That would be ridiculous.
No, this Chopi is the language also called Copi, Tschopi, Txopi, Txopi, Shicopi and Txitxopi...
Chopi is a tonal language, part of the Bantu family, and I came across it the other day when I was ranting about xylophones. The traditional Chopi xylophone, the mbila, has as its plural form timbila, and as I'm a sucker for an exotic plural I had to find out more.
It turns out that timbila are very often found in the plural, because a typical ensemble consists of about ten timbila, which comes in four sizes. A timbila ensemble play dances, and they also play what we'd call a suite (an ngomi) of ten movements.
The ensemble leader creates lyrics, and will create a melody that's partly based on the tones of the Chopi language.
Isn't that a fantastic way of composing?
As well as the main melody there'll be another in counterpoint, as well as a lot of improvisation.
As for the Chopi language...
...it's written in Latin script. Only ten per cent of its speakers can read it.
And that's all I can find out about Chopi. Absolutely everything.
Still, I did find some mbila music, and half way through there's some singing, and at the end there's some laughter and chat.
Is this in Chopi?
I wish I knew.
Because surely in this language another great treasure of the world is lying too much neglected.
Nuts and Bolts: Chopi. As far as I can discover no one has the faintest idea where the name of this language came from.