West African Balafon
The Balafon is a wood xylophone that can be seen accompanying Senegalese Sabar and Ghanan Djembe. The slats are suspended on a frame made of sticks, string and hide. The slats are bound at the nodes of the slat such that their vibration is not hindered by the structure. Beneath each slat is a gourd of a specific size to the tone being resonated. Small holes are punched in the gourd and covered with light paper, similar to a kazoo resonator. These give the balafon a warm buzzing tone as the slats are struck with mallets.
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