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Tuesday, July 23, 2019


Prof Chats Devroop from School of Arts, UKZN, presents a lecture titled “Music and Categorisation: Do we need categories today?", this Thursday July 25, 2019, at 17h30 at Phansi Museum, 500 Esther Roberts Road, 17h30.

The notion of categorisation has been around in western musicology for some time, leading us to the creation of such labels as art music, folk music, popular music, world music, or African music. In many cases, this has been linked to the commercial marketing of music, something that often has also limited the scope of expression for musicians. Now that the emphasis of musicological research has shifted from ‘the music’ to musical processes these categorisations seem limiting and redundant.

This presentation examines the history of some of these categories whilst at the same time questions their relevance today. The presentation concludes by examining the manner that categories like ‘art’, ‘folk’, and ‘popular’ are conceptualised and how this may strongly impact upon how control of the public soundscape is exercised.

Prof Chats Devroop is the Academic Leader for Research in the School of Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is a renowned musicologist as well as a performer. His research interests lie in diaspora studies and South African music whilst his performance repertoire encompasses music across the spectrum, from art to popular music.

Should you like to attend, you can email

Phansi Museum is situated at 500 Esther Roberts Road, Glenwood, in Durban. Contact the museum on 031 206 2889 or visit