Sympathetic Resonances

A free online platform for documenting, learning, and exploring mbira music

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Interactive transcriptions

Edit, play back, and watch mbira scores in your web browser:

Score playback is synthesized from sampled instruments.

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Tuning repository

Currently, 75+ tunings of seven mbira types are available.

Instrument Gallery »

Explore the wonderful diversity of historical and contemporary scales, and use them for tuning your own instruments.

Example tuning »

Archives accessible

In 2017, we started a project at the International Library of African Music (ILAM) to make the great variety of mbiras and tunings in the Tracey Instrument Collection, as well as Andrew Tracey's extensive personal archive of transcriptions audible and accessible to the world.
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This site also hosts transcriptions from a number of academic publications, making those more approachable to non-scholars.

Your personal library

Sign up to access all public content, and to start a personal archive of transcriptions. It is, and will always be, free of charge.

Everything you create is private, unless you decide to share it with other individuals or groups.

As of today, about 350 registered users have created more than 900 transcription records (100+ being public).

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Learning & Inspiration

The public material provides a starting point for learning the traditional repertoire.

Use the computer-generated playback and instrument visualization for rehearsal at any tempo, and for practicing the intricate interlocking between multiple parts.

As an advanced player, get inspiration from a number of musical tools: Transpose and transform pieces, translate them across instrument types, quickly create variations or compose new harmonic progressions.

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Purpose & Values

This project wants to contribute to the preservation (and expansion) of diversity of mbira music, with a special focus on marginalized traditional instrument types.
It does so by employing digital technology to make knowledge as accessible as possible, and to connect people. Approaching cultural heritage sensitively and sensibly, it maintains a long-term perspective - considering the next generations of players as well as the economic basis of culture bearers who teach their knowledge in the present.