The evolution of music recording technologies in Zimbabwe


  • Weston Chimbudzi Midlands State University
  • Richard Muranda Midlands State University
  • Wonder Maguraushe Midlands State University


analogue, digital, home studio, musician, pro-studio, MIDI, record industry


Music recording technology has undergone a paradigm shift in the Zimbabwe record industry. There has been a transition from the use of analogue to digital recording technology. The study borrows the Technological Determinism theory to explore the evolution from analogue to digital of the record industry. Analogue technology was used from 1956 to the 1990s and songs were recorded on a reel and stored on vinyl discs. Later the compact disc (CD) storage was introduced. After the CD files began to be shared as soft copies from recording studios to consumers. Recording studios in Zimbabwe have embraced digital technology as music is created and distributed in the digital realm. We deployed a qualitative methodology to purposively gather data from record producers, studio owners and musicians to analyse changes in the Zimbabwe record industry. Technological complexity, sophistication dexterity, innovativeness and knowledgeability of producers now determines the quality of music productions. In this article, we explore the shifting of recording processes from analogue to digital in Zimbabwean studios. The study reveals that technological developments directly impact the modus operandi and determine the relevance and business viability of the Zimbabwean music recording landscape.

Author Biographies

Weston Chimbudzi, Midlands State University

Weston Chimbudzi is a music educator whose interest in music performance, technology, and African music is highly motivated by his immersion in the field. He is an experienced performer of guitar (bass, lead, and rhythm) as well as other African instruments including Nyunga nyunga and Nhare mbira. Weston Chimbudzi is a holder of a First-class Honours degree in Music and Musicology attained at MSU in 2016. Currently, he is an assistant lecturer at MSU Music Department, a position he has held for three years. His experience in the music business dates back to some twenty years ago when he joined the Police Band. It is during this period when he first participated in a recording session at the Grammar records. From then on, he has occasionally taken part doing music recording projects, apart from live performances. He takes classes in music especially theory of music and performance practice modules. Music performance has connected him with numerous players in the fraternity who range from performers, producers, engineers, promoters, television and radio presenters among others.


Richard Muranda, Midlands State University

Richard Muranda holds a BA. Ed. Music (AU), BMus. Hons. Music Technology and MMus. Music Technology from UP. He attained his PhD in 2017. His combined experience of teaching music spans 28 years to cover primary, and secondary schools, teachers’ colleges, and universities. For the past 18 years, he has been a lecturer in the Department of Music Business, Musicology and Technology at Midlands State University (MSU). Research interests are in the instruction of music, audio recording, Live sound,  Acoustics, Music performance, Digital MIDI, Music Technology for Early Childhood Education. Dr R. Muranda is a member of the Audio Engineering Society of Zimbabwe (AESZ). International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA). He has presented papers at conferences and seminars at the (CIMCIM) in Wuhan Shanghai China 2018, Pan African Society of Musical Arts Education (PASMAE) 2016 Cape Town, (PASMAE) 2014 Witbank, University of South Africa Research Seminar 2013, (ISME) in Greece 2012, (IASPM) in 2011 at Rhodes University, Music workshop organised by University of Pretoria Centurion RSA 2010, Jyvaskyla University in Finland 2009, North South-South cooperation at University of Botswana 2008. 

Wonder Maguraushe, Midlands State University

Wonder Maguraushe holds a PhD in Musicology from the University of South Africa. He teaches courses in Popular Music Studies, Ethnomusicology & Music Library, and Archiving at the MSU’s Music Department in Zimbabwe. His research interests are in popular music, marimba & music library, and archiving. He holds a Master’s and Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Zimbabwe. He has presented papers at conferences in Wuhan, Shanghai, Durban, Pretoria, Accra, Victoria Falls, and Harare on music archiving. He has eight publications in refereed journals, and one in the CIMCIM Bulletin. Wonder is also a mbira performer with Zvirimudeze Mbira Ensemble, and the founder of Gweru-based Marimba band Rimba Resonance Vibes. Currently, he is the Chairperson of the Department of Music Business, Musicology and Technology.