The use of mbiras
in Zimbabwean primary school classroom music education highlights the potential of diverse instruments to offer engaging and inclusive music-making experiences (Marx, 1990).
The book also includes a CD with twenty tracks showcasing some of Hugh Tracey's field recordings of various instruments including mbiras
, drums, xylophones, flutes, and horns.
Here, Mapfumo uses a traditional format of interlocking, cyclical melodies--in much the same way as two or three mbiras
, classically played, interlink together, magically creating a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
For example, the instrumentation for King Ubu consists of "alto saxophone, clarinet, hichiriki, orkon, nohkan, voices, whistling, electric chord organ, electric and acoustic guitars, ukelele, bells, bottles, castanets, cymbals, congas, meringue, o-daiko, other assorted unidentified drums, maracas, marimbula, mbiras
, metal springs, steel drum, tambourine, temple blocks, vaccines, wood blocks, xylophone, zither, magnetic tape manipulation.
99Billy Jenkins would certainly approve of the general philosophy of Konono No 1, a bunch from Kinshasa who weren't about to let the fact that they sing and play mbiras
(thumb pianos) stop them from entering the amplified world.
Recorded live in Highfield, Harare, the microphones are held at some distance from the mbiras
, perhaps to better capture the whole musical event.
None of the mbiras
shown is sitting on top of a gourd resonator, a common configuration, and the two sound files are without their typical bottle-top or ring-washer sizzle-sounds.
Examples include solo mbira
pieces, songs for mbira
& voice, and ensemble pieces for two mbiras
with shaker accompaniment.
Students have made gongs, drams, bamboo flutes, and mbiras
Fradreck Mujuru also hails from Dewedzo, where he has supported himself making mbiras
Then another swaying lattice would be built, guitars, bass, horns and two mbiras
intermingling, each song heightening the vibration.