Angela Scharfenberger


$ 180.00

Zimbabwean Mbira & Song with Angela Scharfenberger

The Mbira Nyunganyunga is one of several "thumb pianos" common in Zimbabwe. It is a neo-traditional instrument, developed in the 1950s as part of a cultural nationalist movement to keep alive Shona traditions in the post-colonial era by teaching songs and proverbs to school children.

Zimbabwean music features simple poly-rhythmic lines on the 15-key mbira, which is often likened to the sound of a harp or music box, and rich vocal lines of call-and-response, sung in the Shona language. It is modeled after a thumb piano common to the the Nongwe people of eastern Zimbabwe, but draws on traditional Shona songs and proverbs. The songs are in a cyclical, repetitive form that is relatively easy to learn.

No prior experience necessary, don't need to be able to read music, the instrument is taught in the same way that it is in Zimbabwe, entirely through oral tradition. 
What students will learn:
  • Basic mbira patterns for several songs
  • Developments of several songs
  • Demonstrated basic concepts of African music, such as polyrhythm, hemiolas, call and response, ostinato and cyclical form
  • Shona lyrics for several songs, including general meaning and pronunciation

Mbiras will be available for students to borrow. 

Ages 12 and up.