ngoni Ngoni Ngoni is a stringed instrument, derived from West Africa. It is he similar to the kora but with the difference that has fewer strings and a little bit different design. During the traditional play the music on the Ngoni is often can heard a singing. Warm and gentle sounds instrument delights and is bringing relaxation


Photo right shows Ngoni 8 strings , he has keys the from guitar, ngoni made in the Pracownia Promyk.


  1. Construction.
  2. Methods of tuning.
  3. Technique of the game.
  4. Membrane from artificial skin.


1. Construction.

ngoni 13 string


Traditionally, a calabash it is resonator (diameter from 36 cm to 46 cm), through which the center, passes a long stick (about 106 or 120 cm). The gourd has two openings. The first is obscured by her taut skin, which is based on a piece of wood on which they are embedded strings. By the second hole overlooks sound of a resonator. Traditionally, the strings are hooked to a skin ring, moving the rings on a stick properly tightens the strings. The Ngoni, instead of the rings can be fitted to the knob from the guitar. They are great ways to tune the instrument. Resonator traditionally made ​​of hollow gourd. Currently, you can find designs which uses the composite (glass fiber resin-saturated and hardened) or an appropriately shaped shell made of paper. Currently, I would definitely recommend the version of the paper. It is durable and robust and the a large amount of natural fiber gives good sound. It is also environmentally natural friendly.

The illustration shows the 13 stringed ngoni, made in the Pracowni Promyk.


Small Ngoni, is also called a Xalam or Halam ngoni. Construction of the music instrument consists of a of an elongated piece of wood resembling a kayak, which is tense the skin (goat or cow) so that it hid the hole in the wood.

The taut skin has holes through which the stuck a stick on one end is mounted the bridge where the strings are based, at the other end to tune strings can be used leather straps and wooden pegs or keys for the guitar (keys for the guitar facilitate tuning).

The instrument has several options for tuning. One of them is an option when the Ngoni has mounted four strings, containing the following sounds:

d ', g', c'', d''

Ngoni version with seven strings contains the following sounds:

c', c'', d', g', d'', e'', f''

Right image shows Ngoni of about 70 inches long, 4 strings tuned by moving the rings from the line.

I also create ngoni in a version for left-handed people. In that case, the strings are mounted like this that the player holds the fretboard with his right hand and changes the sound of the strings with that hand. And with his left hand he is plucking the strings. In this arrangement, the lowest note is at the top and the highest note starts at the bottom.

Below is a photo of a custom-made ngonias for a left-handed person.


I create resonators both from wood and composite. And here it is actually difficult to indicate which are better. The composite has the advantage that it is very durable and has interesting acoustic properties. Probably in the future I will be tempted to test and describe my observations in detail.

For all those who don't animal products and therefore would like to have an instrument on which the diaphragm is not stretched animal skin, I make instruments where leather is replaced with synthetic material. Let me mention here that it is neither rubber nor plastic but a mixture of something that perfectly fulfills its function and replaces the skin. The membrane is adequately durable, resilient and durable.


2. Methods of tuning

Traditionally, Ngoni has six strings mounted in two parallel rows. Both kamal and Donso Ngoni Ngoni has six strings, but are tuned differently. Tunings is also dependent on the number of strings and often the preferences of individual musicians, is applied a pentatonic. Although the basic, traditional Ngoni he has are six strings. Now quite fashionable and is often used more of the strings such as: eight, ten or twelve and sometimes more. They are used, nylon strings, or fishing line.The thickness of the strings is chosen depending on the sound.

3. Technique of the game.

It is based on yank strings with your fingers, most commonly used is the thumb and index finger. Other fingers holding up wooden poles placed at the resonator. Techniques to keep the instrument are different, it is easiest to see them at playing the traditional musicians Ngoni. Instruments are sometimes quite large, therefore, to facilitate the game uses a belt itself, which attaches to the Ngoni. Play the instrument is easier, it is possible to circulate.

The ngoni sound are merging many instruments, among other things: the music played on drums, eg: djembe and balafonie and lamellofonach. This is certainly an instrument which is able, by the warmth of his tone to make a good, gentle mood.


4. Membrane from artificial skin.

The shop you can order ngoni in which the membrane traditionally made of leather will be replaced with alternative materials. The delight all who love the beautiful sounds of the Ngoni and simultaneously wanting to have an instrument with no elements of animal origin (Instrument for vegetarians ). This will delight all who love the beautiful sounds of the Ngoni and simultaneously wanting to have an instrument with no elements of animal origin. The sound instrument with the artificial membrane is equally as good as with real skin. The advantage is that the artificial skin does not react to change in humidity. Ngoni with the artificial skin is already available in the "gallery".