SMALL Irimba 2.16

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Irimba 2.16 is instrument which is developed from traditional thumb-piano called Irimba(lamellophone) of Zawose family Tanzania.

2 full octaves, D-major tuning. D-tines are marked with silver shaker. Don´t try to play tines in the middle, they are just for tuning and for resonance.

Tuning instructions:

For tuning Irimba you need to have some tools to push tines forward or backward. Use a stick for tuning, hit it with a small hammer or pliers. If you need to make the tone higher you have to push the tine forward. So resonating area will be shorter. If you need to make the tone lower, you have to push it from backside and make it longer. Tuner is very helpful tool in tuning irimba.


Wagogo tribe and Zawose family

Wagogo tribe lives in Tanzania and its main area is around city of Dodoma. In Tanzania Gogo tribe has quite unique music tradition. Their tone-system and harmonics differs remarkably from other tribes. Wagogo tribe seems to use also different instruments than other tribes in Tanzania. Gogo tribe is famous for their thumb-piano or in gogo language irimba playing. There is only one other tribe that plays thumb-piano in Tanzania and that is Sukuma tribe that lives in the Northern parts of the country. Wagogo tribe is also one of those rear tribes that use over tone singing in Africa.

Zawose family is living in Bagamoyo and in Dodoma. Zawose family is famous music family in Tanzania. Its formal leader Hugwe Zawose developed Irimba with man called Barangati from traditional thumb-piano of wagogo-tribe propbably in sixties or seventies. President Neyere made former leader of Zawose family, Hugwe Zawose, a great character in Tanzania by inviting him to his state residence in Dar es Salam. Hugwe Zawose became a kind of national musician and that lead him and his band formed among his family and relatives to become the first world known musical group from Tanzania. Hugwe died in 2003 but his family and ralatives are continuing his work in Tanzania and abroad.


Irimba 2.16 is designed by Yohana Nyagani (Tanzania), Danny Zawose (Tanzania), Juhana Nyrhinen (Finland) and Petra Käppi (Finland). Instrument is based on scale of D-major. Project of developing Irimba 2.16 has been founded by Finnish Foreign ministry.

Additional information

Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 17 x 13 x 8 cm