Kalimba : Hugh Tracey Chromatic Celeste Treble

Hi, hey there, hello awesomes!

Have you ever experienced that feeling when you thought you wasted dollars on the instrument you bought? That there’s like regrets on the purchase you made because you thought it’s easy to learn but you’re struggling? Then later it turned out that you just needed more time to fully understand how to play it and practicing allowed you to get to know the instrument a little deeper and then eventually you became friends with it.

(Front of Hugh Tracey Chromatic Celeste Treble)

I got this Hugh Tracey Treble Chromatic Celeste last June. This is not my first kalimba, it’s actually my second. The first one was a cheaper one I found in amazon last April, I just wanted to see if I’ll be able to learn the kalimba since I have never played any instrument at all before. It turned out that I super enjoyed playing it, so after 2 months I decided to purchase a Hugh Tracey one.

Hugh Tracey Kalimba

(Left side view of Hugh Tracey Chromatic Celeste Treble)

Kalimba is a westernized version of African Mbira instrument. It was designed by Hugh Tracey, an ethnomusicologist. Original Hugh Tracey Kalimbas are made in South Africa by Africa Musical Instruments (AMI)

(Back of the Hugh Tracey Chromatic Celeste Treble)

At first I don’t know what I was thinking when I purchased this chromatic Kalimba. I thought it would be easy peasy lemon squeezy to play the back tines. But I was so wrong.. 😂 This is really a challenging one. It’s not heavier nor bigger than the first Kalimba I bought. My hands and fingers were just not used to having the back tines yet. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll fall in love with this instrument more.

The Wood

(Blond wood on the right side Hugh Tracey Chromatic Celeste Treble)
Right side view of Hugh Tracey
Chromatic Celeste Treble

Celeste is the Hugh Tracey’s version of flatboard. This is also made from Kiaat wood just like the rest of HT kalimbas. I love the design of the wood that I got. The blond wood at the side is so catchy.


Built in Pickup

(Built in pickup)

This one also has built in pick up on the top wood of the kalimba. So you can connect this to an amplifier. I haven’t tried it yet though. I’m still enjoying the natural sound of my HT.

Tines and Keys

Front : Key of C
Back : Key of B

My Celeste Chromatic Treble has a total of 34 keys. Front is 17 keys in C and back tines are also 17 in Key of B, which has the flats and sharps. Chromatics will let you play more songs than the more common diatonic kalimbas.

The end of the spring steel tines of Hugh Tracey Kalimbas where you pluck your thumbs are just a little bit bent down almost looks flat unlike the popular Asian brands where in it’s very distinct.

I love the sound of HT. This Celeste has a sweet soothing sound. It’s not loud but it’s not too soft either. My ears are loving its magical sound.

To know more about Hugh Tracey Chromatic Celeste Treble you can visit Kalimba Magic

Here are sample covers I uploaded using Hugh Tracey Chromatic Celeste :

In the End by Linkin Park

Wherever You Will Go by The Calling

I hope you enjoy meeting my Hugh Tracey Chromatic kalimba. Do you also play any instrument? Please drop me a line below! Would love to hear about it.

Have an awesome day!



Hi, Hey there, Hello!


Dear you..



This is not a sponsored post. The Kalimba featured was purchased by me.  All photos you’ll find in this blog are ©herlplayskalimba.wordpress.com  unless noted otherwise.

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