African Marimba

The African marimba is an intricately crafted wooden xylophone that has become popular in Zimbabwe and South Africa since musicians introduced it to the region in the 1960s. Let South African ethnomusicologist Andrew Tracey, son of pioneering British ethnomusicologist and African song-cataloger Hugh Tracey, explain how musicians introduced the marimba into Zimbabwe in the 1960s because it was an instrument that could replicate traditional melodies but didn’t have a history in the region that one ethnic group could claim over another: “How the Southern African Marimbas Came into Existence.

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