Kalimba: characteristics, price, and history of the ethnic musical instrument


Kalimba is an African-born musical instrument. It is a simple musical instrument with a bar attached to a wooden box and is said to have been born in Zimbabwe. Make a sound as if you were playing with the thumbs of both your right and left hands. Kalimba has a very long history and can be traced back to 3000 years ago. It is said that the player / listener has a “healing effect” and a “meditation effect”. It is said to be a very modest musical instrument, and appears in folk music, television, and movie music.


This instrument was born in Zimbabwe.

About the price

Kalimba costs from tens of thousands of yen to hundreds of thousands of yen. The body is made of metal and is a keyboard-like instrument. The store also sells sheet music and has a lot of information. This instrument is often played in concert with things like the ukulele. It has many scales, comes in a variety of shapes, and is often used as a drum. Recommended purchase.

History of kalimba

In Africa, Kalimba has a very long history, dating back to 3000 years ago. There are more than 100 traditional African thumb pianos, as well as Mbira, Kalimba, Sansa and Kalimba. The Shona people live in Zimbabwe, but they used kalimba during ceremonies and festivals. This type of African instrument first appeared in European literature at the end of the 16th century. In other words, Kalimba had already spread to various places 500 years ago. The music box, which was born in Switzerland in the 18th century, was inspired by the thumb piano, but in the Jesuit scholar Filippo Bonanni’s “Small Room of Harmony”, the name “Marimba de Caliph” is used. The piano is being introduced. The music box is likely to have its origin in kalimba.

Around 1970, a company called Hugh Tracey in South Africa succeeded in mass-producing very good quality kalimba. With mass production technology in place, the kalimba musical instrument quickly spread all over the world. And kalimba has become an instrument played all over the world, including Europe, America and South America.

Characteristics of kalimba

Basically, the structure is such that the sound is low in the center and high in the left and right edges. One end of an elongated metal piece is fixed to a wooden board, and the other side is flipped with a finger to make a sound. The structure is such that the sound played with your finger resonates and resonates. The characteristic of Kalimba’s tone is the afterglow. The disadvantage is that the volume is low because it is a small instrument. In modern times, it has been devised such as using equipment to amplify the volume. There are no rules regarding the material, number of keys, and arrangement of kalimba, and there are various types of kalimba in the world.

Kalimba song

Kalimba plays a very cute sound, so it goes very well with healing music. It is also widely used in the world of BGM such as television and movies.


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