Type: Chordophones > Idiochords > Bow > Mouth > Braced.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 311.121.12
Description: The chipendani is a plucked bow of the Shona and Ndebele peoples of Zimbabwe. It is a self-entertainment instrument once played by young boys herding cattle or as accompaniment for long foot journeys and as a courtship instrument. The chipendani is heard less and less today. Modern western popular music has caused a decline in the use and manufacture of the chipendani. It is now rarely found even in rural areas.
Construction: The chipendani bow is made from a single length of wood. At the centre of the bow, a handle is carved in a diameter that is close to the original stock of wood. From the handle to each end of the bow. The stock is reduced to two flat blades extending outwards on either side.
A metal wire is held in tension by tying it to each end of the flexed bow. One end of a short length of cotton cord is then tied to the wire at a point that divides the wire into two unequal segments. This chord functions as a sliding nut, by dividing the main playing string into two halves.
Citations: Bibliography: Paul F. Berliner, 1981. The Soul of Mbira—Music and Traditions of the Shona People of Zimbabwe. Chicago: University of Chicago Press ; H. Ellert. 1984 ~ The Material Culture of Zimbabwe. Harare: Longman Zimbabwe ; Jones, Claire 1992. Making Musical Musical Instruments of Zimbabwe Past and Present, Harare: Academic Books Zimbabwe ; Turino, Thomas. 1993 ; Earth and Spirit–Music of Zimbabwe – Cassette with liner notes. Record and Tape Promotions L4 VA 100 ; Kaemmer, John E. 1998. “Music of the Shona of Zimbabwe.” In The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music v.1. ed. Ruth M. Stone. New York: Garland Publishing, pp. 744-758 ; Kyker, Jennifer W 2007 Chipendani Music from Zimbabwe by Compound Muradzikwa. CD with liner notes. Hungwe Records 884502106251: Sayce, Katherine, ed. 1987. s.v. “Music, Traditional.” Encyclopedia Zimbabwe. Harare: Quest Publishing ; 2000. Nationalists, Cosmopolitans, and Popular Music in Zimbabwe. Chicago: University of Chicago Press ; Websites: Chipendani / Grinnell College Musical Instrument Collection ;