Hokema 5-Note Chordal Kalimba
This kalimba is robust, beautiful, and simple. Tuned to a chord, this kalimba is appropriate for music therapy and children as young as 3 or 4, yet adults can have a ball playing complex chord progressions with these fun instruments!
"Just five notes!? What a lame kalimba!" my 20 year old son said when he first say this kalimba. That is what I had first thought as well, but that was before I understood how to use these kalimbas. They come from Germany tuned to an F minor chord (from bottom to top: F C F A C), so no matter what you play with this, it will sound good, but mysterious and maybe even a bit sad. But the musical flexibility isn't there. There are no songs you can play with this, but you can make meditative music. The soft tines and the solid wood also make this a great kalimba for children or people who are prone to dropping - or throwing - kalimbas.
But the key insight for how to use this kalimba came to me when I realized that you can tune it to a variety of different keys. As the retuning is difficult on this kalimba, I charge a modest fee for retuning to chords other than F minor. Now, the real magic is going to start when people form little choirs of different 5-Note Chordal Kalimbas tuned to different chords - three or four people can play these different kalimbas in turn to create harmonically complex and interesting music! Look for the various sets of 5-Note Chordal Kalimbas.