Thursday, November 11, 2010
The Original African Mbira - The Student Karimba

Student Karimba
The 8 notes of the original karimba, with the number of
each interval (i.e., 1 = root, or "Do", 5 = 5th, or "Sol").

Andrew Tracey, Hugh Tracey's eldest son, wrote a paper in the early 1970s that made the case for THIS TUNING being the original African mbira some 1300 years ago. These notes, in this order, are found at the heart of several different traditional thumb piano in southern Africa. Read Andrew talk about his work from this interview from 2008.

In the 1990s, Andrew arranged for AMI to produce the 17-note African-Tuned Karimba, a more advanced instrument. But the 8 notes of this original African mbira are at the heart of many traditional Karimba songs.

Kalimba Magic has come out with a new book that helps you play this original African mbira - but now we call it the Student Karimba. Over the next several weeks, we'll find out more about what is in this new book.