In This Issue

Playing music in a hospice setting is not about you, it is about the person you are playing for. You may find yourself learning songs for the dying person that you would not have chosen for yourself - to give them something special to hold onto in those final days or hours. But these songs may end up becoming a gift from that person to you. And that is how a gift should be - both giver and receiver end up getting blessed.
Use the Coupon Code Fast25 at the Kalimba Magic Online Shop on July 17-18, 2010 to get 25% off your order of kalimbas, sansulas, books, CDs, downloads and more! This coupon is good for everything in the Kalimba Magic Shop except the Thomas Bothe 2B kalimbas and Bourne marimbas.
This past March I had the experience of being present with my mother as she relinquished her broken body and freed her light-filled spirit. I was honored to share these moments with her, attaining, perhaps, our most deeply shared intimacy. This experience was enhanced by the presence of live music on the kalimba.
I was excited to start playing right away so I skipped the first couple of pages and dove into the tablature plan. To my surprise, familiar songs like "London Bridge" and "Over the River and Through the Woods" could be heard throughout our house.
I first came upon the kalimba in 1975. I was working in an inpatient psychiatric center where drugs and electro-shock were used to manage what was considerable raucous behavior... Working late night shifts allowed for some different types of "treatment" options. When I became brave enough to bring my kalimba (a Hugh Tracey, to be sure) to the unit, well, magic happened.
To be honest, there are no thoughts or ideas in my mind when I tune a new kalimba. I just listen and continue tuning until I'm happy with the result. I determine the tuning as a suggestion for the buyer, and I have always tried to craft my kalimbas in such a way that the buyer can easily change the tuning to suit his or her requirement.
2B 14 Notes
Thomas Bothe is an artist. Most artists cannot make a piece of art over and over again, but must make something different. Thomas has made a limited edition set of 14 note kalimbas and a set of 9 note kalimbas, and the instruments are remarkably similar - except for the tunings. It is as if he has listened to the spirit of the kalimba and asked it what tuning it wants to be, and brought that tuning into reality.
Kalimba Americana
Last month we introduced a new instructional download, which includes the tablature for 30 pieces for the Alto kalimba called Kalimba Americana. Sunday, July 4, 2010, I was visiting my parents in Longmont, Colorado, and I had the opportunity to play the Prelude at their Church. I put together this medley of five of the songs from the Kalimba Americana download.
The Hugh Tracey Alto and Pentatonic kalimbas are closely related to each other in that they have the same tine width and the same two octave range from G below middle C to G above high C. Would you like to understand how they are different? This article will instruct you in the ways of the diatonic and pentatonic scales.
Pentatonic Tuning
I am aiming to produce a series of music videos that will demonstrate for you the four book tunings of the Hokema Sansula. This month's video shows me playing a song that I wrote using Rick Tarquinio's Heavenly A tuning. I am playing the standard Hokema Sansula in this video.
Some time ago, I posted YouTube videos to show people what each of the kalimbas we sell sound and look like. A few people have requested the tablature for the Celeste Pentatonic demo tune. I have written a new tune based on the improvisation in this video, and I am giving away the tablature for it.
Click to go to Kalimba Magic
Top of page

To sign up to receive the monthly Kalimba Magic newsletter by email,
enter your email address below:

The Kalimba Magic Newsletter Archives

Discover the world of kalimbas at

Shop for kalimbas and accessories at