« Gallery

Karimba: "TIC 270"

C# / Db (closest chromatic pitch)
Buzzers dampened.
Andrew Tracey
Tray body, brown kiat wood. H: 21.5, W: at bottom 17.2, thickness 3.
Brass rattle plate with three sea shells (formerly 6), held in by transverse rod piercing side walls. Rattle plate held firm by a prop of a small piece of sneezewood attached to a piece of string.
Keys – lower rank 13, upper rank 13. Thin bar, with ears, rectangular cross section, held down with 7 bicycle spokes screwed in from the back leaving 7 holes empty. All but two keys decorated at top end. Lowest key has a hole through at top end. Bottom rank keys are overtone-tuned.

Made by AT, Bulawayo 1960, in order to learn to play from Jege Tapera, his first mbira teacher, who later went on to teach at Kwanongoma College of African Music in Bulawayo.
First inexperienced set of keys was discarded; this is the second set. Simon Mashoko made the low note pitch no 4. Marked K11.
Experimentally made to be a karimba ‘expanded’ with extra notes from Tapera’s much smaller instr, remarkably it turned out very similar to other expanded karimbas HT had found and AT later found in eastern Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
“Overtone-tuned” means that the first overtone is tuned to two octaves above the fundamental, considerably increasing the clarity of tone. The untuned overtone is usually about two and a half octaves above the fundamental.
This mbira opened the show 'Wait a Minim' for seven years, 1962-8, playing a Tapera song “Kana ndoda” (also called “Ndinosara nani?”).

Lowest key synthesised by transposing the lowest physical key.
Please get in touch.
Grahamstown, South Africa

Click on a picture to enlarge.