Kalimba 17 Keys Thumb Piano – With Hard Case – Extra Kalimba Bag – Mahogany Wood – Musical Instrument – Tuning Hammer and Special Box
Different types of idiophones and lamellaphones have been present in Africa for thousands of years. The slats were originally made of bamboo, then metal keys were developed. The mbira seems to have been invented twice in Africa: a wooden or bamboo instrument appeared on the west coast around 3000 years ago, and metal lamellophones are designed in the Zambezi valley around 1300 years ago. The latter traveled across the continent, becoming popular among the Shona of Zimbabwe (where the word Thump Piano comes from) and other ethnic groups in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Mbira differentiated in its physical form and social uses as it spread. Kalimba-type instruments are found from North Africa to the southern expanse of the Kalahari Desert and from the east coast to the west coast, although many African ethnicities ignore it in their instrumentarium.
In the mid-1950s, the mbira served as the basis for the development of the kalimba, a westernized version designed and marketed by ethnomusicologist Hugh Tracey, resulting in a dramatic expansion of its distribution outside of the original continent.
Unlike string or wind instruments, the note of a strip is inharmonic, giving the mbira a characteristic timbre.
The blades of most mbira are arranged with the notes descending from the center outwards in an alternating right-left of the scale. When a blade is plucked / rubbed, the adjacent ones also vibrate, and these secondary harmonizing vibrations play a role similar to the harmonics of a string instrument, thus increasing the harmonic complexity of an individual note.
The resonance chamber is sometimes pierced with a rosette in the center of the soundboard, or even on the back to be closed by the fingers and give a wah-wah effect. It can also be amplified by another body, made in particular of a calabash, or receive bottle caps which accentuate the effect of metallic vibrato. kalimba thumb piano