Kalimba Australia


We Stock One of the Easiest to Learn Instruments, Kalimbas in Australia

Commonly known as a thumb piano or hand piano, Kalimbas are one of the easiest musical instruments to play. They produce a beautiful melody and are very relaxing. A kalimba instrument is a traditional African instrument with a rich and interesting history, and the name translates roughly to ‘little music’. Little Kalimba Shop has everything you need relating to these stunning instruments.


What You Can Expect from Us

We started our store as a simple quarantine idea and has done very well since starting. We are a purely online shop and offer an array of kalimbas and related products.

  • We source and stock only the highest quality so when you buy a kalimba musical instrument from us you know you are getting a product that is going to give you many years of musical joy. Many suppliers stock low-quality products that will never compare to the products we sell.
  • We import all our stock and store it locally, so there are no lengthy shipping times. Once you have placed an order, you will receive it within a week. As we are local, we can offer advice when you need it. We have a large range of different kalimbas and plenty of accessories to go with them.
  • We stock seventeen-key and twenty-one-key instruments in a variety of styles and made from different materials such as mahogany and acrylic. The 17-key works extremely well for beginners. We also have a cute, mini eight-key kalimba instrument for sale. Our range of accessories includes stands, chains, and travel bags for your ‘little piano’.

A History of Kalimbas

Kalimbas have a long and exciting history. They have a rich African heritage and feature strongly in folk lore.

  • Hugh Tracey created the first kalimba in the 1950s, he got his idea from the mbira instruments played by the tribes of the Shona people he had seen while in Rhodesia helping his brother run a tobacco farm. After encouragement from several people, he decided to study African music and ended up creating The International Library of African Music.
  • After the Kalimba was popularised in the 1960s, it became very sought after due to its compact size, versatility, and the fact that it’s so easy to learn how to play it. Kalimba performances by Maurice White and Taj Mahal piqued interest in this diverse instrument and its popularity soared. After creating the International Library of African Music, Hugh founded African Musical Instruments (AMI) and began making high quality Kalimbas which he exported and sold, within a few years there were makers and players appearing all over the world.
  • Documents from Hugh Tracey speak of over a hundred different types of the instrument called kalimba as each group of people who discovered it changed it, renamed it, and made it their own. Some cultures believed that the sound of the kalimba attracted the spirits of ancestors they used it in traditional ceremonies to promote healing and to gain ancestral wisdom. When Hugh Tracey began to develop and modernise the instruments, he tuned them to the ‘Do, Re, Mi’ scale.
  • In the 1960s, Hugh’s two sons, Paul and Andrew wrote and produced a musical revue called ‘Wait a Minim!’ which went on to have a seven-year-long run on Broadway, this review pushed the humble Kalimba firmly into the spotlight.

Fast Facts about Kalimbas

The kalimba forms part of a group of African instruments called lamellaphones. It takes great skill to shape the keys of these instruments and each cultural group in Africa has their own variety of it. Players commonly play the instrument inside a gourd which acts as an amplifier for the instrument. Kalimbas have between twenty and twenty-five notes, in Africa there are over a hundred different types, which each have their own note layout and tuning.

Modern-day kalimbas are tuned according to the ‘Do, Re, Mi’ scale. The kalimba has become a symbol of black pride and heritage around the world. It is quite easy to learn how to play the mini-piano, and you will be able to teach yourself.

The kalimba is one of the most documented and historical instruments you can find. It has such an intriguing history, from the first mbira instruments played by African tribes to our modern-day versions. This beautiful little instrument will bring you many relaxing hours of joy. For any information you need, please contact us. Please feel free to browse all our lovely products and kalimbas in our online store. We wish you many happy, music-filled hours.

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