The African thumb piano is a musical instrument that is a type of plucked idiophone common throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.Thumb pianos traditionally consist of a wooden board to which metal tines of varying lengths are affixed. The longest tines are typically in the center, with shorter (and thus higher-pitched) tines arranged in ascending order towards both sides of the instrument. The lamellophone thumb piano or mbira, a popular instrument in the African Great Lakes. The traditional music of Africa, given the vastness of the continent, is historically ancient, rich and diverse, with different regions and nations of Africa having many distinct musical traditions. Music in Africa is very important when it comes to religion.
Just as African peoples adapted the kalimba to their own music, so did Hugh Tracey. He started building his own kalimbas in the late 1950s, using the western pick up a thumb piano and play. In addition to thousands of hours of sound recordings, Dr. Hugh Tracey also left us . The thumb piano is an instrument unique to Africa, with a sounding box that can be made of wood, reeds, gourds, turtle shells or another hollow or concave object. A popular use of the thumb piano is to accompany storytelling. The most common chants or a African thumb piano, sponsored by Ten Thousand Villages (free trade) I love thumb pianos.