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.
- 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.