TIP OF THE DAY

Wednesday, December 15, 2010
The Mbira Cycle
Sadza Madya Here

As stated in last week's tip, this music, which is still played on the karimba (or mbira nyunga nyunga) today, is hypothesized to be the music that was played on the original mbira some 1300 years ago.

from student karimba book

Listen to "Sadza Madya Here." This song comes to us from Jege Tapera and is first notated in Paul F. Berliner's book The Soul of Mbira (1979). The song has a number of variations that stick within the same basic chord progression. The basic part of the traditional Shona song "Sadza Madya Here" is shown at right. Download the PDF for the full song.

Looking at the tablature for the first variation shows a number of dichords (two note chords) played on the core eight notes of the karimba. In the first measure is G and D, then B and F#. In the second measure we have E and B. The third measure is a repeat of the first. The fourth measure we have D and A, with B and F# at the end.

What does it mean? Tune in next week!