Assembly Programs

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(Please Note: the number next to the title corresponds with the number on the order form).

Kalimbas. (NOTE: I am starting to stop selling. These are the models I have remaining. I can get you other models. Inquire!)     

The Original "Hugh Tracey" Kalimba. Hugh Tracey - my father - was one of the ‘great’ men of Africa; like Dr. Livingstone, he was an explorer - not of the countryside but of African culture. He founded The International Library of African Music which my brother, Dr. Andrew Tracey ran for the past 30 years in association with Rhodes University.

Hugh Tracey collected and studied the musical instruments of Africa, and was particularly fascinated by a family of instruments known as mbira. He found about 100 different varieties, from the simplest ones of the Bushmen with 6 notes to the complex models of Zimbabwe with over 30 notes; with 5, 6 and 7 note scales, with gourds for resonators, stretched membranes and metal rattles for the buzzing effect which is characteristic of the ‘African’ sound.

He designed the Kalimba for people who are accustomed to the scale we find in the Western world (the diatonic scale). His brilliant design makes playing simple tunes so easy and satisfying, and harmonies and vibrato can be added simultaneously!

After experimenting with several woods, he settled on a hardwood called Kiaat. The notes are made of spring steel and arrive pre-tuned. However they can be moved to change keys. My cassette explains all these details.

To hear sample tunes on a Treble Kalimba, click here, or play it yourself - either with your mouse or with keyboard letters. This is also a way to check the tuning on your instrument.

To order any of the following items, please go to my order blank.

1) Treble Kalimba- this is the standard model. It has 17 notes with a range of over 2 octaves. There are holes on the back which are used for the vibrato effect. This is the most versatile model. Only 8 left @ $110.00   BUY NOW

2) Celeste Kalimba - this model is thinner and ideal for smaller hands. I generally recommend a starting age of 5 for girls and 7 for boys. The tone of the Celeste is a little softer than the Treble, but great for recordings. It does not have the vibrato holes, but a very ethereal sound can be obtained on a mike. 17 notes. Only 6 left @ $99.00 BUY NOW

3) Alto Kalimba - slightly lower in pitch and fuller in sound. It has the vibrato holes, and with 15 notes spans 2 octaves. An ideal partner for the Treble. Only 7 left @ $104.00. This is a special price because they have built in mikes which, unfortunartely, are not good. Acoustically perfect, but don't try plugging them in! BUY NOW

4) Junior Celeste Kalimba- like the Celeste (above) but with 11 notes tuned to a pentatonic scale and wider spaced for younger children. 10 left @ $65.00 BUY NOW

5) “How To Play The Hugh Tracey Kalimba.”- Instruction cassette by Paul Tracey. This 30 minute course is designed to help the beginner identify the notes, start picking out tunes and find the harmony notes. If you want to learn to play by ear, this is it! FREE. I'll email you an MP3 of this if you want.

5b) "Playing the African Mbira." This is a 32 page booklet with information on music fundamentals and several tunes specially written out for the Kalimba. $6.00 BUY NOW

6) Kalimba Fundamentals - for treble, alto or pentatonic instruments. Books with CDs by Mark Holdaway. These books and CDs cover care for the kalimba, care for your thumb nails, playing techniques, chords, scales, left-right coordination exercises, and integrating melody with backup chords. An ingenious yet simple form of tablature provides clear and precise directions. Also music for Christmas Carols. $23 to $28

Click here for more details and prices.

Click here for some interesting links about mbiras.

Order form.

Log Xylophones

These instruments are very exciting to play! They are all pentatonic so you can never hit a sour note! The style of play is African, with two players, one on either side; if you learn to play Ugandan style, you can use a third player as well. It comes with a booklet which describes why the log xylophone is so good for teaching rhythm, coordination, cooperation and listening. It also releases a lot of tensions! You hit the ends of the notes with regular sticks - no special mallets required. Adults can’t wait to get their hands on it when the children stop!

In Kiaat wood, 2 models:

7) 9 note log xylophone $120.00  BUY NOW

Size: 20" x 13"

8) 11 note log xylophone $130.00  BUY NOW


See also, Recordings and Books.