In Africa, a class of musical instruments that features metal tines positioned to be played by the thumbs and sometime by the fingers is common. The origin of these instruments generally referred to as Thumb Pianos is very ancient and there are a wide variety of different designs. Each design originates from a different region and is known by a different name, such as the "Kalimba" or the "Sansa".
One of the most sophisticated designs originates from Zimbabwe and is known as the "M'bira", (mm...beer...ahh). A unique redesign of this instrument has been invented in the United States and has become known as the Array Mbira because it utilizes the Array system of note arrangement created by inventor Bill Wesley.