The musical instruments listed here have been sold long ago, but I am leaving these page(s) online so that you can see what a professional quality African instruments looks like. You can still contact me if your interested in professional musician quality kora or balphone. I don't have anything currently available, but I have contacts for musicians that have instruments for sale.
Cora Connection's David Gilden travels yearly to study music with master musicians of West Africa. He always returns with a limited number of beautifully hand-crafted 'musician quality' instruments for sale.
Traditional folk instruments like the kora can take several weeks or more to build. Even after the instrument is constructed, the artisan works the instrument to maturity making many small adjustments over a period of weeks. In the case of the kora, the cow skin over the calabash, the strings, and the leather tuning rings stretch and adjust until they settle into position. During this period of a week or more the new kora is played while its strings are retensioned and tuned. Finally the new kora's resonant voice emerges.
It is rare if not impossible to find such exceptional instrument's available outside West Africa. At this time there are two koras available and one balaphone. The two medium sized koras were crafted by Alieu Suso of The Gambia. Alieu's koras are very highly regarded by professional jali -- musicians in West Africa. Included with any kora is a day of instruction with David Gilden, who will teach you how tune, fix broken strings when they occur, and get you started on learning the basics of the music with a few songs. Shipping is available for an additional charge.
See what Dave has brought back from his travels.21 String kora 22 string kora 21 key balaphone
Please contact Dave for information on currently available instruments.
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