Alto Afroharp


The 13 notes of the classic 1970s Afroharp, mounted on a Hugh Tracey Alto kalimba.

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The Afroharp was an early 1970s kalimba inspired by the Hugh Tracey kalimba and its success. The Afroharp was originally mounted on a hollow body, with 13 tines, six of them bent upward. The tuning was a hexatonic scale – it is like a pentatonic scale, but with an extra note. The short upper row of tines is bent upward, and each upper row note is an octave higher than its adjacent lower row note, making a lot of cool things very easy to do.

While the original Afroharp has not been manufactured since the 1970s, we can offer you the same notes and the same note layout, mounted on a Hugh Tracey Alto kalimba.  See the additional images associated with this product to understand the tuning. It likes to play in E minor, or by tuning just the low E down a step to D, it plays beautifully in G major as well.

This now comes without an electronic pickup. Pickups are no longer available.

We do not yet have a video of the Alto Afroharp, but we have a sound recording available:

Listen to Alto Afroharp

Additional information

Weight 1.2 lbs
Dimensions 6.5 × 9 × 2.2 in
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. See answered questions.