New! The Mufrika Edward Style Karimba

I am rebuilding some Hugh Tracey Kalimbas in the layout of Mufrika Edward’s karimba. Mufrika Edward is a Zambian karimba player whose music can be found on Facebook. These rebuilt Hugh Tracey karimbas are 14-Note instruments in F#. The lower row of 8 notes is basically the same as the mbira nyunga nyunga, or the student karimba. The upper row notes are arranged differently from the nyunga, and that is where this instrument shines with delight. With this karimba, set up like Mufrika’s own hand made instruments, you can watch Mufrika’s music videos and play along, note for note.

By the way, I understand that Mufrika Edward is making his own karimbas as well. If you want one of his own instruments, you should contact him.


Mufrika Edward Style Karimba, made from a Hugh Tracey Celeste Kalimba.

Starting today – February 24 2021 – I am offering these “Mufrika Edward Style Karimba” for sale at Kalimba Magic. When someone purchases one of these Karimbas in Mufrika’s setup and tuning, I am keeping track of these sales, and I am paying Mufrika a 10% royalty on each sale.

Some details: the body is made from a Celeste Alto. The lower row tines are made of 5mm Alto tines. The upper row notes are made of 4mm Treble tines. The instrument only uses 14 of the 15 slots in the bridge hardware. While the Hugh Tracey buzzers don’t fit on the 5mm lower row tines, if you want the buzzers, we can squash them slighty so they go on.

Why do I use only 14 of the 15? Well, beside the fact that Mufrika’s instrument only uses 14 tines? The logical use for the empty slot on the far right would be for another F# tine, redundant with the one on the lower left side. However, the tine in the adjacent slot, E# (which is also known as F) is only a half step lower, which produces resonant dissonance when you play either of the two far right tines… so the far right slot remains empty. (I suppose that is symbolic of the times?)

We have a short ebook giving you an introduction to the Mufrika Edward Style Karimba, and this comes with the purchase of the karimba. Currently (Feb 24 2021) the live links to the sound files do not work, but the proper links are encoded in the PDF file, and they will work eventually.

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