Hi. I sure don't need another kora but the experimenter in me won & I just 
completed a full size, solid Spruce-soundboard kora using an African 
gourd I obtained in the late 1990s.  It uses hammered-dulcimer type 
"Zither-pins" which I've used on koras with great success for at least a decade.

This is not a construction article as such but using these photos, along 
with my previous kora-building information elsewhere on this webpage, it 
should be easy to duplicate this thing.

While in no way am I saying that wooden top koras are better than 
traditional skin heads normally found on the instruments, these 
benefits are definite:

- Unlike skin-head koras which are very sensitive to variations in 
  weather/humidity (especially way up here in northern Michigan), 
  the wood top koras I've built stay in tune FAR better.  
  Makes for a "pick it up & play it" instrument.

- Surprisingly, the sound, tone and volume of wood soundboard koras   
  is hardly different from that of a skin headed instrument.

- DIY construction using a wooden top greatly simplifies things.

I do far more experimenting and building than I do playing but if I get 
brave enough, may throw on a youtube video of this current instrument.

Dennis Havlena - W8MI
Straits of Mackinac,
northern Michigan

Click here to access my webpage


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