(NØ) loves to tell stories, you know it… With images, words, drawings but also in music… And humming with… Thumbs… Hmm… What a whimsical idea ! But, yes, you can do it using this little music instrument that you can almost carry in the pocket !

This “thumb piano” can be called by different names depending on where you are, known as Mbira or Kalimba in Europe,  in Cameroon it is called Sanza, in Uganda they call it Kalimba and in Congo you would play the Likembe. As you figured out, this little wonder comes from Africa.

Thumbs Piano Mbira with wooden board and attached staggered metal tines It is composed of a wooden board used as a soundbox with attached staggered metal tines, the number of tines varying depending on the instrument type and the way it can be tuned.

Plucking the tines with the thumbs will make the music…

View from top Thumbs Piano Sanza music instrument This instrument is typically used by the griots, the repository of the oral tradition in western Africa, he is a storyteller, societal and educated leader of knowledge, history, poetry.

Photo of a Kalimba Hokema for playing music with thumbs You would like to hear the sound of it  ? Here is a very melodic and sweet sound… Youn Sun Nah…

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