Food, Psalms and tunes that the VOC brought to the Cape.

Rich Mia Mia Rich, 11 September 2021
As a schoolgirl, her interest in sailors was piqued by the teacher's graphic narrative of sailors with scurvy.
The United East India Company (VOC, founded in the early seventeenth century) was a powerful company at a time when the Netherlands had a monopoly on trade. The VOC was strictly Calvinistic and it, inter alia, reflected in the music, based on the Geneva Psalter.
Three days before a ship sailed, a drum was struck. Sails were stretched to the beat of music. On the ship, the drum (tabor) was used for certain commands on the ship and the baroque trumpet for others. The drummer had to be proficient on a moving sailing ship, though the trumpet player earned twice as much as the drummer. The sailors had to know what the music meant and what orders were being given. Sick comforters were lead singers.
Van Riebeeck planted vegetables, there were cattle as well as wine - a great improvement on the diet of the sailors who had pickled pork, pickled pork and pickled pork as food on board. Music accompanied explorations and in schools psalm singing was part of the curriculum. There was a big difference between the music that was practiced in Cape Town and the music in the countryside. Willem Sluiter's songs were especially intended for the countryside.
The unique, informative talk was illustrated by appropriate sound clips and photos.