Ancient Music

The African Harp


    While great engineering progress has been made on the physics of acoustic instruments and great craftmanship has been applied to their manufacture, it has always been astonishing to me that good music can be made from very unsophisticated materials. On the same note, true musical genius is no respector of race, education, afluence, or sophistication.

    Here is a "harp" made from a cocoanut shell, a piece of skin, some sticks, and some animal intestine! There are versions of it up to six feet tall and 21 strings.It is called the Cora or the Kora and comes from the Mandigo people of West Africa.The tuning of any one string affects the tuning of all the other strings so it takes a great deal of patience to get a real scale set up on it. And yet I have heard astonishing music produced on it and am including a link herein to show you what I mean. The harp in the recording had twelve strings!

Clich Here for a sample of African Harp music! (Use your browser's 'BACK' button to return to this site)

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