What is Marimba Music?
Marimba music is a fun, uplifting style from Southern Africa. The marimba is a large wooden xylophone, commonly played in an ensemble of at least 5 instruments. Most of the repertoire played on marimba comes from the country of Zimbabwe, and some of the songs are centuries old or even older. Many originally came from another Zimbabwean instrument called the mbira (“thumb piano”), which is believed to have an even longer history. Today, marimba music has spread worldwide, and is popular in the US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Sweden, Zimbabwe, and many other countries.
Benefits of Playing Marimba
Most marimba songs are easy to pick up, yet have depth and complexity that can take a lifetime to master. When a group of simple melodies are put together like puzzle pieces, the result is something greater than the sum of its parts. Marimba music combines danceable rhythms, catchy melodies, rich harmonies, and complex polyrhythms into one whole, making it an ideal way to explore many facets of the musical arts.
All classes at Jekesa Studio are taught through African-style oral tradition (learning by ear); as students gain experience, they also learn how to improvise and create their own variations. Besides playing Zimbabwean songs, students end up with a solid foundation for almost any style of music!
- Music Fundamentals
- Marimba Playing Technique
- Traditional Song Repertoire
- Playing by Ear
- Cultural Context of Zimbabwean Music
- Variations & Improvisation
- Teamwork & Cooperation
- Performance Skills & Stage Presence
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