Mbira: Google Doodle Celebrates Zimbabwe Musical Instrument

Mbira is the part of Zimbabwe’s Culture week, and Google Doodle is celebrating it on Today. It is the story to play mbira of the Zimbabwean girl’s experience of discovering and learning. 

mbira google doodle
Credit: Kris Connor/Getty Images for Make Music Winter

What is the mbira?

Google Doodle Mbira played an integral role in the cultural and traditional identity of Shona people and played for over 1000 years. It is an instrument that originated in South America has a series of thin metal keys affixed to its surface and made up of a handheld hardwood soundboard called gwariva.

There are numerous sorts of mbira in Eastern and Southern Africa. The instrument is regularly played at weddings, get-togethers, and religious ceremonies at times joined by the percussion instrument the hosho. 

A wooden mbira was first made around 3,000 years prior, however, mbiras with metal tines showed up in the Zambezi river valley approximately 1,300 years back. The instrument got known outside of Africa around the 1950s.

mbira google doodle
Credit: Google

What is the difference between a kalimba and a mbira?

Mbira and Kalimba are regularly utilized reciprocally to describe a mbira or a kalimba. There are a couple of inconspicuous contrasts between the Kalimba and the mbira, a double row of keys for the mbira, and a single row of keys on the Kalimba.

There is a significant distinction between the instruments’ scales.

What is the mbira made of?

The mbira is an instrument from the Eastern and Southern Africa continent. It is played with finger and thumb so sometimes called ‘thumb piano.’ It consists of 22 to 28 metal keys attached to a hardwood soundboard (called gwariva).

In the past, it is made of iron ore smelted from rocks, but nowadays, it is made of recycled materials such as car spokes, cans, or sofa springs. Other recycled items are attached to create buzzing sounds, such as bottle caps, shells, and beads.

Credit: GoogleDoodles (Youtube)

What is another name for the mbira?

Mbira is also called:

  1. Mbila Sansa
  2. Kilembe
  3. Likembe
  4. Timbrh
  5. Thumb Piano

How old is the mbira?

Well, there are two versions of the mbira in the past. The first one is made about 3000 years old made with wood or bamboo-tined instrument. And the second one is made about 1300 years old with metal-tined lamellophones.

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