It is played while in a halved Calabash which amplifies the sound and distorts it using shells or bottle caps placed around the edges. Placing the mbira inside a large gourd allows it to be heard in large groups and brings out the mbira’s full tone. The Mbira is frequently played at religious ceremonies and social gatherings called mabira . The local Shona people use this instrument as a means to communicate with ancestral spirits. Everywhere I saw marimbas-large wooden xylophones played with mallets. A marimba ensemble has four different sizes of marimba: soprano, tenor, baritone and bass, plus hand rattles and vocals.
Loved this impromptu jamming which happened at the Mbare Township Curio Market.. This Marimba Emsemble led by David Tapfuma played at the 6th edition of the SANGANAI Travel and Tourism Fair in Harare. I also saw Hoshos being shaken vigorously: they are usually made from a pumpkin gourd. A hole is made in the gourd, its seeds are emptied out, then are filled with dried seed or pebbles, and the hole is plugged. Hoshos can be played in pairs, one in each hand, or tied to the arms or ankles of a dancer.
The ngoma is the African drum. It is the most widespread and traditional of all instruments. Every tribe has its own word for ‘drum’ and most have made them for many centuries. The barrel of the ngoma is often made from a hollowed tree trunk. The top of the trunk, is covered with animal skin that has been stretched while it is wet.