Metal kalimbas: discover the different metals used and their sound characteristics

Kalimbas are African wind musical instruments, played by placing the fingers on fixed rods along the sides of the cases. Metal Kalimbas are modern versions of the instruments, made from a wide range of different metals. Depending on their composition, the sound, nuances and timbres of these instruments are completely altered to offer a rich and profound performance. In this article, we'll explore the different metals most often used to make metal Kalimbas and how they affect the instrument's sound.


Copper is the metal most commonly used for metal Kalimbas. It offers a full, warm range of sounds, as it has a consistency that allows the notes to pass easily between the percussion instruments. The copper sound is deep, offering lower frequencies and longer sustain than a wooden or plastic Kalimba.


Brass is another metal widely used in the manufacture of kalimbas. It gives instruments a warm, playful timbre and medium resonance. Brass also offers a higher degree of projection, and is a common choice for musicians looking for instruments with increased projection.


Aluminum is lighter than copper and brass, and also offers higher resonance. However, it produces higher vibrations that can make it more difficult to play deep, low notes. Kalimbas made of aluminum have a very round, bright sound and are particularly suited to livelier, catchier and more melodic musical styles.


Steel Kalimbas are renowned for their powerful attack and resonance. They give strong note projection and produce a higher-pitched sound, making them an excellent choice for avant-garde performances or voluminous musical styles. Steel is also the best choice for indoor Kalimbas, as they produce less interference.

Other metals

Kalimbas can also be made from many other metals, including silver, gold, nickel, titanium and bronze. Although the colors and sound qualities of these metals are similar to those of brass and copper, they are much more expensive and generally require more complex manufacture.


Metal Kalimbas are ideal instruments for a variety of sounds. Their solid construction and compact size make them particularly suitable for travel, and their deep, rich sounds make metal kalimbas an excellent option for all musicians. We hope this article has helped you learn more about the metals most commonly used to make Kalimbas, and how their variety can affect their sound.