David B. Coplan’s pioneering social history of black South Africa’s urban music, dance, and theatre established itself as a classic soon after its publication in 1985. As the first substantial history of black performing arts in South Africa, In Township Tonight! was championed by a broad range of scholars and treasured by fans of South African music. Now completely revised, expanded, and updated, this new edition takes account of developments over the last thirty years while reflecting on the massive changes in South African politics and society since the end of the apartheid era.
In vivid detail, Coplan comprehensively explores more than three centuries of the diverse history of South Africa’s black popular culture, taking readers from indigenous musical traditions into the world of slave orchestras, pennywhistlers, clergyman-composers, the gumboot dances of mineworkers, and touring minstrelsy and vaudeville acts. This up-to-date edition of a landmark work will be welcomed by scholars of ethnomusicology and African studies, world music fans, and anyone concerned with South Africa and its development.