Sansula Pygmy. 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 strips) with the tip of his/her thumbs. Some models can be laid down, on a flat surface, like this particular model.
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 onto a tight, drumhead-like piece of skin, like this particular model (see picture), called "Sanzula".
This model is handmade in Germany (Hokema), with impeccable tuning, following an original, unusual tuning pattern.
With its skin-like soundboard, you get long sustain from the instrument, which you can either handle free or lay down to get more modulation possibilities. Indeed, the player gets a wah-wah effect by lifting / pulling down the instrument on a flat surface.
The tips of the keys are bent down to give better playing comfort. The keys are pretty close to each other and allow great playing velocity.This model is quite special for its 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th keys are higher, which makes sliding from one key to another easier and quicker. This characteristic has a distinctive influence on the instrument's overall sound.
Audio Sample: Sansula pygmy
Find out all the Sansulas "special tuning" on our website!
- Sansula A Major / A-Dur
- Sansula minor 7 / Moll 7
- Sansula Ake Bono (japanese)
- Sansula Hijaz (oriental)
- Sansula Heavenly (blues)
- Sansula A minor (original)
NB: Tuning is adjustable by re-positioning the blades (keys) forwards or backwards. You can download the tuning instructions file on this page.
Height: 44 mm
Length: 198 mm