Native to Central Africa, the Sanza (or "kalimba" or "thumb piano") is a melodic instrument much played by story ...
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Native to Central Africa, the Sanza (or "kalimba" or "thumb piano") is a melodic instrument much played by story tellers and musicians fond of entrancing sounds.
Thumb pianos exist in various forms, using different scales and modes for their key-tuning, different materials (metal, wood...) for their construction.
Usually, a sanza player holds his/her instrument with both hands, plucking the keys (metal or wooden blades) with the tip of his/her thumbs. Some models, like this one, have to be laid down on a flat surface (a table or any other piece of furniture) to amplify its sound.
There are several types of sanzas : a "soundbox sanza" has a large opening on the upper board and two smaller soundholes on its lower part, in order to produce a distinctive "wah wah" modulation effect (see present model), while other types have their key rack fixed to a solid soundboard, or to a tight piece of animal skin (Sanzula)
This particular model is handmade in Germany (Hokema), with a low-pitched, precise tuning; it is suitable to play along with any kind of instrument (not just African). Solid Mahogany body, very fine workmanship (strips, board)
Height: 22 mm.
Length: 117 mm.
NB: Tuning is adjustable by re-positioning the blades (keys) forwards or backwards.