Mountain Melodies


Handcrafted Music

Mountain Melodies gives the gift of music to everyone—without the need to read notes. Crafted by husband and wife team Paul and Sue Bergstrom, each Mountain Melodies thumb harp is handmade in North Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains out of beautifully polished cedar. Paul and Sue have a vision to provide ‘music made simple for all ages,’ and the thumb harp does just that.

The thumb harp, or ‘kalimba’, originated in Africa, but its unique sound and easy-to-play design have made it loved worldwide. Eight numbered keys let you play the entire C scale simply by alternating your thumbs. The sound is reminiscent of an understated xylophone, giving off a clear, sweet chime that is pleasantly soft.

An included songbook guides you to playing traditional melodies by the numbers found on the kalimba. It’s simple and fun, allowing anyone to pick up this elegantly designed instrument and make music.
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Mountain Melodies - Kalimba

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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Paul and Sue
    Paul and Sue

    Hello Grommet folks!

    Paul and Sue here to introduce our thumb harp. We like to call it our "Instant Gratification Unit” because we can teach a would-be player how to play a song within a few minutes, simply by following the numbers. We'd be happy to answer any questions you have!

  • MJ
    11/3/2014 1:23 PM

    This is a great little musical instrument! What's the best way to clean this and what kind of metal is this made from?

  • Paul and Sue
    Paul and Sue – Special Guest
    11/3/2014 1:26 PM

    @MJ You can clean it with a cotton dry cloth. The metal tines are tempered blue spring steel nickel plated.

  • Susan
    11/3/2014 1:24 PM

    Would this also be appropriate and fun for an accomplished pianist ?

    This older teen-ager e is passionate about music. He already reads music very well but this does sound like something fun and would keep those fingers busy and easy to take with him.

  • Paul and Sue
    Paul and Sue – Special Guest
    11/3/2014 1:30 PM

    @Susan We have many musicians who play our instruments.

  • kristan
    kristan – Grommet Team
    11/3/2014 1:38 PM

    Hi Susan,

    Kristan here from The Grommet. Paul and Sue enjoy making their instruments for musicians and non-musicians, alike. With your son being an accomplished pianist - wonderful for him! - he will be able to give this instrument new meaning by incorporating his own musical talent. We'll look forward to hearing about his experience.

  • Matthew
    Matthew – Grommet Team
    11/3/2014 2:20 PM

    @kristan @Paul and Sue @Susan,

    Matt from The Grommet team here. As a musician myself (piano, guitar and percussion) I had a blast using this and figuring out tunes from ear. It has a full major scale and you can tinker and play many songs you might already know on the piano!

  • Nancy
    11/3/2014 2:10 PM

    How surprised I was to see the thumb piano! Our daughter brought back one of these when she was working with children in Zimbabwe, Africa for a summer after she graduated from school. We love just strumming on it. She said the children made these! I will be buying one of yours with the numbers on them so my grandchildren can plan real tunes and not just strum on mine! Thank you!

  • kristan
    kristan – Grommet Team
    11/3/2014 2:46 PM

    Hi Nancy,

    Thank you so much for sharing this with The Grommet community! It is wonderful to hear how the "Kalimba" is a special part of your family. We're happy that you will now be able to gift your grandchildren their very own from our lovely Makers at Mountain Melodies.

    Happy playing!

  • Paul and Sue
    Paul and Sue – Special Guest
    11/3/2014 2:50 PM

    @Nancy It is a fun instrument whether your just strumming the keys or playing a song. At Christmas time our grandchildren now bring out their instruments and play songs and sing at the same time. It has brought us many treasured moments and I am sure it will bring many for you and your grandchildren.

  • arline
    11/3/2014 4:04 PM

    This would have been a perfect time to actually have someone play a little song, more than just randomly clicking on the tines or sampling 3 seconds of "Twinkle, twinkle ..." - wouldn't that make sense to show off its capability?

  • kristan
    kristan – Grommet Team
    11/3/2014 4:21 PM

    Hi Arline,

    A major part of what we do here at The Grommet is to share the amazing and inspiring stories behind the Makers and their creations. Whether it be following along with the songbook, a skilled musical expression or simply experimenting with the various sounds the tines make, Paul and Sue hope to allow their community to interact with the "Kalimba" as they wish.

    We appreciate your feedback and hope you will share with us, again.

  • Paul and Sue
    Paul and Sue – Special Guest
    11/3/2014 4:31 PM

    @arline you are absolutely right. If you visit you tube, type in mountain melodies how to play there is a tutorial, you will be able to hear and see how it is played. I hope that helps.

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.