Originating in Africa, the thumbdrum has made its way throughout the world. Known also as a sansa, kalimba, and thumb piano, it is being used in ritualistic music and in recording studios world wide. Closely related to the mbira, another traditional African instrument, it is played by plucking the tines, or keys, with thumbs or fingers.
The name kalimba is a Bantu word which means “little music”, and is similar to the word karimba, a type of mbira. In addition to being a serious musical instrument, the Thumbdrum, or kalimba, is perfect for play and experimentation. Sturdy enough for children, it is a welcome addition to the standard percussion instruments normally available. The thumb piano is simple to play and has an appealing marimba-like sound. Accurately tuned with an accompanying songbook, it allows adults and children alike to explore music for themselves in new ways.