Close-up kora bridge

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The interactive diagram below shows the bridge of a kora as viewed from above, i.e. when the instrument is held in the playing position.  Click on each note to hear it played.   This is the tuning known as ‘silaba’ which is similar to a western major scale*.   Another common tuning is Suarta (you will see various spellings) where the 4th in the scale is sharpened, so in the example below all the Bs would become naturals.
The pitches are shown using western music notation (starting on F in this example but any other pitch can be used) and tonic soh-fah.

 

For help on choosing which fishing line to use for each string click here

The lowest note is the one nearest you on the left hand side. The notes then rise in pitch as indicated by following the red arrows. Note that the second third and forth notes of the scale (rah, me, fah - G°, A°, Bflat°) are missing in the first part of the scale on the left hand side.

* The differences are in the exact intervals between the notes of the scale which many people would have trouble noticing

Tuning the Kora
bflat1 fah.mp3
f doh.mp3
c soh.mp3
d lah.mp3
e teh.mp3
g1 rah.mp3
d1 lah.mp3
f2 doh.mp3
a2 meh.mp3
c2 soh.mp3
e2 teh.mp3
f1 doh.mp3
a1 meh.mp3
bflat2 fah.mp3
g2 rah.mp3
e1 teh.mp3
c1 soh.mp3
f3 doh.mp3
g3 rah.mp3
d2 lah.mp3
a3 me.mp3