Chopi timbila music




It is surprising that Chopi timbila xylophone music, one of the complex and organised musics of the world, has attracted so little ethnomusicological attention. Its sound hasbeen known to the world since Hugh Tracey's recordings in 1942/3, published first on 78rpm discs in the late 1940s, and his book Chopi Musicians, 1948. Portuguese and other written descriptions from as early as 1560 focus on the visual impression andthe instruments. Recent research by Chopi writers focuses on ethnography and the analysis of the lyrics (Munguambe 2000; Jopela, pending). But the music itself?


Dias, Margot
1986 Instrumentos Musicais de Moçambique, Lisbon: Instituto de
Investigação Científica Tropical.

Earthy, E. Dora
1968[1933] Valenge Women: The Social and Economic Life of the Valenge Women of
Portuguese East Africa, London: F. Cass.

Fernandes, A.
1560, 1562 "Lendas de India”, quoted in G.M. Theal, Records of South Eastern
Africa Vol. 2, Cape Town: Government of the Cape Colony, 1898-1903,
pp. 62-150.

Jopela, Valdemiro
Pend. "A Caracterização da Poesia de Timbila Chope”, PhD Dissertation: University of Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo.
Junod, H-P.
1929 "The Mbila or Native Piano of the Tshopi Tribe”, Bantu Studies, 3(3).

Kirby, P.R.
1934 The Musical Instruments of the Native Races of South Africa, OUP, repr. Wits University 1953.

Munguambe, A. Didi
2000 A música Chope, Collecção Identidades, Maputo: Promédia.

Nahumck, Nadia
1976 "Some Choreographic Comments and notation” in A. Tracey and
G. Zantzinger, A companion to the films "Mgodo wa Mbanguzi” and
"Mgodo wa Mkandeni”, Roodepoort: International Library of African

Tracey, A.
1980 "Mozambique”, in Stanley Sadie (ed.) Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians, London: Macmillan.
1984 "Mbila”, in Stanley Sadie (ed.) Groves dictionary of musical instruments, London: Macmillan.
1988 "The System of the Mbira” in Andrew Tracey (ed.) Papers Presented at the 7th Symposium on Ethnomusicology, Grahamstown: International Library of African Music, pp. 43-55.

Tracey, H.
1940-8 "Gentes Afortunadas” and other articles in Moçambique — Documentário Trimestral, 24-55.
1970[1948] Chopi musicians, Oxford University Press for International African Institute.
1950-70 Sound of Africa Series, 220 CDs, ILAM.

Webster, David J.
2009 A Sociedade Chope: Indivíduo e Aliança no Sul de Moçambique 1969- 76, ed. J. de P. Cabral, Instituto de Ciências Sociais, Lisbon, from "Agnation, Alternative Structures and the Individual in Chopi Society”, PhD Dissertation: Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, 1975.




How to Cite

Tracey, Andrew. 2011. “Chopi Timbila Music”. African Music : Journal of the International Library of African Music 9 (1):[7]-32.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 > >>