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Music builds bridges - Diva Mimi Coertse
2004-09-21

Music is not bounded by colour, religion, politics or time. It builds bridges. It reaches out to people’s hearts and feelings. Everyone understands the language of music. These were the words of the opera and chamber music diva, Mimi Coertse, who delivered the 34th C.R. Swart Memorial Lecture of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of the Free State. The theme of her lecture was Music as international language. Ms. Coertse said there are no boundaries to music. Different from the spoken word in drama, music can be understood by everyone. There are no boundaries in classical music – and specifically in opera. Developed nations adopted the Eurocentric art form as part of their culture. Examples are China, Korea and Japan where classical music became part of these counties’ national culture, she said. “Unfortunately, however, classical music is seen in many instances – and even in our country – as Eurocentric, but that is not the case. When you start analysing it, you will notice that our black choirs specifically sing opera in choir competitions. These choir competitions became a major industry. These choirs prefer to sing opera.” Ms. Coertse said music brings joy, pleasure, relaxations and healing. It moves into the inner chambers of people’s hearts. You cannot swear at someone in music of curse the. Music is sensual, emotional and very spiritual. God is the writer, man just the player.

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