11   The Twang & Roar Kalimba

The kalimba, or thumb piano, has a sweet, harmonically complex music-box voice—when you think “generic African music” you are likely imagining lots of hand drums and a kalimba. Despite being so immediately recognizable, this instrument is really distinguished by its diversity: it has a dozen names throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and it has been crafted from every material imaginable—from scrapyard remnants to now extinct hardwoods, with countless idiosyncratic tunings. The Twang & Roar Kalimba is made from common materials and has a Westernized tuning that’s easy to improvise on, and with the addition of just two extra tines, it’s ready to play lots of familiar folk tunes—a mod discussed in detail in “Expand Your ...

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