Sanji - Sambla - Balafonrhythms - Paul Nas
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Pentatonic Balafon

Sanji exercises

New on 12 March 2023

Dutch French

S Sanji (Sandji)

means ‘rain’ in Bambara (/ Malinke). Patterns I learned from Corinne Durin. She learned it from Mamadou Diabaté during a workshop in Victoria, Canada. There, it was indicated that these patterns are just exercises that eventually move towards the rhythm Sanji.
So here they are only meant as an exercise of different patterns that can be played interchangeably.

Mamadou Diabaté is from the Sambla ethnic group. Possibly the rhythm Sanji is a Sambla rhythm.

During the balafon meeting, where Corinne introduced the exercise, the participants were still enthusiastic about the beautiful combination of patterns! Notice that ‘✱’is not played anywhere. The ‘groove’ can nicely be used as an intro. The second part of the groove can also be transposed upwards (higher notes).


Corinne Durin presenting Sanji during the Balafon meeting in Februari 2023. 

With brief but clear instruction, we were taught the Sanji exercises and played an interesting and beautiful piece of music. Read more about it in the Balafoon Meeting blog.


Corinne Durin, Balafon Meeting, February 2023 in Tilburg, NL. Facebook of Mamadou Diabaté.

Update history
  • 12 March 2023: New and also English and French versions
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