In Shona music, the mbira dzavadzimu (” voice of the ancestors “, or “mbira of the ancestral spirits”, national instrument of Zimbabwe) is a musical instrument that has been played by the Shona people of Zimbabwe for thousands of years.
What does the word mbira mean?
: an African musical instrument that consists of a wooden or gourd resonator and a varying number of tuned metal or wooden strips that vibrate when plucked.
What is the origin of mbira music?
Mbira (pronounced “mmm-BEErah”) music is likely very new to you. The MBIRA is a lamellophone or “thumb piano” developed by the Shona people who live in modern day Zimbabwe in southeast Africa ).
How did the mbira get its name?
The thumb piano, or mbira – a name derived from Shona language of Zimbabwe – is uniquely African percussion instrument. In the distant past it was made entirely of wood or bamboo and could have been used for a few thousand years.
What is the origin of the kalimba?
The kalimba, family of lamellophones, is a musical instrument from Africa Its appearance is very old, it seems to date from 1000 BC. This would involve models with bamboo reeds. The most common names are: sanza, likembé, thumb piano.
What is the other name for mbira?
mbira, also called mbila sansa, kilembe, likembe, timbrh, or thumb piano , plucked idiophone (instrument whose sounding parts are resonant solids belonging to the body of the instrument itself)—or more specifically, a lamellaphone—that is unique to Africa and widely distributed throughout the continent.
What is the difference between a kalimba and a mbira?
The kalimba features the seven-note diatonic scale used in traditional Western music while the non-western scale of the mbira features the same notes but not in the same order Some notes may even be missing.
When was the balafon invented?
The Balafon is believed to have been developed in the 12 th century in the Southern Africa region during the rise of the Mali Empire.
Who invented mbira?
Popularized in the 1950s through a Westernized version designed by British ethnomusicologist Hugh Tracey (christened in this context as a kalimba), the mbira left its original land and its pure musical tradition to enter current music scenes where it has since flourished in various and unexpected forms.
What is the classification of mbira?
Note: Although this is classified as a plucked idiophone , the tongues (lamellas) are typically depressed and released creating the same effect as being plucked. This is done with the thumbs and fingers of the performer. The tongues can also be plucked as another type of performance effect.
What is the classification and most distinct feature of mbira?
What Is the Most Distinct Feature of Mbira? The way in which you play the mbira is distinct. You stroke or pluck keys with your thumbs The resulting sound is reflective and pastoral, reminiscent of the traditions behind its creation.
What is the mbira quizlet?
The mbira is a African musical instrument consisting of a wooden board (often fitted with a resonator) with attached staggered metal tines, played by holding the instrument in the hands and plucking the tines with the thumbs. The mbira is usually classified as part of the lamellaphone family.
Why is the mbira important?
The most important function of mbira is as a “telephone to the spirits ”, used to contact both deceased ancestors and even more ancient tribal guardians, at all-night bira (pl. mapira) ceremonies.
What part of Africa did the kalimba come from?
Kalimba-like instruments came to exist from the northern reaches of North Africa to the southern extent of the Kalahari Desert, and from the east coast to the west coast , though many or most groups of people in Africa did not possess mbiras.
Did the piano come from Africa?
It is believed that the thumb piano was invented twice in Africa ; one version originating on the west coast using wooden or bamboo tines around 3000 years ago, and the other version originating on the southeast coast using metal tines around 1300 years ago.
What is one of the common names for the kalimba?
The African thumb piano , or kalimba (also called by other names) is an unusual percussion instrument consisting of a number of thin metal blades (keys) mounted on a soundbox or soundboard.
Is mbira an idiophone?
Idiophone: an instrument that produces its sound through the use of the material from which it is made, without needing strings or a stretched skin In Africa, mbiras have the same purpose as xylophones, but because they are portable they are also played on long journeys.
What type of instrument is a Lamellophone?
