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To really understand a culture and their music you have to have a good understanding of the instrument and the role that it plays. This is super crucial for Zimbabwe music where almost everything is connected to the spirits and a way of life. The mbira has been around for countless years and plays a large role in the communities of the Shona of Zimbabwe. As with many different cultures around the world the Shona believe that there is a spirit world and they communicate with it. The mbiradzavadzimu is not just an instrument to make beautiful music with but it is a tool to connect with the spirit world.

We learned about all the variety of things that the Shona people went to the spirits for and how there are different types of spirits. I was fascinated to learn about mudzimu wemusha and how they would choose a host during the bira ceremony. This gave a new light to the importance of playing the mbira music. As a western musician, I playfor my own enjoyment or the enjoyment of those listening. The mbira players wanted to play the mbira dzavadzimu just like their ancestors did so that the mudzimu wemusha would take a host and give wisdom. The specifics of the song and the exact style become far more important.

When learningabout a mbira music there were three things that we focused on. The first was to learn about the how the …show more content…
Through this experience we learned far more than just the notes. We were taught in a teaching style that mixed both the Zimbabwean teaching style and the western teaching style. We were shown each note and repeated after the teacher. In Zimbabwe, a teacher would play a new part over and over until the student could join in. Since most of us were trained using western teaching styles we are used to reading notes and having the notes tell us what to do. This was a relatively new experience for me and one that would take a lot of practice to get good at learning in that

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