Line of Koras that follows the parameters of traditional Mandingka Koras: proportions, sizes, adjustments… but in this case they use mechanical tuning pegs instead of traditional leather rings for their tuning making easier and faster the tuning process of the instrument being it more practical (modernizing it).
Line of Koras designed to move with comfort the instrument from one place to another. An optimized size and weight compared to the Koras Standard, but without losing the original tone (characteristic sound) of the traditional instrument.
Designing too compact and modified Travel Koras changes the instrument’s proportions, balances, timbre and feedback… this is to be avoided here.
This line uses less dense woods, the lightest model of pegs in the market (classical guitar style) and minimal dimensions within the desirable parameters.
This line of Koras, popularized in a imprecise way as ‘Chromatic’ Koras has a system of levers installed on its neck that, when activated, press each string altering the length of them, as a result they change the desired string a semitone (halftone).
It is interesting for musicians who want to frequently change the pitch (repertoire) quickly, smoothly, easily and, importantly, in a stable way… specially suitable for playing live / concert.
Koras with Semitones System by Levers allow to alternate between traditional Mandingka styles typical of the Kora within other styles that are further away from the common repertoire.
The ‘Chromatic’ Koras are heavier than the Standard ones because they load more metal (levers and pins) installed on the neck and require special attention not to damage their mechanism (hits).
Koras specially designed for those who do NOT want to enjoy an instrument made with animal skin, this is why they are sometimes referred as ‘Vegan’ too. It is a Harp built 100% of wood.
The sound of the bass notes is not as warm as the skin ones but they still have 100% Kora sound. The middle and high octaves sound quite similar to the rest of Koras.
By switching leather for wood the instrument’s Resonance Board is more stable against changes of humidity and temperature, which means that it becomes out of tune less easily.
My experience building and testing Koras with Halftones System has motivated me to offer this Koras ErgoGrip line.
In these Koras the angle of the two rows of strings (right/left) is noticeably more parallel, not as convergent (inclined) towards the central axis of the neck and this improves the overall ergonomics. The hand works more stable and relaxed because this angle allows a greater grip, both to press the strings and to lean the hand on the instrument’s wood holders while executing hand/fingers movements.
So ultimately the hands work in a more ergonomically ideal angle than in the Standard or Traditional Koras.
I recommend them for ALL hands but specially for small hands or “A” type like where the index finger is shorter relative to the group (3 most common hand types appear in the graph).