For Future Generations - Hugh Tracey and the International Library of African Music’

  • Posted: Nov 4, 2011

Iziko at the Castle of Good Hope, 19 November 2011 – 31 March 2012

Hambaraqhengo dancing , hambaraqhengo dance: traditional dance Namibia,Southern Africa Image supplied by: ILAM

The Iziko Social History Collections department will be hosting the travelling exhibition: ‘For Future Generations - Hugh Tracey and the International Library of African Music’ at the Iziko Good Hope Gallery, Castle of Good Hope from 19 November 2011 until 31 March 2012. 

The International Library of African Music (ILAM) is a research institute and archive founded in 1954 by Hugh Tracey, pioneer researcher of African music, based at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. One of its prime purposes is to preserve the thousands of audio recordings of African musicians Tracey made. Dating as far back as 1929, these recordings were gathered on his many field excursions throughout east, central and southern Africa. 

The travelling exhibition is an outreach effort intended to create awareness of the preservation and dissemination of African music and Hugh Tracey’s legacy. It will showcase a range of African musical instruments from the ILAM collection, as well as items related to Hugh Tracey’s field research, publications and film and audio recordings.

Hugh Tracey’s love for African music started when he first arrived in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and heard African songs sung by Karanga farm workers while working on his brother’s tobacco farm. He understood the value of music in terms of the preservation of their unique culture and undertook to record and publish the African music, songs, legends and stories of the Karanga and as many other African cultures as possible.

His early work in Zimbabwe expanded when he moved to South Africa to undertake a twelve year career in broadcasting with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). The recorded works Tracey gathered, preserved and published have been used and continue to be used for educational purposes, highlighting the importance of African music in the preservation of African cultures.    

‘For Future Generations - Hugh Tracey and the International Library of African Music’, will be on exhibition at the Iziko Good Hope Gallery, Castle of Good Hope from 19 November 2011 until 31 March 2012. The exhibition can be seen daily from 09h00 to 16h00.

Hugh Tracey recording an Ndau man playing a Chizambi friction mouth bow. Zimbabwe Image supplied by: ILAM The musician rubs the rattle stick along the notches in the arched part of the bow. The bow string, made of palm leaf, is resonated in the mouth,
Kung Bushman girl playing the Guashi , Kung, Namibia, Image supplied by: ILAM Instrument: stringed instruments,harps,lyres,Guashi,1970,
Hugh Tracey recording a Zulu bow player Image supplied by: ILAM











Castle of Good Hope Entrance Fees –
Monday to Saturday:
Adults: R28
Pensioners (SA only): R15
Children (5-16yrs): R12
Students (SA cardholders only): R12
Booked School Groups: R5
Children younger than 5yrs: free

Adults: R20
Pensioners (SA only): R10
Child (5-16 yrs): R5
Student (SA cardholders only): R5
Children younger than 5yrs: free
Enquiries can be directed to Shanaaz Galant on 021 467 7214, or e-mail .




Iziko Museums (Iziko) operates 12 national museums in Cape Town.  The museums that make up Iziko have their own history and character, presenting extensive art, social and natural history collections which reflect our diverse African heritage.  Iziko is a public entity and non-profit organisation which brings together these 12 museums under a single governance and leadership structure.  The organisation allows *free access to all individuals on commemorative days, as well as unlimited free access to individuals aged 18 and under (excluding the Castle of Good Hope and Planetarium).


COMMEMORATIVE DAYS – FREE ENTRANCE (excluding Iziko Planetarium and Castle of Good Hope)

  • Human Rights Day: 21 March
  • Freedom Day: 27 April
  • International Museum Day: 25 May
  • Africa Day: 25 May
  • Youth Day: 16 June
  • National Women’s Day: 9 August
  • Heritage Week: 19 – 25 September
  • National Aids Awareness Day: 1 December
  • Emancipation Day: 1 December
  • Day of Reconciliation: 16 December

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