Google celebrates Zimbabwe's national instrument, the mbira, with Doodle
UPI News Service, 05/21/2020
Google is celebrating Zimbabwe's national instrument, the mbira, with a new Doodle as Zimbabwe's Culture Week begins.
The mbira originated in Southern Africa and serves as the cultural identity of Zimbabwe's Shona people.
The instrument is made of a hardwood soundboard known as a gwariva and a series of thin, metal keys. Bootle caps or beads can be added to the soundboard to create a buzzing sound.
The mbira is used in a number of Shona ceremonies and has helped to pass down songs for hundreds of years.
Google's homepage features an illustration of the instrument alongside the company's logo and a play button.
Pressing the button will allow users to play a music game using the mbira. Players are challenged to use their mouse and hover over the right metal key at the right time.
The game also tells the story of a young girl in Zimbabwe who grows up fascinated by the mbira and grows up to perform the instrument onstage during a concert.
Google also released a behind-the-scenes video showcasing the creation of the Doodle and the research that went on in Zimbabwe.
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"I think anyone who has had more than five minutes with Zimbabwean mbira cannot forget the sound. To me, it's a cross between water and air," Albert Chimedza, musician and founder of The Mbira Centre said in the clip.
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