What is the mbira used for?

Mbira was used in ceremonial functions such as weddings, funerals, and in honour of significant people, as well as for religious purposes, to call on spirits and seek their advice.

Where is mbira mostly used?


Mbira (/əmˈbɪərə/ əm-BEER-ə) are a family of musical instruments, traditional to the Shona people of Zimbabwe.

How is mbira played?

The mbira is one of several idiophones that are plucked rather than vibrated by percussion, shaken, or scraped. In performance, the player holds the instrument in his hands and plucks the tongues with his thumbs and forefingers.

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).

Where is mbira dance performed?


Although the mbira was originally used in a limited number of Shona areas, today it is popular throughout Zimbabwe. Aside from its religious context, mbira is desired for the general qualities it imparts: peaceful mind and strong life force.

What was the first ever instrument?

The oldest musical instrument in the world, a 60,000-year-old Neanderthal flute is a treasure of global significance. It was discovered in Divje babe cave near Cerkno and has been declared by experts to have been made by Neanderthals. It is made from the left thighbone of a young cave bear and has four pierced holes.

What does mbira mean in music?

Mbira Music: Professor brings the music of Zimbabwe to Mizzou

What are the 5 most popular instruments from Africa?

Most widely spread and played instruments in Africa are the drum, the xylophone, the mbira, rattles and shakers.

Who plays mbira in Zimbabwe?

Tafadzwa Mavhudzi, plays the mbira in Harare, Zimbabwe. She has been playing the traditional instrument for four years. Mavhudzi, who goes by the stage name Haruna, is a member of a local band called Hweva.

What is the best known drum in Africa?


Djembe. The djembe is the most well-known African drum around the world. It has a narrow base that opens up into a rounded bowl near the top, kind of like a wine glass. The top of the bowl is covered by a goatskin, though synthetic materials are also used today.

What is the most district 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 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.

How big is a mbira?

The Mbira’s large sound box (this model is about 77 cm across ) allows for much deeper pitches to be heard acoustically: the lowest fundamental on our mbira is in the region of 33 Hz. All Array Mbiras come equipped with a 2-channel piezo pickup system, allowing for easy ampliï¬ cation and line-out recording.