This song is perfect for the Hugh Tracey Treble Kalimba
The holiday classic “Silverbells” turns out to be the perfect song to showcase the Hugh Tracey Treble kalimba.
Why, you might ask? Because the song “Silverbells” dips down to the 3rd of the scale, but no lower. In the opening line, “City sidewalks,” the word “walks” goes down to the 3rd. Also, the refrain “Silverbells” starts on the 3rd and goes up.
It seems that “Silverbells” was made just for this kalimba! But even if you have a different kalimba, you will still be able to use this tablature.
The tablature shown below is for Hugh Tracey Treble Kalimbas, which have been tuned – and painted – this way since 1954. Five tines are painted, and the low note is B, the 3rd in the key of G. (If you don’t know what that means, think: “Do Re Mi Fa So” = “1 2 3 4 5” = “G A B C D”. The note “Mi” in the scale is the 3rd. In the key of G, the 3rd is the note B.)
There are now other kalimbas, made in China, that look just like the Hugh Tracey Treble kalimba.They have 17 notes and five tines painted, just like the Treble. But their low note is C and they are in another key – the key of C. If you paint them differently – with the central tine unpainted, and six tines painted (low D and E, middle C and D, and high B and C), then the painted tines on the tablature will match the painted tines on your kalimba, and you can read this tablature. Similarly for the Alto kalimba, but the Alto doesn’t go high enough to play the high notes of the advanced version of the song.
If you click on the image below, your browser will download a PDF file with: a two-page easy version of the song “Silverbells,” a two-page advanced version of “Silverbells,” and live links to sound files for both different versions.