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