CBN and a Children’s Anthem


The first sounds in the very first CBN workshop were musical as well as magic – Senegalese drums played for us by our friends Basse and his brother. Music has always been part of what we do. Bach played on cello and violin for children from Red Hill informal settlement. Absolute freedom to create their own music in Clanwilliam. isiXhosa traditional songs in Stanford …

We have also worked with sounds that were possibly the earliest music people created – clapping rhythms and the sound of rock gongs (or ringing rocks). Now we hope to create something new. Sounds and words for our children that pull together the early beat of hand and stone, the inspiration of the human voice raised in song – and the children themselves.

We are aiming at something that is simple – chords, sounds to be sung, words to be added in any language, something truly beautiful. We will start with this project in November – preparations have already begun.

Children in South Africa have few songs that they all share – that they all can sing together. But they sing! How they sing! Now we want them to sing TOGETHER.

Anyone wishing to know more about rock gongs might look at:

For information on CBN and the rock gongs, please go to:

For a report on the clapping patterns and music in Clanwilliam workshopsgo to:

This project has been germinating for three years. Time to grow the seeds!

Our thanks to:
National Lotteries Commission for funding our organization’s operational costs
Butterfly Centre for allowing us to use their school out of school hours.
The Paddy and Sue Kell Family Trust for funding our workshops and toolboxes.

Image: Anele Mhlahlo, workshop facilitator and CBN board member, on a UCT funded expedition to collect rock gongs in the Karoo.

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