The west African piano, the balafon or “bala, marimba, xylophone, gylie” consists of a number of wood or metal bars spaced evenly over a frame with a set of gourd resonators of varying sizes below each key that amplify the sound when the bars are struck with rubber mallets. Ranging in size from 5 to 21 keys and played alongside other instrumentation the balafon lends a very distinctive melodic sound. Three types usually available, from Mali, Guinea, and Ghana

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