African Psalm

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African Psalm

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With lively call and response, options for percussion, and repetition to enable quick learning, this energetic arrangement of a traditional Zambian folk song will have your choir and congregation responding to the call. Simple, well-written and effective. Not to be missed!

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African Psalm
Overall rating 
Choral Integrity 
Textual Quality 
Audience Response 
The Victor Johnson 2010 arrangement of the popular Zambian folk song, Bonse Aba, appears here in its original choral and percussion arrangement with a new English text, not related to the translation of the Zambian text. This may make this joyful piece more useful in general worship for most churches, but it will certainly make it popular again for concert and competition use. The stylistic call/response form makes it an easy piece to teach, and the repetitive harmonies in the part writing will also lend itself to the ease of learning.

This reviewer finds the final phrase to be out of character and context with the ethnic quality of the original folk song, so she typically ends with a strong crescendo leading to the final note of measure 80 where the song abruptly stops both chorally and instrumentally, and at which point all choreographed movement also freezes with an abrupt simultaneous clap/stomp/sharp percussion sound on the final eighth note of measure 80.

The Bottom Line

The 2010 arrangement of Bonse Aba is republished with a new English language text.
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