Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Exploring the 12-Note Kalimba
Counterpoint on the 12-Note Kalimba

Melody provides the contour of the song - what we sing. "Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream," for instance. Counterpoint is something else we add that plays around the melody. The real glory of kalimba music lies in playing melody and counterpoint simultaneously.

Listen to counterpoint on the 12-Note kalimba.

It is difficult, but not impossible, to do counterpoint and melody on a one octave kalimba such as the 8-Note. The way the diatonic kalimbas are arranged, if there are more than 8 notes, a note in the second octave will be on the opposite side as the same note in the first octave, and this fact makes melody and counterpoint pretty doable on the kalimba.

So, the 12-Note kalimba has one and a half octaves and, as such, it is a good step in the direction of complexity. (This holds for the 11-Note HotShot kalimba as well.)