The Mbira

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    The Mbira

    An African Musical Tradition

    Author: Mahealani Uchiyama Foreword by: Patience Chaitezvi Munjeri

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    An introductory guide to the mbira: the spiritual traditions, historical perspectives, and practical applications of a sacred Zimbabwean instrument.

    In an overview of the history, spiritual significance, and cultural origins of the mbira, teacher and student Māhealani Uchiyama offers readers a foundation for understanding the roles, function, and spiritual resonance of a sacred Shona instrument.

    The mbira–made of a wooden soundboard and hammered metal keys–is both instrument and practice. It can be played solo or accompanied by singing, percussion, or other mbiras, and is a foundational part of Zimbabwean musical culture. As a spiritual practice, it brings worlds together: it connects the world of healing with the world of entertainment, and bridges the world of the ancestors and the world of the living.

    With 32 black and white images and a comprehensive glossary of terms, Uchiyama helps readers understand:

       • The mbira code of conduct, how the mbira is played, and an overview of the lamellophone instrument family
       • The spiritual, historical, and cultural significance of the mbira within Zimbabwe, and its role in interconnection, community, and connection to Spirit
       • Cultural appropriation and commodification, and how to mindfully approach and respectfully learn from a culture that’s not your own
       • How the mbira can be a connection point for readers who have been forcibly severed from their ancestral cultures, and help them reconnect to African roots, wisdom, worldview, spirituality, and ancestors

    Product Info

    Trim Size:
    5-1/2 x 8-1/2
    Page Count:
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