Rosewood 8 key thumb piano, 3″ x 5″, 8 metal keys. The 8 key thumb piano originates in Africa. It is also known as the mbira, kalimba or likembe. The metal keys are mounted on a wooden box that acts as the resonating chamber. Longer keys have lower pitches and shorter keys have higher pitches. So, The keys can be adjusted by tapping them in or out to adjust their pitch. Many different tunings are acceptable, according to personal preference. Similar tuning is only an issue when two instruments are played together; then they should generally agree in tuning.
Originating in Africa, the thumb piano is also known as the “mbira” or “likembe” and in the 1920’s Dr. Hugh Tracey gave them the name most westerners recognize, the “kalimba.”
Lastly, The 8 key thumb piano’s metal keys are mounted on a wooden platform that acts as the resonating chamber. The longer keys have lower pitches and the shorter keys have higher pitches.