Folklore | African Music and Movement
F301 | 28708 | Matiure


This course introduces students to Zimbabwean music
and culture through a combination of hands-on training in playing the
mbira and lectures discussing music traditions of Zimbabwe.  Students
will engage in hands-on experience playing the Nyunganyunga mbira
(also known as karimba or dimba), a 15 key, plucked instrument found
along the border of Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and one among more than
six types of mbira found in Zimbabwe.  Students will be introduced to
modal playing, and will be expected to apply their training to at
least four songs throughout the semester.  In the process of teaching
how to play, aural skills will be emphasized, in particular those
required to appreciate the polyrhythmic and the polyphonic structures
in mbira music.

Lectures will explore issues such as the geographical distribution of
instruments similar to the mbira in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as
issues specific to mbira performance and culture in Zimbabwe.  Mbira
music and spirituality, and in particular Shona cosmology, will
constitute some of the major discussions during the course of the
semester.

Class readings will include works by Hugh and Andrew Tracy, Thomas
Turino and others.  Paul Berliner’s Ethnography, “The Soul of Mbira”
will constitute the main text for the class and students may
purchase this from the IU Book Store. The syllabus will be posted on
Oncourse.