- The diagram below shows the bridge of a kora as viewed from above, i.e. when the instrument is held in the playing position.
- 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 B flats would become naturals.
- The pitches are shown using western music notation, starting on F (tonic soh-fah) in this example but any other pitch can be used.
- Each note can also be heard by clicking on it (the mouse arrow turns to a hand)
- The lowest note is the one nearest the player on the left hand side.
- The notes then rise in pitch as indicated by following the red arrows. You will notice that the second third and fourth notes of the scale (rah, me, fah – G°, A°, Bflat°) are missing in the first part of the scale on the left hand side. Some players add some of these notes with extra strings, e.g. a 22 string kora will usually have a Bflat.
- Here is a document that shows the gauges we usually use on our koras. There is no hard and fast rule, but this is a good starting point for many people. The tension and therefore the gauge used is a matter for personal preference and experience. Note: we are starting to use 1.8mm diameter for the second note, the C and it would also be used on the extra B flat on a 22 string kora.
Silaba Tuning with weights/gauges