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Marovany and violin player

The marovany (formerly spelled marouvane[1]) is a suitcase shaped, wooden, type of box zither from Madagascar, used in Malagasy music.[2] It is strung on both sides with metal strings. The player plucks the strings with both hands, often with rapid alternation. This often creates complex rhythmic patterns, typical of Malagasy music.[3] It is tuned in sequences of thirds. The instrument is commonly used in rituals and spiritual gatherings.[4]

Cultural significance[edit]

The marovany and other instruments are used by Madagascar musical troupes at reburial ceremonies, where the music is believed to help a medium better enter a trance state during rituals which will only be successful if the correct type of music is being played.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ William Lines Hubbard, George W. Andrews, Edward Dickinson, Arthur Foote, Emil Liebling I. Squire, The American History and Encyclopedia of Musical Instruments (1908): 162.
  2. ^ "Glossary". Afropop Worldwide. World Music Productions. Archived from the original on 2009-10-15. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
  3. ^ Rakotomalala, Mireille. 1998. "Performance in Madagascar." In Africa: Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, edited by Ruth Stone. New York: Garland Publishing Inc., pp. 781-792.
  4. ^ "Madagascar." Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, 2007-2013. Web. 16 Sept. 2013.
  5. ^ Sibree, James (1896). Madagascar Before the Conquest. Macmillan. Retrieved 24 September 2013.

External links[edit]