If you ran into someone who didn’t know what a guitar was, you’d assume the person was visiting from some other time or place.
Most of us can recognize the musical instruments that comprise a rock band, perhaps even those you’d find in an orchestra. But there are a lot of instruments we’ve never heard of before — the kora might be one of them.
What’s a kora? You’ll see and hear one if you head to the University of Idaho’s World Music Celebration this weekend. Mali’s Yacouba Sissoko will be playing the stringed instrument. Besides being a musician, Sissoko is a djely, a musical storyteller who passes on news, history and fables. These stories are traditionally accompanied by a kora.
The kora isn’t the only musical instrument most of us have never heard before. All of the instruments below have been featured at some point in the World Music Celebration:
Kora. This West African stringed instrument sounds like a combination between a guitar and harp.
Dizi. One of the major instruments in China, this bamboo flute is commonly used in folk music and opera.
Pipa. This four-stringed lute-like instrument is one of the most popular musical instruments in China.
Pandeiro. Popular in Brazil, this hand frame drum is typically struck or shaken to produce sound, much like a tambourine.
Madal. This Nepali percussive instrument is usually played horizontally so that both drum heads can be played simultaneously.
Erhu. This two-stringed bowed instrument, often called a Chinese violin, is used in both traditional and contemporary Chinese music.
Talking drum. Used to mimic tones and patterns of human speech, this drum from West Africa has two drumheads connected by tension cords that alter the pitch of the sound.
Hulusi. This gourd flute from China sounds similar to a clarinet.
Singing bowl. Commonly used in Buddhist spiritual practice, this inverted bell is played by being struck or rotating a mallet around the rim.
Djembe. This goblet-shaped drum from West Africa is loud and can produce a variety of sounds.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Sixth Annual World Music Celebration
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday
WHERE: Administration Building Auditorium, University of Idaho, Moscow
COST: $8 adults, $5 students and senior citizens; tickets available at the door
OF NOTE: A free public workshop featuring presentations from Yacouba Sissoko and Navin Chettri will be held 4:15 p.m. Saturday at the Haddock Performance Hall on the UI campus.