Samba Mousso Ko - Bambara - Balafonrhythms - Paul Nas
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Pentatonic balafon

Samba Mousso Ko

Last updated on 28 September 2022

Dutch French

S Samba Mousso Ko (Samba) is a track from the album ‘Bolemakoté‘ by Farafina from Burkina Faso, written by Mahama Konaté. It is a song about a man called Samba and his amorous affairs (‘Mousso Ko‘). He is a womanizer (‘Ni kaleman Sa‘). At the end of the month, when he has had his wages, he starts trying to hit on women. Somehow, it is married women he hits on (whether this is because he specifically chooses them or whether married women fall for a man who spends money on them is not entirely clear). The moral, though, is clear: ‘You will never find a woman to marry at the end of the month.’

(I) Samba mousso ko, Samba mousso ko, ni kaleman sa
(The affaires of Samba, the ‘womanizer’)

(II) Samba, Samba, Samba, Samba

(III) Samba ji me ay kou ti gé, Samba mousso ko ni kalleman sa
(Samba tries to find women at the end of the month, when het just got his salary )

(IV) Farre ne Samba mah,e malo fouroumo mousso nimbé
(Samba hey you strong man, don’t you see that you get only the married women?)

(V) Nan te mousso fourro ni kalleman sa
(A womanizer like you will never find a woman to marry at the end of the month …)

Samba mousso ko, Samba mousso ko ni kaleman sa

FARAFINA was founded in the early eighties. Right from the beginning they were enthusiastically welcomed by their audiences who were fascinated by so much virtuosity.
Their ability to expand their music without denying their traditional instruments has enabled them to experience new forms and record with musicians such as Jon Hassell, the Rolling Stones, Ryuichi Sakamato, Daniel Lanois, Billy Cobham, Joji Hirota…they played several times at the Montreux Jazz Festival, and for 72 000 listeners at the famous Nelson Mandela’s birthday concert in the London Wembley Stadium.

Their music interweaves complex and forceful rhythms and is carried by the melodic lines of balafons, flute and koras. The songs are played on traditional instruments while their lyrics deal with present issues of African realities in a critical though hopeful way.

But they stayed faithful to their own track. So while integrating new orchestral forms and melodies, and adding contemporary sounds (guitar and keyboard), the balafons, koras, flute, djembes, tama, and baras still remain the core and hearth of their music.Last but not least, the arrival of a female voice introduces a new colour to this up till now male only ensemble.

During their odyssey of 30 years the group naturally faced some changes. Thus, its founder Mahama Konaté left the group in 1991. Others came and went and still others died. New and younger musicians have joined the group. All came in through the so called “Farafina School” which continues the African tradition of having the children, from their youngest ages on, attend the concerts of their elders and trying to repeat the music they hear all day long.

In this way an astonishing and remarkable musical continuity is guaranteed. Farafina creates a subtle music that is sensitive and ardent at the same time. It draws your body and mind into discovering not only the African life but a universal life nourished with rhythms leading all the way to the roots of jazz.

Samba Mousso Ko

Reinvented by encounters with modernity, Manding influences, the music of Burkina Faso’s neighboring countries, the melodies of the people of Mali, Niger and the legends of Kong and the chants and drums of Ghana and Benin, all contribute to the richness of Farafina’s s work.

Samba Mousso KoSamba Mousso Ko
Samba Mousso KoMahama Konate

Farafina Djarabi

(a beautiful documentary on Farafina and Mahama Konaté)

Hounoring Mahama Konaté

(A beautiful slideshow in the first half of the video)

First lessons on Samba Mousso Ko; video instruction


Samba (Mousso Ko) is a track from the album ‘Bolemakoté’ by Farafina from Burkina Faso, written by Mahama Konaté. Original tuning of the balafon on the album: E major pentatonic (E / F# / G# / B / C#; E= symbol /) I added the patterns and an arrangement myself.

Update history
  • 28 september 2022: Improved translation from Djoula in the lyrics
  • 18 April 2022: Added new arrangements and renumbered the patterns
  • 1 December 2021: PDF and soundfiles added.
  • 29 november 2021: English and French version
  • 27 juli 2021: Dutch version
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