A Minor Karimba Exercises and Songs (ebook)
This 48 page PDF ebook download has links to sound files for 24 different learning exercises and 3 grand compositions for A minor karimba. Live links to MP3 files make this easy to use from computer, tablet, or phone.
The Hugh Tracey karimba is a modern 17-note version of the karimba, a respected member of the traditional African mbira / kalimba family tree.
The traditional tuning which Hugh Tracey documented in the 1950s for the karimba has a classic African sound - it puts the 3rd, the 6th, and the 7th tones of the scale somewhere in between western major and minor intervals. Octaves and 5ths were more or less the same as the western intervals.
If playing the karimba together with western instruments like guitar or piano is desired, these African microtonal intervals can be “rectified” to the closest western note by retuning, usually to major intervals. But a karimba that is retuned to minor intervals is also a treat to play. The minor 3rd, 6th, and 7th make for a lovely and enchanting sound. This book explores the possibilities of the minor-tuned African karimba.
The music that I am presenting for the A minor-tuned karimba is not traditional African music, but it is built on many of the principles of African music. Most notable of those is the cyclic nature of African music. You learn a little bit of music, and you repeat it, over and over again, without a gap between the last time and the next time. As a song continues, little by little, new and interesting variations are woven into the music, and it grows in complexity. Eventually, the song gradually winds down until it is soft and simple once again.