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The form of a typical mbira song is cyclical ; that is, it is based on a continuous repetition of the tune. The basic tune of a piece usually has four phrases of equal length. This type of form is very common for lamellophone music throughout Africa, although the traditions for some instruments feature two-phrase rather than four-phrase melodies.

The music at a bira may need to continue for many hours; it is not uncommon for the ceremony to last all night, with only short breaks in the music. It is not unusual to play a single tune for a very long time, repeating the four-phrase melody many, many times. The music is kept interesting by a constant subtle variation on the basic tune. Most traditional pieces have more than one standard version of the melody. The player can switch between the versions, and can also improvise by changing some of the notes.

Most interestingly, the rhythm and texture of the basic melody are so complex that the player can provide "variations" on the tune simply by shifting the accents or emphasis on certain notes, or by singing along with certain notes, in order to bring out different aspects or relationships within the melody. An accomplished mbira player is so skilled at creating and elucidating interesting variations that he can keep a crowd happy while playing the same tune for hours.

Timbre and texture

The mbira dzavadzimu is constructed in a way that makes it very easy to jump between high-, low-, and medium-pitched tones. The typical mbira melody takes advantage of this, jumping quickly between the different octaves of the three manuals . Rather than hearing this as a single multi-octave melody, the listener naturally groups the high notes together into a high "melody" and the low notes into a contrasting low "melody". The notes in the middle range often seem to belong to their own, third, independent melody. This gives the music a rich contrapuntal texture , even though normally only one note is played at a time. (Bach's sonatas for unaccompanied violin or cello famously use this same "auditory illusion", producing counterpoint from a single line that bounces back and forth between high and low "melodies".)

It is this auditory illusion that allows the most subtle, and interesting, variations on the tune. It can be unclear which melody (high, medium, or low) a particular note belongs to; one note might be either a low note in the high melody, for example, or a high note in the middle melody. Thus, by making subtle shifts in accent and emphasis, or by shifting a pitch in a variation, the player can make a note "jump" from one melody to another, or can make melodies seem to appear and disappear while still playing the same sequence of notes. By bringing out a variety of inner lines in this way, the skilled player can make the same sequence of notes sound like a completely different piece of music.

In addition to creating this interlocking conterpoint, the intervals between successive pitches in the pattern tend to be octaves , fifths , and thirds (the same intervals found in Western major and minor chords ). This creates a strong impression of harmony (in the same way as a piano playing arpeggios ), often including an impression of harmonic motion or progression within each phrase, and of changes in harmony as the variations are played.

Questions & Answers

find the 15th term of the geometric sequince whose first is 18 and last term of 387
Jerwin Reply
The given of f(x=x-2. then what is the value of this f(3) 5f(x+1)
virgelyn Reply
hmm well what is the answer
how do they get the third part x = (32)5/4
kinnecy Reply
can someone help me with some logarithmic and exponential equations.
Jeffrey Reply
sure. what is your question?
okay, so you have 6 raised to the power of 2. what is that part of your answer
I don't understand what the A with approx sign and the boxed x mean
it think it's written 20/(X-6)^2 so it's 20 divided by X-6 squared
I'm not sure why it wrote it the other way
I got X =-6
ok. so take the square root of both sides, now you have plus or minus the square root of 20= x-6
oops. ignore that.
so you not have an equal sign anywhere in the original equation?
is it a question of log
Commplementary angles
Idrissa Reply
im all ears I need to learn
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what is a good calculator for all algebra; would a Casio fx 260 work with all algebra equations? please name the cheapest, thanks.
Kevin Reply
a perfect square v²+2v+_
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Abdirahman Reply
algebra 2 Inequalities:If equation 2 = 0 it is an open set?
Kim Reply
or infinite solutions?
The answer is neither. The function, 2 = 0 cannot exist. Hence, the function is undefined.
Embra Reply
if |A| not equal to 0 and order of A is n prove that adj (adj A = |A|
Nancy Reply
rolling four fair dice and getting an even number an all four dice
ramon Reply
Kristine 2*2*2=8
Bridget Reply
Differences Between Laspeyres and Paasche Indices
Emedobi Reply
No. 7x -4y is simplified from 4x + (3y + 3x) -7y
Mary Reply
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
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I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
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what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
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Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
the Beer law works very well for dilute solutions but fails for very high concentrations. why?
bamidele Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Musical travels for children. OpenStax CNX. Jan 06, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10221/1.11
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