Digital Drama: Teaching and Learning Art and Media in Tanzania

Mastering Marimba

Music class under mango tree

Master Musician Khalfan Matitu has worked as a tutor at BCA/TaSUBa since 1981. Mwalimu Matitu retired from the college in 2010, but is now engaged there as a consultant, tutoring students. Matitu is specialized in marimba (xylophone), a traditional instrument associated with his tribe wazaramo in the Coastal Region of Tanzania. He has very little formal education, but he is a very talented musician and skilled tutor. He does not read notes, but plays by ear. Since the mid-1990s, Matitu has been experimenting with a new genre of music, which he also teaches in class. He calls it muziki mchanganyiko (mixed music), a combination of traditional African and modern Western instruments. Matitu was also involved in the recording of the TRAMO CD, produced with assistance from the NOTA project, a collaborative program between TaSUBa, University of Stavanger and the Stavanger School of Culture. TRAMO stands for traditional and modern, thus exemplifying the mixed music genre. In Digital Drama, this genre is analyzed in terms of a traditional-modern music assemblage, the production and distribution of which illustrates the creole continuum of cultural digitization.

 


Photo 1: Mwalimu Matitu instructing students

 

 

Photo 2: No need for notes, numbers will do

 

Photo 3: Students practising, seated on tree trunks

 

Photo 4: Hands-on tutoring

 

Video 1: Traditional-modern music

 

Photo 5: Matitu on stage with Master Musicians Mbata and Digalo in 2009

 

Photo 6: Master Musician recorded in anthropologist's garden

 

Video 2: Mastering marimba

 

Photo 7: Matitu reviewing draft manuscript with author