02 December 2018

The Big Four Kalimba Playoff: Silent Night

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Compare: 10-Note Heart, 17-Note Heart, Hugh Tracey Alto, and Hugh Tracey Treble Kalimbas

The Big Four Kalimba Playoff: Silent Night

I have just finished "Easy Christmas" ebooks for each of four of my best selling kalimbas. Part of every ebook is the sound recordings for each song. So, I have a great data set for comparing these four popular kalimbas, side by side.

 

Without any prejudice, I recorded the Christmas carols on each kalimba, trying my best to make it sound as good as it can. The sound editing and processing is fairly minimal and very similar for all four kalimbas.

You get to decide: which sounds better to your ears? Which is pitched correctly for your singing? Which one will better fit your musical needs?

Silent Night: 10-Note Heart Kalimba

Silent Night: 10-Note Heart Kalimba


It is really remarkable how much music you can play on this little kalimba. It does sound a bit small, but the wide, soft tines are very nice for beginners. Great for children or adults who may be overwhelmed.

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Silent Night: 17-Note Heart Kalimba

Silent Night: 17-Note Heart Kalimba


This will be very similar to the 10-Note kalimba - both are in C. This one is a bit harder to play, with more and smaller tines closer together. It also sounds better. Let's say age 13 and up?

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Silent Night: Hugh Tracey Alto

Silent Night: Hugh Tracey Alto


The Alto Kalimba is in G, and plays a fourth lower than the 10-Note and 17-Note kalimbas. The lower, richer tones are excellent to support singing. The larger body makes this a good choice for people who don't have small hands.

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Silent Night: Hugh Tracey Treble

Silent Night: Hugh Tracey Treble


The Hugh Tracey Treble, like the Alto, is also in G, but it is missing the Alto's lowest notes and has extra high notes. Same size as the 17-Note in C. This tends to push melodies into the upper octave, making the Treble the highest sounding kalimba of the lot. With the melodies soaring into the upper ranges of the Treble, this kalimba may be the most angelic of all.

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I don't know. There are certainly good things to be said for all of them. I only sell kalimbas that I can make good music on, so you should be able to buy any of these and proceed with confidence. Perhaps most important, I support each of these kalimbas with high quality instructional materials.

About the Author

Mark Holdaway

Mark Holdaway

Mark Holdaway has been playing kalimba for over 30 years.  He invented his kalimba tablature in 2004, and has been writing books and instructional materials for kalimba ever since.  His business, Kalimba Magic, is based on the simple proposition that the kalimba is a real musical instrument capable of greatness.  Mark's kalimba books are a down payment on this proposition.

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