Monthly Archives: March 2011

Tribute to composer Hubert du Plessis / Huldeblyk aan komponis Hubert du Plessis

A tribute to the life and work of Hubert du Plessis (1922 – 2011) will be presented by the Department of Music on Monday 28th March from 16:00 – 17:30 in the Fismer Hall, Stellenbosch Konservatorium.  Dr. du Plessis, a member of the Department’s staff from 1958 until his retirement in 1982, passed away on 12 March 2011.  Proff. Hans Roosenschoon and Izak Grové will present the tribute, which will include a number of the composer’s works, some of which will be performed by staff and students of the Department of Music.

Please note this replaces the scheduled Colloquium featuring Avril Kinsey which will now take place in the 2nd semester.

For further information please contact Louise Howlett at 021 808 2358 or

‘n Huldeblyk aan Hubert du Plessis word op Maandag 28 Maart, 16:00 – 17:30 in die Fismersaal, Konservatorium deur die Departement Musiek aangebied.  Dr. du Plessis was vanaf 1958 tot met sy aftrede in 1982 as dosent aan die Departement verbonde.  Proff. Hans Roosenschoon en Izak Grové sal ‘n waardering van die lewe en werk van een van Suid-Afrika se vooraanstaande komponiste lewer, terwyl ander personeellede en studente van sy musiek sal uitvoer.

Let wel dat hierdie geleentheid die geskeduleerde Colloquium met Avril Kinsey sal vervang.  Sy sal dan in die tweede semester optree.

Vir verdere inligting skakel Louise Howlett by 021 808 2358 of


Ode to a Musical Positivist

You shy away from social things to say
With good descriptions all that you can hear.
The content you prefer is musical.

Ignore the context: analyse the notes.
The social background’s secondary here…
So don’t say it if it’s not on the page!
And please don’t speculate on history
Or run the risk to o’er-philosophise,
To lose the notes in verbiage that distracts
From the romantic genius of that muse.

You write descriptions that are colourful
That capture music: freeze sounds on a page.
Your evocations feel the grain and sing
The groove. That is unusual in your field.
No soporific dull descriptions here.
The music breathes. It climbs and falls. It sings.
So your analysis is a response,
An echo or a mirror that reflects
The light and mirrors what it sees.

But please:
When I should drown I would that you weren’t there
To editorialize, adapt, describe.
To capture on the page my noble fight
For breath, my desperate screams: my cries for help.
You would describe the water with great skill.
But would you wade in, risk to lend a hand?
Or rather stand on shore and write it down?
Your positivism would not allow
Another context to participate.
My death you would describe in accurate
Felicity. Immortalize me thus
As Shakespeare did poor mad Ophelia.

When I should drown I would that you weren’t there.
I’d want another breed of analyst
With social conscience to philologize
Contextually. To not describe but play
An active part in framing my discourse
With empathy and insight and with love.

“I’m drowning here and you’re describing the water” – As Good as it Gets

(Etienne Viviers)