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west african musical instrume nt - 7 key fixed key balafon

Posted: Saturday February 16

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Welcome to our time tunnel of musical instrumentsTo see my other instruments, try searching onMUSICAL INSTRUMENT TIME TUNNELBalafon percussion instrumentAlso know in Africa as a balafo, bala, Balani, Gyil and BalangiFixed key design - each key is lashed to the frame and has a calabash hanging from it underneathTuned percussion instrument played with two padded sticks (NOT INCLUDED)7 Keys only - when used with orchestra's these are most often found with at least 16 keysEven though it is limited to just 7 keys, still it is useful for those "special sounds" that a sound engineer might be looking forSmall, lightweight and reasonably robust constructionDimensions: 450mm x 450mm x 200mm highWeighs 2KgAll wood, raw string and what looks to be a dried skin used for construction - this instrument is old, I think this instrument would have trouble getting through border security these days because of the dried skin and raw wood!NO NAILS OR SCREWS OR GLUE!Obviously handcraftedThis instrument type dates back at least 800 years and was most popular (but not limited to) used in countries such as Mali - these days the instrument has a far wider use in contemporary music, especially jazz.Each key has a calabash of varying size underneath it - the calabash is like a tubular melon, those used are of course dried!We are offering the instrument EXACTLY as in the photographs - we cannot locate the original padded sticks so they ARE NOT INCLUDEDCOSMETIC CONDITION:We obtained this from an African performer many years ago, I am guessing this was around the early 1980'sReasonable condition, some loose ends of the ties but the instrument is still sound and secureAll wood is in great shape - no insect attacks!Note that the wood is all "raw" that means, unfinished - NO VARNISH OR OTHER FINISHES HAVE EVER BEEN APPLIED.We just applied a light wiping of furniture oil from time to time to prevent the wood drying out and cracking.TESTING:Well, what can we say?Using a couple of padded sticks from another instrument I had around here, you can play the instrument and the sound is "sweet" a nice pure tone which does not "ring" the notes are in a nice progression and some simple tunes can easily be played.In our old audio production days, the sound engineer would use this instrument (mik'd up of course) to add in some special sounds to the material he was producing - something a bit different and not digitally generated! Poly note too!Sound recording the instrument can be interesting - either on a stand or for experimentation, direct from the body of the instrument - the whole instrument tends to produce sound, different tone characteristics from different areas (the balafon is part of the idiophone family of instruments)So, in summary, a nice bit of fun can be had with this musical instrument - the new owner just needs to supply a couple of padded sticks to play it (missing in action here)This percussion instrument is also on our site @ time-tunnel$25 is our priceTT2018

• Location: sydney

• Post ID: 1106101


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