• African Drums

African Music Ensemble

The CSUN African Music Ensemble is designed for both music majors and non-music majors with no previous experience. In the ensemble, we play music from the Shona people of Zimbabwe and the Ewe people of Ghana. Most of this music is centuries-old and has been passed down by oral tradition from generation to generation.

The instruments used in this ensemble consist of Shona-style marimbas from Zimbabwe and traditional Ewe drums from Ghana. The marimbas play music that is based on the Shona mbira dzavadzimu, a hand-held instrument with 22-28 metal keys. Mbira music is used for calling ancestral spirits and dance. The Ewe people use drums for celebrations, important functions, and dance.

Students learn background of the music, performance practices and parts to several pieces leading to performances on and off cam