I am familiar with the construction of a lamellophone and of a metallophone. I played anklung gamelan for several years and of course I've played around with a thumb piano.

As I understand it with a metallophone, the bars are tuned and mounted at the 1/4 and 3/4 nodes of the tuned bars.

With a lamellophone (such as a kalimba, karimba, or mbira) the tines are tuned by the length that emerges out from under the straining bar.

With the lamellophone, is the straining bar positioned at a node? Is the length of the tine that is above the straining bar important in producing the sound? How does the percussive wave interact with the tine and the straining bar?

Bonus question: Are there concussion lamellophones that are struck with a mallet? If so, what are they called?


Well, by definition, a clamped (or even unclamped - see the "nut" at the top of a guitar or violin fingerboard) point is a node, as no vibration can take place there. So the length of the tine is the primary physical feature which sets the tone. That is, assuming all tines are made of the same material, same thickness, etc., the fundamental vibration is a wavelength that depends only on the length of the tine. (the elasticity values are same for all tines, that is).
Because you pluck the tine at its end, the fundamental frequency should dominate. If instead you were to hammer at, say,the 1/4 point from the clamp point, you'd excite higher overtones because you've exacerbated the energy at a higher-overtone maximum location. <-- I'm not saying that any instrument in this class is ever played with a mallet/hammer, just commenting on what could happen. It's vaguely similar to the difference in frequencies generated when hitting a cymbal at the edge or near the center.

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