Learn mbira dzaVaNdau with Solomon MadhingaThis is a 5-piece introductory course to the mbira dzaVaNdau, taught by Solomon Madhinga and transcribed by Stefan Franke. The pieces come with videos, audio recordings, lyrics, translations, and their words spoken slowly for pronounciation. Our goal is to popularise the Ndau mbira among mbira students, and to support Mr. Madhinga as an artist, culture bearer, instrument maker, and teacher at the local cultural center, by means of instrument orders and donations. The mbira dzaVaNdau today is on the verge of vanishing, as Tony Perman vividly describes in his article A tale of two mbiras.
Accessing the piecesHave a look at Kufa Kusina Ndiemerewo. For the other pieces, please join the course's group. The course is free of charge. Please consider a donation when you actually learn the pieces (and can afford it), or simply appreciate the work being done. It's easy to send money straight to Zimbabwe via WorldRemit/Mukuru, and even small amounts help e.g. with phone charges. See below how to get in touch. The five pieces are
- Kufa Kusina Ndiemerewo
"Death without waiting for me" - A man bemoans the loss of his beloved first wife, feeling left behind and unhappy after divorcing his second wife, whose mother he considers a witch, blaming her for their misfortune.
Composed by Solomon's father, Phinias Mahlupheko Madhinga, it became a family's favorite. Hear it in the video above.
- Hambai kanyi kwangu "Let's go to my home" - a man returns from Mutare, only to find out that his wife has been cheating on him.
This is a woman singing whose husband went off to work and came back with nothing while she managed to make ends meet on her own.
A purely instrumental piece for a searching game where the mbira provides musical clues to the participants.
- Hama ibadza
A father reminding his children not to be as lazy as his younger brother, who just wants to eat but not work.
Featuring a mind-bending 5+5+5+1 pattern in the right hand, against a straight 4-pulse beat.
An ideal first piece to learn, with many cool left hand variations.