An Awesome Discovery: The Balafon

Since I am writing another chamber piece that heavily involves percussion, I decided that I would research more percussion techniques in order to expand my “palette” for the instruments, mallets in particular. I don’t quite remember how I found this (it’s so easy to get sidetracked doing research on the internet), but I learned that the balafon is an African instrument that may be related to the marimba. It’s quite interesting. Here are three videos of a balafon player below. His name is Famoro Dioubate. Lovin’ the instrumentation in the last two, such a nice mix. Makes me want to dance! 🙂

This reminds me–I’d also love to learn more about scale systems around the world, they’re so interesting, and so refreshing to my ears. As you can see (and hear), the balafon is not diatonic. But I shall save that venture for another time.


P.S.: If you’re really addicted–I know I am–check out his band’s Myspace page. His group is called Kakande. They are also on Amazon and CD Baby–yay!

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