Likembe

Name

Likembe

Description

Lamellaphone musical instrument, thumb piano

Materials

Wood, metal, strings

Place of Production

Democratic Republic of Congo, end of the 20th Century

Number of pieces

1

Use

Those musical instruments called likembe (plural, makembe) in Lingala are from the lamellaphone’s category. This name is used to describe the way the sound is produced: by depressing with a finger the thin plates and then allowing it to slip off, the player makes plates vibrates. To play likembe, the musician holds it with his two hands and uses both of his thumbs to activate the plates and produce a sound resembling that of a guitar. The likembe plays a key role in entertainment. It is used to sing or to dance. It is also used by griots (traditional narrators) to praise important people.

Comments

Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>