Nationalists, Cosmopolitans, and Popular Music in Zimbabwe

Thomas Turino



Hailed as a national hero and musical revolutionary, Thomas Mapfumo, along with other Zimbabwean artists, burst onto the international music scene in the 1980s with a unique style that combined electric guitar with indigenous Shona music and instruments. The development of this music from its roots in the early Rhodesian era to the present and the ways this and other styles articulated with Zimbabwean nationalism is the focus of Thomas Turino's new study.


[Turino] examines the emergence of cosmopolitan culture among the black middle class and how this gave rise to a variety of urban-popular styles modeled on influences ranging from the Mills Brothers to Elvis.


Thomas Turino is an American ethnomusicologist and author of several popular textbooks in the field: most notably the popular introductory book Music as Social Life: The Politics of Participation.