Lamellaphones are typically classified as plucked idiophones —instruments whose sounding parts are resonant solids.
What type of instrument is the hosho?
The hosho are Zimbabwean musical instruments consisting of a pair of maranka gourds with seeds They are used as major instruments in many traditional Shona music genres, such as in mbira ensembles and in mhande. They typically contain hota seeds inside them.
How many types of mbira are there?
About twelve major types of mbira are played at the present day by the peoples of the central and lower Zambezi valley and en- virons.
What sound does a mbira make?
When the keys of the mbira are struck, they ring on in the gourd resonator with rich and sonorous tones “like bells ,” as one musician has suggested, or like flutes, as a line of classic poetry accompanying mbira music implies.
Is kalimba similar to piano?
The kalimba and the piano are very different instruments ! Two big differences between them are that the kalimba only has a small subset of the notes the piano has, and the notes on the kalimba are arranged in a way that is fundamentally different from the arrangement on the piano.
What African instrument is similar to a harp or lute?
What is a bolon ? Bolons are a chordophone instrument, making sound by way of a vibrating string or strings stretched between two points, like harps or lutes. They are the ancestors of the better known African harp the kora and the lute like Ngoni.
Where is the kalimba also found?
According to Gerhard Kubik, from his 1998 book Kalimba, Nsansi, Mbira: Lamellophone in Afrika, ‘The first kalimbas were made about 3000 years ago in west Africa around present day Cameroon , created completely of plant materials such as bamboo.
Who invented kalimba?
Hugh Tracey founds African Musical Instruments (AMI) Some of Hugh Tracey’s first kalimbas were made of aluminum! After building over 100 prototype instruments, blending traditional African design elements, Hugh Tracey brought easy-to-play, western-tuned kalimbas to the world in 1954.
What is the difference between a kalimba and a karimba?
Karimbas are very similar to Kalimbas, with a single row of keys/tines, but feature shorter keys/tines This enables them to be tuned to (what’s believed to be) the original African Karimba tuning.
How many manuals of keys does the mbira Dzavadzimu have?
The mbira dzavadzimu is commonly performed in ancestral spirit possession ceremonies (dzavadzimu means ‘of the ancestors’) among the Zezuru people of central Zimbabwe. The instrument has 21 keys attached to a solid wood body.
What is a balafon classed as?
The Mandinka balafon, also called the bala or the balphone, is a kind of idiophone (an instrument which creates sound by vibrating). In the West, instruments like this are called xylophones.
What is the balafon used for?
The balafon is a West African xylophone with calabash (gourds) tied underneath, which are used as resonators. The balafon is used for a variety of occasions and in a variety of musical expressions UNESCO has added it to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Where was the mbira invented?
The Mbira or African thumb piano (other identifying names include: kalimba – contemporary term; the most popular term is either sansa, or mbira) is a percussive instrument originating from Africa The instrument, also used in Cuban music, is generally held with both hands and played with the thumbs.
What group of instrument does the djembe belong to?
The djembe is one of West Africa’s best known instruments. This goblet-shaped drum is traditionally carved from a single piece of African hardwood and topped with an animal skin as a drumhead. In western understanding, the drum belongs to the membranophone class of instruments in the percussion family.
What is the characteristics of mbira?
The mbira is an instrument from the African continent. It’s sometimes called the ”thumb piano” because it’s played with the thumbs and one finger. The mbira is made of 22 to 28 metal keys attached to a hardwood soundboard called the gwariva, usually placed inside a large gourd to amplify the sound.
When was the mbira made?
The first mbiras were created more than 3,000 years ago on the African continent, and were made of wood. More recent versions are made of wood with metal keys, or tines.
What are mbira waves?
Abstract. The acoustic spectrum of the mbira, a musical instrument from Africa that produces sound by the vibration of cantilevered metal rods , has been measured. It is found that the most prominent overtones present in the spectrum have frequencies that are approximately 5 and 14 times the lowest frequency.