World record with 41 balafons - Blog - Paul Nas Balafonpassion
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World record with 41 balafons

World record with 41 balafons

Dutch French

We set a new World Record with 41 balafons on 27 August! In Tilburg, in the garden of the Factorium music school in the city centre. With 25 students and 16 one-time balafonists, we played a total of 41 people simultaneously with balafons. The balafons were tuned evenly in C# major and were brought by pupils and made available to the other players. It was a new piece of music for (almost) everyone: ‘Bo Yaro’. In the morning we worked with students and the more difficult parts of this piece and in the afternoon with everyone who wanted to get acquainted with the balafon we rehearsed the basic accompaniment and a piece of melody.

Bo Yaro is a balafon piece by the Bobo ethnic group from Mali. It is normally played while working in the fields to rhythmically support the workers; a kind of labour vitamins! The song that is sung praises the labour power of the young Bobo man (young man = Yaro). ‘When the harvest is good, the land is good!’

Ya i Bo Yaro, Mali djie-èra
Ya i Bo Yaro, Mali djie-èra
ya ho marida a
o lo oji-a-o, to-a fè na

I learnt the song myself when I was in Konsankuy in Mali for a workshop. I had not studied the song very extensively for a while and thought it was one of the ‘lesser’ songs of that workshop. But it turned out to be a stunner!

World Record with 41 balafons

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