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The kalimba, a modern version of the African mbira, is an instrument that is small, cheap and easy to retune, and hence another good candidate as a gateway to microtonal music. Retuning is apparently common practice among the traditional mbira masters in Africa - see e.g. this article by Joe Monzo on the MakeMicroMusic yahoo forum.

Kalimbas used in microtonal music

Several members of the Yahoo tuning forums have used kalimbas for microtonal music:

There are YouTube videos of microtonal kalimba music:

Sevish has produced several tracks with microtonal kalimba:

Other microtonal kalimba/mbira references:

Array mbira

The array mbira is a xenharmonic instrument designed and built by Bill Wesley. Wesley's description:

The 1 - 29 harmonics are tuned into the 15 five octave courses on the players right, and the 1 - 29 subharmonics are tuned into the 15 octave courses on the players left.

C1 is the harmonic "1" and D#6 the subharmonic "1". The 12 octave courses in the center, 6 harmonic and 6 subharmonic, form a rough chromatic series of 12 notes or "pitch classes" with this capacity being unique to choosing the minor third difference between the harmonic 1 and subharmonic 1. The exact ratio used for the minor third difference between the harmonic 1 and subharmonic 1 pitch classes is 13/11.

Pitch shifting effects pedals are controlled by a stereo-out foot-actuated expression pedal for added pitch shift effects which pedals also provide unique tones for the tines.

Wesley produced the following diagrams of the instrument's layout:

Reference material on Mbira