A brief history of kalimba

The Kalimba is really hot recently, but apart from knowing that it is an African musical instrument, it sounds so nice and ethereal, what else do we know?

1. A brief history of Kalimba
Although the Kalimba is an African musical instrument, the real African Kalimba is not the same as our common 17-key, lined up on both sides of the keyboard. It is Hugh Tracey that makes Kalimba go out of Africa and face the world. . Most of us may have heard of this brand, but he is also a man who has made important contributions to the global promotion of Kalimba.

Hugh Tracey is a British ethnomusicologist who traveled extensively in rural Africa in the first half of the 20th century. It is precisely because of what this man has done throughout his life that Kalimba is now well-known and loved all over the world.

In the early days when Hugh Tracey stayed in Africa, he had fallen in love with traditional African music. In the course of fifty years in Africa, he particularly liked a group of musical instruments called "thumb pianos", which are the modern descendants of a family of ancient African musical instruments. This kind of musical instrument has different shapes, varying tones, and different playing methods. Even the names are also diverse, all of which depend on where they are found in Africa. Tracey started to manufacture these instruments and decided to call them "Kalimba", which is a traditional instrument name that he believes Westerners can say and remember. In the late 1950s, he established a company called AMI, short for African Musical Instruments. AMI has also started some international business, selling kalimba whose tone has been tuned to the western "do-re-mi...". In the early 1960s, Hugh Tracey Kalimba was first marketed in the United States by Creative Playthings, a toy company based in Princeton, New Jersey.

Kalimba StoryEarth, Wind & Fire-The Essential Earth, Wind & Fire

From 1962 to 1968, Hugh Tracey's sons Paul and Andrew went on a tour and played Kalimba, making the world amazed by the magic of Kalimba for the first time. Hugh Tracey traveled the world himself, giving lectures on African music and Kalimba. In 1973, the American band Earth, Wind & Fire (Earth, Wind & Fire) achieved great success with the song "Kalimba Story", and Kalimba's popularity increased.

Since the 1970s, there have been hundreds of Kalimba manufacturers who have created a number of musical instrument designs that have promoted the development of musical instrument capabilities and tonal colors. The variety of designs gives us many choices, from simple instruments with 5 keys to complex instruments with more than 100 keys. Because each carlimba key can be tuned independently, in practice, there are countless possibilities for carlimba tones.

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