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mbira compositions that are often performed in large mbira ensembles. Such ensembles may include the unifying rhythm of the hosho (gourd rattle), low-pitched
ostinati performed by the mahon’era, and perhaps drums. Singing is integrated into
the composed parts and variations. A high-pitched yodeling style called huro intensifies the music. Kudeketera, a rapidly executed declamatory style, introduces poetry
reflecting various aspects of Shona life and history.
Vertical wooden or bamboo flutes, whistles, mirlitons (a kazoo-like instrument),
transverse trumpets and horns of ivory (frequently with raised embouchures), and ocarinas are included in the aerophone category of African instruments. In Sub-Saharan
Africa ensembles of five or more flutes or horns are typically found performing music
in hocket. Wind instruments also include nose flutes, end-blown trumpets, transverse
Thumb pianos (kalimba and mbira) (Photo by Alissa Roedig).
Traditional African Music • 45