By the way, the mbira, or kalimba, was originally an African folk instrument made by a blacksmith hammering iron nails into thinner flexible tines which were then mounted on a resonating wooden chamber and plucked with the thumbs.
The mbira is often referred to as the "thumb piano". It is my understanding that "kalimba" was at one time a trade name for a company that made mbiras, and today some people still refer to any mbira as a "kalimba".
In the modern ones I have seen in the USA, typically the metal tines are tuned to a diatonic scale.
I know of a company in the USA, Colorado Soundscapes, which has refined the mbira design to a great degree. Their mbiras have precision tuning mechanisms for each key, and a built-in pickup in the body so you can easily amplify the instrument and also run its output through guitar effects pedals and the like.
Last edited by Wheat Williams (13-03-2017 21:13)
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