Definition of thumb piano in English:

thumb piano


  • Any of various musical instruments, mainly of African origin, made from strips of metal fastened to a resonator and played by plucking with the fingers and thumbs.

    Also called kalimba, mbira, or sansa
    • ‘Drums are a common instrument, as are wooden xylophones; bow harps; zithers; and the sanza, a small thumb piano fashioned from bamboo.’
    • ‘It is called ‘The Signet’ - a sort of giant thumb piano + that resonates through a desized 44 gallon drum.’
    • ‘Dance, accompanied by the drum, xylo-phone, or thumb piano, plays an important cultural role in Zambia.’
    • ‘Traditional instruments, such as the thumb piano and various drums, are often used to accompany singers and dancers.’
    • ‘This instrument, the thumb piano, is the backbone of the musical culture of the Bantu Shona people.’
    • ‘After toying with the African thumb piano, however, Ezell was once again, ‘infused with creative energy.’’
    • ‘Burundian craftsmen make fine instruments such as the thumb piano (ikembe).’
    • ‘A must for international roots fans, the veteran musician plays her own uplifting pieces on the Mbira thumb piano.’
    • ‘One of the most engaging tracks is Mama, with its compelling thumb piano line, high life guitar, and mesmerising vocal chants.’
    • ‘Fabio is a master of the traditional 22-key Mbira thumb piano, and his mix of east and north African tribal rhythms is truly mesmerising.’
    • ‘The primary instruments are drums but lutes, woodwinds, and thumb pianos are also used.’
    • ‘These dances are very lively and use the traditional instruments of drums, an instrument similar to a xylophone, and a thumb piano.’
    • ‘Gone are the days when world music meant nose flutes and thumb pianos.’
    • ‘The opening orchestration evokes for me the sound of the African thumb piano, although one of symphonic size.’
    • ‘When this sound duets with a real or imaginary thumb piano as the track comes to a close, another aesthetic plateau is reached and the music's place in time becomes fuzzy.’
    • ‘Though it still makes liberal use of the massive sound of the ngoma, Tandala departs from heavy rhythm on some tracks for the softer sounds of a simple thumb piano and vocals.’
    • ‘Rod made an industrial version of the African thumb piano, constructed from a 44-gallon plastic drum.’
    • ‘The traditional mbira - or thumb piano - became the primary weapon in a culture war against the white colonial Government of Rhodesia.’
    • ‘The textures emanating from that box are also hard to put into words, like a delayed thumb piano, perhaps?’
    • ‘The artist also has a long-standing interest in traditional Igbo poet-singers, or minstrels, who accompany themselves on the ubo - the Igbo-style mbira, or thumb piano.’


thumb piano