The Mbira is an ancient African instrument consisting of hand forged metal keys mounted over a bridge on a hardwood sound-board. Typically, an external buzzing mechanism shells or bottle-caps fixed to the soundboard adds complexity to the instrument's sound. The Mbira is played as a solo instrument with vocal accompaniment, but it can also be played in small ensembles of two or three accompanied by hosho, a traditional gourd rattle.
In Zimbabwe, there are several types of Mbira, ranging in numbers of keys from eight to fifty-two. The type represented here is the Mbira Nyunga Nyunga (Shona Language for "Sparkle Sparkle"). The sound-board is made of maple and the keys are hand forged from piano-wire. The instrument is tuned in a traditional tuning system based on an F major scale.