Balaphone or balafon - West African xylophone

Fits on a keyboard stand, but also played sitting on the ground.

Sticks tipped with tire rubber. Note the nice wood grain

In this photo you can see gourd resonators suspended under the keys

These are the gourds underneath. You can see where the underside of the keys have been chisled to tune them.

This shows how the gourds are cut in half, open under the keys

Here's a short recording made the day it arrived. balaphone.mp3 (2 MB)

A better recording with patterns to accompany an A or D flute (8 MB)

Simple recording setup: