Gearbox Records release ‘Understanding the Balance with Abdullah Ibrahim’

Gearbox presents ‘Understanding ‘The Balance’ with Abdullah Ibrahima one-off online masterclass with pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim

  • 10 segments, each 2 minutes long
  • Available on Vimeo with password access
  • Password and link will be received within 24hrs of purchase
  • Each lesson is transcribed in the description below the video

Watch the introductory clip:

The sound of Abdullah Ibrahim is almost impossible to put into words. The pianist’s upbringing in 1930s/40s Cape Town exposed him to a melting pot of cultural influences: African Khoi-san songs, Christian hymns, gospel tunes and spirituals, as well as American jazz, township jive, and classical music. Out of this blend of the secular and religious, and the traditional and the modern, Abdullah’s distinctive sound and musical vocabulary was born. His compositions have become iconic, with his famous tune ‘Mannenberg’ now known as the unofficial national anthem of South Africa.

Under the current limitations of the pandemic, the master pianist and composer has been unable share his music with the world as he has been doing for the past 60 years. But, ever-active, he has decided to share the song structure of one of his pieces, ‘The Balance’, for those interested in learning his compositional techniques through the piano.

Lesson Plan

Pt. 1 – Introduction
Pt. 2 – The Key of F
Pt. 3 – The Keys of F and G ♭
Pt. 4 – The Keys of F and D ♭
Pt. 5 – The Bridge
Pt. 6 – The Tag
Pt. 7 – Sections A & B
Pt. 8 – The Bridge
Pt. 9 – Recap
Pt. 10 – Recap and Breakdown