| Marimba music from the Shona peoples of Zimbabwe
is an exciting musical form which inspires dance and joy! The music ranges
from complex fast driving polyrhythms to slow trance-like pieces. Some
characteristics of traditional Shona music include call and response form,
interlocking melodies that repeat in circular fashion, double metric patterns
and rhythmic cross patterns played by shakers, drums, and buzzing sounds
which are produced on the marimba by cellophane covered holes on the resonators.
The music is highly infectious, joyous, upbeat, and wonderful to dance
In traditional Zimbabwean life, music is associated with almost every activity. There is music for hunting, drinking, mourning, work, war, and events or festivals significant in the cycle of life: birth, coming of age ceremonies, weddings and death.
Here in North America there is a growing interest in creating music that brings communities together. Music is being used for more than just entertainment. A deeper purpose is emerging. Here is a quote from an article about one man's experience in the marimba community in Eugene Oregon:
"Marimba, and later, mbira have helped me through difficult times. Listening, dancing, and especially playing Shona music have transformed me. A dormant part of me has awakened, a joyful, exuberant, life-celebrating part that is now strong. The music we share and the community the music creates are medicine for me. They bring joy to my heart and lightness to my spirit. In class, I realize again and again how connected I feel when I play marimba: only when the parts are played together do they form a whole, the players together create living music. My part, my playing, is entwined, as a fiber in a thread."
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