African musical instrument consisting of a set of tuned metal or bamboo tongues attached to a board or resonator. The tongues are depressed and released with the thumbs and fingers to produce melodies and song accompaniments. The mbira dates to at least the 16th century in Africa, and it was imported to Latin America by slaves.

Variants of MBIRA

mbira or thumb piano

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on mbira, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up mbira? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.