Matching european harp’s strings on the kora


This scheme shows you how to match the european harp’s string to the kora.
A good comparison is the following: a concert harp usually has seven octaves, the Kora four of extension.

The following diagram can be taken as a point of reference as to equate the right octaves of harp strings on the kora, especially if our kora is tuned in scale of Silaba key of F.

Every octave of the harp is calculated from the most acute E to the lower F.

So, the first octave on the harp will be the most acute.

Practically the opposite of how we used to number the strings of octaves of our Kora.

Let’s see how to set up the harp strings on the kora:
– F, C, D, E of harp’s 4 octave will be our first four bass on the left side of the kora.

– F-G-A-B-C-D-E of the third octave of the harp will be our second octave in the kora.

– F-G-A-B-C-D-E of the second octave of the harp will be the third octave on the kora.

– F-G-A of the first octave of the harp will be the higher notes of the fourth octave of the kora.

– In our kora tuning in Silaba key of F, we need that the two B are flats. As there is not a harp string directly in Bb, simply we will lower of half tone the natural B while tuning of the kora.
Warning: this correspondence is very functional in theory, but in practice it is not guaranteed to work. So use it at your own risk!

You can even see our kora questions video for more detailed informations.

corde-arpa-eng copy

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Kora tuning images


The basic scale on the kora, called Silaba, in the standard tonality of tuning, key o F.

This tuning, create a F major scale on the kora.



Basing on the previous scheme or image (“Silaba F key”) you can tune your kora in every major european scale, such as E, D, C and so on.

Simply, calculate the tone and semitone difference.

For examples, from F to E there is a semitone of difference.

So, tu tune our kora in Silaba scale, we move down every string of the kora tuned in silaba F key of half a tone.

The same reasoning is valid for every scale…

Silaba Mi-eng copy



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