Bassists of iKapa (the Cape) : a brief analysis of the development of the bass guitar in the musical genres of Mbaqanga and Ghoema in Cape Town, South Africa with a focus on the biographies and techniques of two of Cape Town's most prolific bassists, Spencer Mbadu and Gary Kriel

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

As a bassist from Cape Town, I feel the necessity to investigate, analyze and document the bassists of years gone by who have been major contributors towards the advancement and conceptualization of the Cape Town and, more largely, South African bass-playing fraternity. Unfortunately several bassists have passed away prior to the commencement of this thesis. Two of these bassists are Sammy Maritz and Johnny Gertze who both performed with Abdullah Ibrahim (previously known as Dollar Brand). Therefore the motivation for this thesis is to capture the contributions of two bassists who are still alive and actively working in the South African music industry that are based in Cape Town, namely Gary Kriel and Spencer Mbadu. While there have been other bassists in Cape Town like Basil Moses, Charles Lazar and Philly Schilder who also have made contributions to the music industry and more so the bass playing fraternity in Cape Town, I feel that the contributions made by Mr Kriel and Mr Mbadu have a far greater significance for the reasons I outline below.

Includes bibliographical references (p. 92-98).