
- (O)Mulanga [Pl. (A)Balanga]
- Okwalula Abaana
- Okufuuwa Oluwa
- (O)Mudingidi [Pl. (A)Badingidi]
Date of Defense 2006-06-02 Availability unrestricted AbstractThis thesis illuminates the role and significance of the Kabaka’s royal musicians of Buganda during Ssekabaka Sir Edward Frederick Muteesa II’s reign (1939-1966). To provide the necessary backdrop for appreciating changes that occurred in the role and significance of royal musicians under Muteesa II, and to show how the institution of Muteesa II’s royal musicians was rooted in preceding reigns, the study first surveys this topic before Muteesa II’s reign. It then proceeds to define the expression “Kabaka’s royal musicians” during Muteesa II’s reign by describing the musicians’ learning and training procedures, appointments and qualifications, privileges and remunerations, musician types, categories, and labels and ensembles. The thesis further clarifies the musician’s political and social role by shedding light on how they influenced policy, magnified the institution of the Kabaka, and influenced change inside and outside the lubiri. It also illustrates various roles of the royal musicians in part by translating and analyzing songs they performed.
Based on archival and library research, oral history, fieldwork, participant observation, and performance, this study offers new insights into the role and significance of royal musicians. Through interviews with the former Kabaka’s royal musicians, who are the last remaining living repositories of this unique history, the study captures their recollections and interpretations of a bygone era.
Advancing Kubik’s (2002: 311) idea, one can argue that the lubiri functioned like a sponge that absorbed musical influences and innovations from outside its walls and then in turn exuded musical innovations of its own to the outside of the lubiri (both within Buganda and beyond). Cued by Dumont’s definition of hierarchy, one can also argue that the Kabaka – who was the apex of Buganda’s monarchical hierarchy and representation of the very identity of Buganda – encompassed every being within the kingdom, including his musicians, who articulated his identity through the songs they performed. Dumont’s definition of hierarchy is also relevant to the delineation of the hierarchical relationships among the royal musicians themselves, particularly the relationships between the different musician-types, musician-categories and -labels, and ensembles.
This research furthermore sheds some light on what became of those elite royal musicians and their indigenous musical practices after the dissolution of the long-standing historical institution of the Kabaka’s royal musicians of Buganda, which occurred in May 1966 on the attack of Muteesa II’s lubiri by Apolo Milton Obote’s troops under the command of Idi Amin.
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