10 Traditional African Pieces for Alto Kalimba


ZIP file download of tablature in PDF, KTabS and mp3 formats for traditional Karimba pieces arranged for ALTO Kalimba. From Andrew Tracey and Paul F. Berliner notations or traditional songs.

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ZIP file collection of traditional African karimba tunes arranged for the Hugh Tracey Alto kalimba. This work represents the largest collection of traditional African music that can be played on the ALTO kalimba. We are hoping for more music soon.

These ten songs come from two sources: five are from the insert page written by Andrew Tracey which comes with the Hugh Tracey African-tuned karimba, and five come from the appendix of Paul F. Berliner’s book “The Soul of Mbira”. In turn, some of Paul F. Berliner’s songs came from a paper authored by Andrew Tracey. Most of these songs go back to the Shona karimba master Jege Tapera. Andrew Tracey met Jege Tapera in 1960 when Hugh and Andrew Tracey were visiting in Rhodesia to help set up the Kwanongoma College of Music.

This collection has been transcribed into an easy-to-read tablature which has all of the tines drawn out, but uses standard western rhythmic notation. Together, the visual tablature and the rhythmic notation make this tablature much easier to read than the more symbolic numbers-based systems used by the other authors. But the feature of the tablature in this collection which makes it really useful is the fact that it comes in both PDF and KTabS (Kalimba Tablature Software) format. The KTabS computer program for Windows lets you play the KTabS files for each song. KTabS will display the tablature on the screen and play the sound for the song, highlighting the notes as the are played. So, you can hear exacty what the song is supposed to sound like. KTabS is the Guitar Hero of kalimba. The KTabS Player is now free, the full KTabS Program, which lets you write your own music or modify THIS music, is $30. You can purchase KTabS at the KTabS website.

The songs available are:

  • Chikunda
  • Kana_Ndod
  • Meria
  • Shumba_panzira
  • Wa_Kalulu
  • Bunga_Utete
  • Bustu MTandari
  • Chemutengure
  • RovaNgomaMtawasa
  • SadzaMadyaHere
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.