A musical instrument of African
origin, also known as the lamellaphone
, likembe, sansa, mbira, thumb piano or finger harp. A traditional
kalimba is made from a gourd
tines. The modern kalimba consists of a wooden soundboard
with a number of metal tines
attached to one end. Depressing and releasing (not plucking
) each of the tines produces a distinct tone. It's probably closest to the xylophone
in terms of sound, but it definitely has its own distinct sound.
The kalimba has been around in one form or another since at least 1586. Its introduction to Latin America by African slaves gave rise to the marimba.