The Traditional Mbira on Stage: A Study of Contemporary Performance Practices
AuthorPickard, Mackenzie Erin
AdvisorSturman, Janet L.
Committee ChairSturman, Janet L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis 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.