Chopi Timbila

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The Chopi communities live mainly in the southern part of Inhambane province in southern Mozambique and are famous for their orchestra music. Their orchestras consist of five to thirty wooden xylophones, called timbila, of varying sizes and ranges of pitch. The timbila are finely manufactured and tuned wooden instruments made from the highly resonant wood of the slow-growing mwenje (sneezewort) tree. Under each wooden slat, a resonator made out of calabashes is fastened, tightly sealed with beeswax, and tempered with the oil of the nkuso fruit, giving the timbila their rich nasal sound and characteristic vibrations. The orchestras are composed of timbila masters and apprentices of all age groups, with children playing next to their grandfathers.

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The Chopi communities live mainly in the southern part of Inhambane province in southern Mozambique and are famous for their orchestra music. Their orchestras consist of five to thirty wooden xylophones, called timbila, of varying sizes and ranges of pitch. The timbila are finely manufactured and tuned wooden instruments...

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