Les Kalimbas: world music for world lovers

Kalimbas are one of the most popular forms of ethnic music, particularly from Africa. An integral part of world music, it has an almost unique sound and has become very widespread. ­čśŐ

What is a Kalimba?

A Kalimba is a slatted instrument that produces sound by sliding the slats over pieces of wood, which in turn are connected to a box-shaped body. It's a classic African instrument that has looked much the same for thousands of years, but is now available worldwide.
a fluted instrument known as a kalimba

Where does the Kalimba come from?

The origins of the Kalimba go back thousands of years to East Africa. We know that the term "Kalimba" comes from the word "Kilimba", which designates a type of functional metal flap. These slatted instruments are made from metal or softer materials such as bone, horn and wood.

What's the difference between a Kalimba and a Marimba?

Kalimbas come in a wide variety of shapes, but as a general rule they have 17 short reeds and are less complex than Marimbas, which have longer reeds and are therefore more complicated to play. In most cases, Kalimbas can produce a softer, bluesier sound than Marimbas.

What are the advantages of playing the Kalimba?

One of the most wonderful things about the Kalimba is the way it can create a rich, complex sound with just a few notes. Kalimbas are also very easy to tame, and can be played by beginners with simple melodies. They can also be played in greater depth, incorporating improvisations and effects.
The Kalimba is also very small and light, making it an ideal travel instrument. It's one of the easiest instruments to carry and take with you wherever you go, as it doesn't take up much space and fits in a suitcase.

How do you choose the right Kalimba for you?

If you're just starting out and want to discover the Kalimba, we recommend starting with a wooden or plastic 17-key Kalimba. These instruments are the easiest to play and are ideal for understanding the basics of the Kalimba and starting to develop your skills.

Once you feel more comfortable, you can start exploring other Kalimba styles and instruments from thekalimba.comwhich offer a variety of Kalimbas, some with more than 17 keys.

How do I learn to play the Kalimba?

The most important thing is that you take the time and enjoy learning! Kalimbas are simple yet complex instruments that are excellently inspiring, which is why they are both very popular and very adaptable ­čśë

To help you in your learning process, we offer you live and on-demand courses on our site, or Educational CDs and DVDs. We also organize live concerts featuring great Kalimba musicians from all over the world.

As you can see, the possibilities are endless, and the pleasure you can derive from the Kalimba almost priceless. So go ahead and buy your Kalimba