Hugh Tracey Alto Kalimba


A 15 note thumb piano made in Africa, it comes tuned to two octaves of the G major scale. Our best seller, this is the classic Hugh Tracey kalimba.

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Most people (90%) want the Standard G Tuning (Alto books presume this tuning). You can check out the alternative Alto tunings.
Choose the color of the painted tines, or take "Soonest Available" or "Unpainted."
You can explicitly ask for blond or part blond wood on the alto kalimba.
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This is a perfect first kalimba for most adults. Its easy to play and understand, has a sweet sound, and can play a very wide range of music: pop, folk, rock, African, classical, carols. Great fun to play. Not recommended for people with smaller hands.

The Hugh Tracey Alto Kalimba is the original kalimba made by African Musical Instruments in South Africa since 1954. Made from kiaat wood and high quality spring steel, this is a real musical instrument and is easy to play, not just a pretty coffee table ornament.

Listen to these sound clips:


Alto Kalimba, Standard G tuning

Alto Kalimba, G minor tuning

Alto Kalimba, Middle Eastern tuning

Alto Kalimba, Evil tuning

For 20 years, the Alto was my favorite of the Hugh Tracey Kalimbas. The large tines are easy to play, and the two octave setup from low G to high G is simple to understand. A truly beautiful instrument. I highly recommend this one to anyone who is serious about playing, anyone with some past musical experience, or anyone who wants something other than a beginner’s kalimba – though if you are a beginner, this kalimba can still work well for you.

Also visit the Alto Resources Page to see the different books and downloads that are available to help you learn how to play this wonderful instrument.

Additional information

Weight 1.4 lbs
Dimensions 6.5 × 9 × 2.2 in


The Hugh Tracey Alto Kalimba is one of the most versatile and capable kalimbas out there – highly recommended.


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.