New Instrument! The Kalimba

  • Laura Teutsch
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I recently added two new instruments to my collection, I would like to introduce them both to you in their own blog posts.  The first is the kalimba.

The kalimba is a westernized descendent of a traditional African instrument.  It is sometimes also referred to as a thumb piano, due to the predominant use of the thumbs to pluck the tines.  The kalimba’s tines are carefully tuned to a specific scale (in my case, C major), alternating each note between the left and right sides of the central lowest note.  This layout offers ease of playing scalar passages and octave harmonies.

The kalimba’s sound is soft but resonant, offering a bell-like quality that creates space for reflection, exploration, or meditation.  Sometimes, when a client has difficulty telling me how they are feeling, I instruct them to “make the music sound how your feelings feel”.  Having a wide selection of instruments with different types of sounds makes it easier for clients to accurately depict how they are feeling.  The kalimba will be a wonderful addition to my instrument collection and I look forward to hearing all the music that my clients will create with it.