The History of the Kalimba

HistoryEdit

A Zimbabwean mbira dza vadzimu

Various kinds of plucked idophones and lamellaphones have existed in Africa for thousands of years. The tines were originally made of bamboo but over the years metal keys have been developed. The mbira appears to have been invented twice in Africa: a wood or bamboo-tined instrument appeared on the west coast of Africa about 3000 years ago, and metal-tined lamellophones appeared in the Zambezi River valley around 1,300 years ago.[3] These metal-tined instruments traveled all across the continent and differentiated in their physical form and social uses as they spread. Kalimba-like instruments came to exist from the northern reaches of North Africa to the southern extent of the Kalahari Desert, and from the east coast to the west coast, though many or most groups of people in Africa did not possess mbiras. There were thousands of different tunings, different note layouts, and different instrument designs, but there is a hypothetical tuning and note layout of the original metal-tined instrument from 1,300 years ago.[citation needed]

In the mid 1950s the mbira was the basis for the development of the kalimba, a westernized version designed and marketed by the ethnomusicologist Hugh Tracey, leading to a great expansion of its distribution outside of Africa.

The HISTROY Of theDiddley bow

The diddley bow is a single-stringed American instrument which influenced the development of the blues sound. It consists of a single string of baling wire tensioned between two nails on a board over a glass bottle, which is used both as a bridge and as a means to magnify the instrument’s sound.

It was traditionally considered a starter or children’s instrument in the Deep South, especially in the African American community, and is rarely heard outside the rural South, but it may have been influenced to some degree by West African instruments.[1] Other nicknames for this instrument include “jitterbug” or “one-string”, while an ethnomusicologist would formally call it a “monochord zither“.

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