- Lyrics are often shouted, blabbered and/or chanted
- Its pulsing dance beat evolved from styles such as mbaqanga and dancehall, as well as house and disco
- Four to the floor
- Kwaito musicians themselves believe the term implies that the music is "hot and kicking"
- Call and Response
- Call: male, Response: female
- Simple bass beats at the beginning and builds towards a climax, which occurs at the chorus
- Lyrical phrases are repeated sequentially at various pitches
- Musical emphasis lies not in lyrics but in the instrumental arrangement and "danceability" of the composition
- Instrumentals usually made entirely of synthesized sound
- Fusion of slowed down house music tracks (100-120 beats per minute) and African percussion, which forms the core of the rhythmic pattern
- Some artists tend to nasalize the chanting
- Use a synthesized marimba which is rooted in African traditional music
We decided to start the course with a detailed overview of this type of music's distinctive sound, because we recognize that the physiological method of sensory perception is the initial and most immediate form of receiving information (so we may as well introduce the immediate sensory aspects of the music's sound first). Only once we address the "what" of the issue can we venture further into the why, how, where and when. Additionally, the presentation of the characteristics of this sound offers an initial discussion of the genre's definitive dichotomy: the vital connectedness of this music genre to the sounds of the area from which it comes -- the townships of South Africa, and the genre's equally vital connectedness to collaborations with sounds from the western world.