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Shona Bira music of Zimbabwe

Shona Bira music of Zimbabwe - • Polyrhythm o Mbira four...

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Shona Bira music of Zimbabwe  Music Society and Culture 30/10/2007 08:16:00 Lamellophone Lamello – tongue (as in metal tongue) Played by Shona people of Zimbabwe Majority ethnic group (about 80%) 22 flat metal “keys” attached to a board with a metal bridge good resonator - bottle caps chuning – refers to tuning, often in mixolydian mode)  Mbira Musical Characteristics (Mbira examples, “Dande” and “Nhemamusasa”) Density: buzzy timbres; dense overlapping textures Cyclic form and variation: four 12-beats phrases (1 cycle is 48 beats) In each phrase, one note changes the chord by step (GBD, GBE, GCE, ACE) Interlock: adding a part in between spaces of other parts. Ex. Call and  response o Interlocking melodies: bass line; mid-range; high, descending. o Two interlocking players: kushara and kutsinhira o Singing, clapping, dancing
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Unformatted text preview: • Polyrhythm o Mbira: four 12-beat phrases, heard either in 3s or 4s • “core” and “elaboration” parts • conceptions: “piece” as process, not product ← Bira Ceremony • all-night spirit possession ceremony • video: o how can you tell when someone is possessed? o How are mediums marked as different after possession? o What relationships between possession and music do you notice? Black cloth represents “ancestor” … possessed being ← ← 30/10/2007 08:16:00 ← Bira (continued) • Communication • Medium • Ancestors • Family sponsorship • Why hold a bira? • Where? ← Music in the Bira Ceremony • Mbira is important in the ceremony • Spirits like to hear their favorite songs • Spirit arrive when music is most intense • Musicians respond to the medium 30/10/2007 08:16:00 ←...
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Shona Bira music of Zimbabwe - • Polyrhythm o Mbira four...

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