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The Soul of Mbira: Music and Traditions of the Shona People of Zimbabwe

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This sensitive, scholarly portrayal of Shona musicians and the African Musical tradition is highly engaging and comprehensive in its range of data. Paul Berliner provides the complete cultural context for the music and an intimate, precise account of the meaning of the instrument and its music. "Paul Berliner's The Soul of Mbira is probably the best ethnography ever written This sensitive, scholarly portrayal of Shona musicians and the African Musical tradition is highly engaging and comprehensive in its range of data. Paul Berliner provides the complete cultural context for the music and an intimate, precise account of the meaning of the instrument and its music. "Paul Berliner's The Soul of Mbira is probably the best ethnography ever written about an African musical tradition. It is a complete classic . . . . I know of no other instrument with the range of the mbira, and the book is equal to the instrument."—John Chernoff "[The Soul of Mbira] illustrates the fact that Shona mbira music in its beauty, subtlety, and virtuosity demands the same kind of respect that we might hold for any other classical music."—David Reck, Parabola "The book is a model of ethnomusicological thinking and investigation and it suggests a specific way of approaching a complex socio-musical system."—John Baily, Popular Music "When next someone asks 'What is ethnomusicology?' or 'What do ethnomusicologists do?' I shall suggest this book. . . . This is a landmark in ethnomusicological literature. Berliner succeeds in conveying both the joy that goes with mbira playing and the mystic relationship between the player and his instrument. In short, this is humanized ethnomusicology."—K.A. Gourlay, Ethnomusicology


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This sensitive, scholarly portrayal of Shona musicians and the African Musical tradition is highly engaging and comprehensive in its range of data. Paul Berliner provides the complete cultural context for the music and an intimate, precise account of the meaning of the instrument and its music. "Paul Berliner's The Soul of Mbira is probably the best ethnography ever written This sensitive, scholarly portrayal of Shona musicians and the African Musical tradition is highly engaging and comprehensive in its range of data. Paul Berliner provides the complete cultural context for the music and an intimate, precise account of the meaning of the instrument and its music. "Paul Berliner's The Soul of Mbira is probably the best ethnography ever written about an African musical tradition. It is a complete classic . . . . I know of no other instrument with the range of the mbira, and the book is equal to the instrument."—John Chernoff "[The Soul of Mbira] illustrates the fact that Shona mbira music in its beauty, subtlety, and virtuosity demands the same kind of respect that we might hold for any other classical music."—David Reck, Parabola "The book is a model of ethnomusicological thinking and investigation and it suggests a specific way of approaching a complex socio-musical system."—John Baily, Popular Music "When next someone asks 'What is ethnomusicology?' or 'What do ethnomusicologists do?' I shall suggest this book. . . . This is a landmark in ethnomusicological literature. Berliner succeeds in conveying both the joy that goes with mbira playing and the mystic relationship between the player and his instrument. In short, this is humanized ethnomusicology."—K.A. Gourlay, Ethnomusicology

30 review for The Soul of Mbira: Music and Traditions of the Shona People of Zimbabwe

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tyler

    A great ethnography with transparent methodology.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emma

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bryce

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jess

  5. 4 out of 5

    Matt

  6. 4 out of 5

    Justin

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  8. 4 out of 5

    Milena Ivanova

  9. 4 out of 5

    Brendan

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ann

  11. 4 out of 5

    Zara Watkiss

  12. 4 out of 5

    Louise A

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tony Dumas

  14. 5 out of 5

    Valmont Layne

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elliot Racine

  16. 4 out of 5

    Michael Balonek

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ethan

  18. 4 out of 5

    Motti Pikelny

  19. 4 out of 5

    S

  20. 5 out of 5

    Carla

  21. 4 out of 5

    Simón

  22. 5 out of 5

    Josh

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ferat

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sean

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tsitsi

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nikolos

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ludo

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jeanmarie Nielsen

  30. 4 out of 5

    aleph3

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