Kora: Characteristics, price, and history of ethnic musical instruments


Kora is a typical West African stringed instrument. A lute-shaped instrument that plays like a harp. It is a traditional folk instrument that has been passed down for over 300 years in countries such as Senegal, Gambia, Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso. Originally, it was an instrument that was handed down from generation to generation by a traditional musician named Jari and was allowed to play. It is said to be the prototype of a harp or a guitar, but it is a Photoshop. It is one of the famous musical instruments that appears in traditional African music.


This instrument was born in West Africa.

About the price

The price ranges from a few thousand yen to several tens of thousands of yen.

History of Kora

Kora is a traditional stringed instrument originating in West Africa such as Mali, Guinea, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire. It was an instrument that a traditional musician named Griot was allowed to play for generations. In the days when there were no letters, their role was great, and some griots were picked up by the king’s aides because of their abundant knowledge. It is said that Kora healed the king’s heart when he fell asleep. It is an instrument that ordinary people were not even allowed to touch. There is the oldest document that clearly shows the existence of the harp instrument in Mali in the 14th century, and it is said to have existed in the Middle Ages. In the second half of the 20th century, a 25-string Photoshop model was developed. After that, further improvements have been made. Even now, in West Africa, the general public rarely touches griot instruments. Kora is an instrument that is also called the prototype of harp and guitar.


Features of Kora

Kora is a lute-shaped instrument that plays like a harp. A large goat is cut in half with nylon strings, and the cut end is covered with the skin of a cow, deer or goat and fastened with a stud. A long rod penetrates and sticks to support the instrument stick out on both sides of the rod. It is an instrument that has handed down history and culture through music in the non-literal society of West Africa. The body is made by cutting a gourd in half, and the cut surface is covered with cow or goat skin. A long neck stands in the center of the body, with 10 nylon strings on the right and 11 on the left, for a total of 21 strings, but some instruments have more strings. To make a sound, pinch and play the strings with the thumbs and forefingers of both hands. It is an instrument that requires considerable skill for smooth performance and requires technical skills. You may also hit the grip bar with your index finger to make a percussive sound. Tuning is done by moving the leather ring up and down, but in modern times, there are some kora that are designed to facilitate tuning by attaching pegs for guitars, electric basses, etc. ..

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Kora’s song

Kora is often used in traditional African music.


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