Articles tagged with: Heptatonic Kalimba

20 October 2019

Cornelius Duncan Plays Hugh Tracey Kalimba on The #1 Jazz CD

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

After playing for 40+ years, Cornelius Duncan has jumped to the top!

Cornelius Duncan Plays Hugh Tracey Kalimba on The #1 Jazz CD

Cornelius Duncan has been playing his Hugh Tracey Alto kalimba in this "Duncan tuning" for most of his life. But he did not invent this tuning - rather, it came from his brother, Phillip Allen Duncan.

A stunning YouTube video of Cornelius Duncan playing his special-tuned Hugh Tracey Alto kalimba has had just 2000 views over its 7-year life. Cornelius’ music honors legendary 1960s jazz saxophonist John Coltrane by playing a song that reflects Coltraine's song, “A Love Supreme.” The song, called "A Kalimba Supreme" is serious and meditative, showing the master kalimba player offering his strands of music to Coltrane the jazz master, as well as to us all.

But how did Cornelius and his kalimba end up on the country's #1 selling jazz album?

12 November 2019

Octaves on the 17-Note Kalimba

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

On most kalimbas, including the 17-Note Kalimba in C, octave pair notes will be on opposite hands

Octaves on the 17-Note Kalimba

Here is a great tip to help you play the 17-note kalimba. Actually, most "regular" kalimbas follow this rule, so read on even if you have an 8-Note, an Alto, a Treble, or a Pentatonic kalimba.

"Regular" kalimbas have low notes in the center, and as you go farther from the center, notes get higher. Consecutive notes alternate from right to left, going outward as you go up the scale.

Consider the scale "Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do" = "1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8." If the low note, "Do" is on the right side, and the "Re" note is on the left side... you will find that the high "Do" is on the left side of the kalimba, on the hand opposite the lower version of the same note.

Check out what this means when you're playing the kalimba!

19 November 2019

New: Duncan-tuned Alto Kalimba and Book

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

This is the tuning Cornelius Duncan uses on his track on Poncho Sanchez' Acclaimed CD "Trane's Delight"

New: Duncan-tuned Alto Kalimba and Book

One of the key features of most kalimbas: You will find the higher-octave note on the opposite side from where you find that same note an octave lower. For example, low C is on the right, and the C that's an octave higher is on the left side of the kalimba. This layout (which is of alternating ascending notes) completely informs how the instrument is played and the resulting music.                                       

But what if there were a tuning where a given note that is on the right side... stays on the right side in the upper octaves? Such a tuning would be played totally differently than the standard kalimba tunings, and it would also make quite different music.

Are you interested in making totally different music and getting a totally different kalimba experience, just for the price of a new tuning? Come with me as we explore the Duncan-tuned kalimba tuning!