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DIY Popsicle Stick Kalimba

With large popsicle sticks, two pieces of wood, and lots of screws, YouTube tinkerer Mash created a popsicle stick instrument that resembles a piano in layout but is plucked like a kalimba or mbira for sound. He shares how he created the homemade comb-style idiophone in the video above.

popsicle stick kalima DIY
“Most percussion instruments that are not drums are idiophones,” explains Wikipedia:

Hornbostel–Sachs divides idiophones into four main sub-categories… Other classifications use six main sub-categories:
• Concussion idiophones are instruments that produce sound by being struck against one another.
• Percussion idiophones produce sound by being struck with a non-vibrating foreign object. Examples of non-vibrating objects are mallets, hammers, and sticks.
• Rattle idiophones are shaken.
• Scraper idiophones are instruments that are scraped with a stick or other foreign objects to give off a sound.
• Plucked idiophones produce sound by plucking a flexible tongue from within the instrument itself.
• Friction idiophones are rubbed to increase vibration and sound intensity.

playing a popsicle stick kalimba
Watch these videos next: Instrumental songs played on the kalimba and How does a music box work?

Plus: Popsicle stick activity videos.

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