DSAE test file

mbira, noun

Forms:
Also imbira.
Origin:
ShonaShow more Shona (Zimbabwe), probably by metathesis of rimba, limba, a note.
Music
Any of several small hand-held African musical instruments, having metal tongues of varying lengths which are plucked with the thumbs and forefingers, sometimes over or inside a hollow gourd.
Note:
Originating in the countries to the north of South Africa.
1951 H. Tracey in Drum Apr. 18The Mbira is the only instrument of quality which is unique and peculiar to Africa alone. It is of small size, being held comfortably between the palms of the hands and consists of a number of metal tongues set out upon a resonating body. The tips of the tongues are plucked by the thumbs and forefingers and emit a clear dulcet tone.
[1990 Weekly Mail 8 Feb. 17The traditional instrument known all over Africa — less so down here — the ‘hand-piano’, called mbira by the Zimbabweans. It sounds like a crystal rivulet rushing over pebbles.]
Any of several small hand-held African musical instruments, having metal tongues of varying lengths which are plucked with the thumbs and forefingers, sometimes over or inside a hollow gourd.

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19511990