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Alfred University

Publication Date

Spring 2009

Program Name

Senegal: Arts and Culture


The kora, a traditional instrument rooted deeply in the culture of West Africa, was originally only played for nobility by a caste of oral historians called “griots.” In the past few decades the use of the use of the kora has broadened, and among many more modern venues, has been adapted to the Gregorian Chants of the Catholic monks at the Monastery of Keur Moussa, who have not only changed the instrument’s use but its physical makeup as well. As an artist and musician I set out to explore the methods of instruction of the instrument in the two different contexts, to find out possible reasons for any variations, and to experience if and how the different teaching styles would affect my learning of the instrument.



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