African and Western views of rhythm literacy and the implications for the teaching of music in Zimbabwean primary schools
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This article is a comparative synthesis of ideas on rhythm literacy emanating from scholarship on African and Western music. Some of the views put forward are part of research findings on teaching music from the cultural repertoire of the child and from research on multi-cultural music education. A comparison is made between the way Africans and Westerners learn and perform their rhythms. This is done in a bid to promote the use of cultural song repertoire by the teacher when teaching African children. The article explores issues relating to knowledge of the general nature and scope of African music, in order to facilitate the development of musical literacy among children in the primary school. The article concludes by suggesting ways of extracting and teaching content from Shona traditional songs for the purpose of developing rhythm literacy.