A thumb piano is a musical instrument that belongs to the category of idiophones lamellofonen. The instrument is widely used in Central Africa. The tones are produced through the aantokkelen with the thumbs of metal tongues which are mounted on a sound box, hence the name "thumb piano". African names for the thumb piano include mbira, likembe, kalimba, tshisaji, Ikembe, kasayi, Sansa and akadongo k'abaluru. When Shona, the thumb piano called mbira there, an important cultural significance. The Cuban marimbula's kind baskalimba. A familiar thumb piano player Maurice White (Earth, Wind and Fire). White named his production company Kalimba, named after the thumb piano. The thumb piano usually consists of a series of iron tongues (lamellae), which are made to vibrate with the fingers. These tongues are mounted on the soundboard. For the metal tongues are used in the absence of suitable material often steal spoons or beaten flat spokes of a bicycle wheel. Their number varies between 8 and 24. The tongues are divided into two groups, in which each hand has approximately over the entire ambitus; the tones to be used does not put in one series of rising tone heights, but is divided into two more or less parallel groups. The tongues are fixedly put by three transverse ridges, of which the two outer bearing surfaces, and the middle of the slats, and so pushes downwardly move clamp. Another contributing sound element are the rings that are provided between the combs around the tongues. Depending of the used scale to the sounding portion of the tongues is made longer or shorter in order to obtain a different pitch. Usually a anhemitonische pentatonic scale is used. This varies from performer to performer. Some instruments have several rows of blades. The sound box can vary in form and material: a hollow rectangular block, a hollowed gourd or even the shell of a turtle. Frequently used is a 15 to 20 centimeter piece hemisphere bamboo which is closed at the end faces with half-round pieces of wood. Also, cabinets of wood occur. In addition, as much as half a gourd resonator used where the instrument is placed. Often made some sound holes in the sound box, which can alter the timbre of the instrument by its cover. The songs, accompanied by the thumb piano, either sung stories with entertaining character, hymns about authorities or expressions of personal feelings. Are sometimes historical and traditional themes sung. Melodic given the thumb piano doubles the vocal line, but it can also occur in imitation of the melody. There is always an instrumental preliminary, intermediate and epilogue without vocals.