Browse the Soundfiles for the 2017 catalog
The 2017 Kalimba Magic Catalog has sound recordings of many of the kalimbas in various tunings, which you can access here.
The African-tuned karimba is an important instrument in the evolution of African thumb pianos and is thought to be closely related to the “original mbira” from over 1000 years ago. As such it has an extensive repertoire of traditional songs and a variety of instructional resources. SaReGaMa karimbas are modifications of the African-tuned karimba, and the SaReGaMa Lotus, Air, and Freygish tunings are all explorations of the minor scale; all tend to play New Age music. Every instrument on this page comes with traditional African buzzers on the tines. Buzzers are easily removed so you can play with or without them. Let us know if you want us to ship your new instrument without buzzers.
Karimba in African A tuning
Karimba in G Western tuning
Box Karimba in G tuning
Box Karimba in Am tuning
I Ching Board (or Celeste) Kalimba
I Ching Box Kalimba
Lotus Karimba in Cm/Gm Tuning
Lotus Karimba in Am/Em Tuning
Box-mounted Lotus Karimba, Cm/Gm, recorded without buzzers
The Hugh Tracey Alto Kalimba is a great platform.
Alto Kalimba, standard G tuning
Alto-based Afro Harp
Celeste Alto Kalimba
The Hugh Tracey Treble Kalimba,
Treble, standard G tuning
Celeste Treble Kalimba, standard G tuning
Bb Treble Kalimba
D Treble Kalimba
The concept behind the Hugh Tracey Chromatic Kalimbas is that the white notes on the piano are on the front of the kalimba and are played with the thumbs, while the black notes or flats are on the back side, and are played with the finger tips.
Chromatic, standard “G on front” tuning
Chromatic, standard “C on front” tuning
Celeste Chromatic, standard tuning
Treble Chromatic, standard G tuning
The pentatonic scale is a simplified scale that shifts the odds toward a successful musical experience. Hugh Tracey found that
about 40% of African kalimbas had pentatonic scales such as these kalimba. Several different pentatonic scales are possible.
Box Pentatonic, standard G tuning
Box Pentatonic, G minor tuning
Box Pentatonic, F7 Bebey tuning
Box Pentatonic, G Ake Bono tuning
Hokema Box Pentatonic, standard Am tuning
The instrument in this photo is made from a rare blond piece of kiaat wood, the wood that all Hugh Tracey kalimbas are made from. The blond wood is the sap wood and is less dense than the darker, browner heart wood and generally makes for a lighter sound.
Celeste Pentatonic, standard G tuning
Hugh Tracey Hotshot-11 (celeste diatonic) in standard G
Hugh Tracey Hotshot-11 in Hitzaskiar tuning
The German-made Sansula has excellent tone, mind-bending special effects made by lifting the instrument off of a flat surface to change the resonant frequencies of the body, and charmingly simple scales and note layouts. Kalimba Magic has pioneered the field of developing new Sansula tunings, and we ship these instruments in several different tunings in addition to the elegant standard A minor tuning.
Deluxe Sansula, standard Am tuning
Renaissance Sansula, standard Am tuning
Renaissance Sansula, Beautiful E tuning
Renaissance Sansula, Heavenly A tuning
B9 Pocket Sansula, standard Am tuning
Hokema Twin Sansula, standard Am tuning
These kalimbas are each tuned to a particular chord. If you get two different chords, get two players to take turns, responding to each others playing, and they can improvise melodies following a simple chord progression. Groups of three, four, or five different kalimbas (chords) can be fruitful.
B5 in F minor tuning
A choir of B5 kalimbas
B7, standard Am tuning
These recordings were made with the B-11 kalimbas strapped to a small cardboard box for amplification. This also adds a bit of a buzz to the sound.
B11 in standard G tuning
B11 in G Ake Bono tuning
B11 in Hitzaskiar tuning
B11 in C Bothian tuning
Hokema Box Pentatonic, standard Am tuning
Thomas Bothe lives on an island in the North Sea off the German coast where he cooks, caters, and builds delightful kalimbas. Each of his instruments is tuned to a different tuning. So you have a choice about the tuning you get: you can take the tuning (always very cool) that comes to you when you order one, or you can listen to Thomas’ greatest tunings and pick your favorite, and we’ll tune your 2B kalimba to that tuning.
The 2B kalimbas have small, strong magnets embedded in their bodies. Tiny magnetic feet snap to the body, and these can be used to hold a 2B kalimba onto a thin resonant body, such as a cardboard box, Tupperware, or a 2B resonance frame.
The 2B/9 comes in many tunings
The 2B/9B has a strip of tiny buzzers to provide a shimmery African sound.
Goshen Kalimbas, made in West Virginia, are smooth and beautiful instruments. They feel wonderful in your hands and are sweet to play.
Standard D tuning
Standard D Tuning
Box Student Karimba, C tuning
Goshen 17-Note Lotus Tuning
Goshen 17-Note Freygish Tuning
Goshen 17-Note Air Tuning
Standard G Tuning
These kalimbas are made by Andrew Masters in the mountains of eastern France. The bodies are made from real sardine cans. Remarkably resonant, these instruments sound a bit like steel drums.
A Karimba or Nyunga Nyunga in F, with pickup
The ZenZula Mini-9 in our C Maj 4 tuning
The ZenZula Mini-9 in our EbMaj tuning