Kalimba? An article to give you a thorough understanding of Kalimba thumb piano | GECKO

Kalimba, also known as the thumb piano, is an African musical instrument, a plucked type of body-sounding instrument, which is quite common in sub-Saharan Africa.

Kalimba, Mbira, Kaffir piano, etc. are individual body-sounding instruments, specifically a kind of percussion instrument.


GECKO thumb piano
Kalimba is the name of this musical instrument in Kenya, but in Zimbabwe, it is called Mbira, the Congolese call it Likembe, and it also has names such as Sanza and Thumb Piano.
It is also called the thumb piano mainly because the thin slices (mainly made of wood, bamboo, and metal in modern development) are used to pluck the piano body with the thumb.

The origin and changes of Kalimba Kalimba originated in Africa. More than 3000 years ago, the earliest Kalimba in West Africa was made and used from bamboo or trees. The use of iron bars began to appear in the Zambezi river valley more than 1,000 years ago.

It is said that the music played by this instrument can not only drive away evil spirits from the patient but also play a role in praying for rain. Therefore, it is one of the most popular musical instruments in Zimbabwe.

The structure and material of Kalimba Kalimba are made by fixing metal sheets of different lengths on wooden boards. Adjusting the metal pieces of different lengths can tune the tone of the instrument.

The longest piece of metal is usually placed in the middle of the instrument, and the shorter piece of metal (higher pitch) is placed on both sides in order of length. The most common use is to pick up the thumb piano with both hands and play simultaneously or alternately with both thumbs.

The sounding body of the thumb piano is composed of elastic metal strips of different lengths on the top, and wood or gourd melon is used as the resonance box on the bottom.

In the past, the raw materials of these metal bars were only metals melted in ore, but now they are made of higher-quality steel. Thumb pianos come in many different shapes and the number of steel bars is also different.


GECKO thumb piano
Kalimba’s music use scenes Kalimba is a body-sounding instrument in the types of musical instruments-stringed instruments, wind-sounding instruments, skin-sounding instruments, and body-sounding instruments.

The main purpose of Kalimba is to accompany singing, and the thumb piano is usually played in religious ceremonies or social events.

When playing, you need to hold the piano in both hands and play with your two thumbs. When the thumb is pressed and released, the steel sheet will vibrate and make a sound.

Some thumb pianos will be equipped with objects such as shells or soda bottle caps so that they can make some "hissing" sounds at the same time when playing, or they can be swayed halfway on the table to give an echo-like whirling effect, or It is like the sound of a tambourine metal plate shaking, which makes the sound effect more abundant.

The thumb piano is small and easy to carry. When sunset or dusk, people gather in a circle and use it to accompany singing or storytelling. When some natives walk long distances, they will also carry it to spend time along the way.
A song, an instrument, feel the music brings you happiness!


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Post time: Jul-15-2021
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