The original African mbira?

Andrew Tracey

Abstract


It may be possible to show, one day, that all the different mbiras of Africa are descended from one another, and that all stem from one particular type, which can then be assumed to be the form of the instrument as it was originally invented. I would like to present here some evidence to show that in one large part of Africa at least all the many types of mbiras can be traced back, with greater or lesser degrees of probability, to one type which must, at least, be very ancient, and at most, if connections with, or distribution to other mbira areas of Africa can be proved, may be the nearest we will get to knowing the earliest form of the mbira in Africa

Keywords


Mbira -- South Africa ; Mbira -- Zimbabwe -- Mbira -- Mozambique

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References


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Marjor y Davidson : “A Lunda kalendi”, African Music, III, 2, 1963, and III, 3, 1964. “Some music for the Lala kankobele”, African Music, IV, 4, 1970.

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Africa and Indonesia, E. J. Brill, Leiden, 1964.

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How to play the mbira d%a vadzimu, International Library of African Music, Roodepoort, South Africa,

Hugh Tracey : “A case for the name mbira”, African Music, II, 4, 1961;

“The mbira class of instruments in Rhodesia (1932)”, African Music, IV, 3, 1969.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21504/amj.v5i2.1421

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