• The Traditional Mbira on Stage: A Study of Contemporary Performance Practices

      Sturman, Janet L.; Pickard, Mackenzie Erin; Sturman, Janet L.; Rosenblatt, Jay; d'Almeida, Irene (The University of Arizona., 2010)
      This thesis explores the challenges (visual, aural, ethical, and spiritual) performers face when playing mbira dzavadzimu, a traditional Zimbabwean musical lamellophone, in a contemporary concert stage setting. In addition to examining historical, philosophical, and theoretical issues regarding changing performance practice and staging techniques in different contexts, the document includes analyses of mbira performances from internet video postings and documentary films. Analysis draws upon the personal testimonies of Zimbabwean musicians and involves the critique and application of theoretical perspectives of Adrienne Kaeppler, Richard Schechner, and Erving Goffman, among others. Results indicate that experimenting with stage set-up, utilizing technological enhancement, and encouraging audience-performer relationships creates an experience that is closer to that found in Zimbabwean mbira performances.