Sin Té Kono Fè - Bambara - Balafonrhythms - Paul Nas
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Pentatonic Balafon

Sin Té Kono Fè

New on 30 March 2021

Dutch French

S Sin Té Kono Fè (Sintikonofe), a rhythm with song for balafon from Burkina Faso / Mali. It’s an old Bambara / Dioula number. In the song a few sentences are sung from a larger story. Those sentences contain important metaphors and life lessons that are important in that story. “Although the bird cannot breastfeed, Mother Nature makes sure that the little ones don’t starve” (1). ” The Baby (mounouma) crawls before it walks ”(2). “Even though you are a good person, there will always be people who (try to) harm you” (3). “Only god can help”. Kono = birds, Sin Té = without resources.

(1) Sin Té Kono Fè allah ba den balo
(2) Son mi tie na djougoubo la na,
(or sung by a Bwaba: Son mi tie ra djougouba lai ra)
(3) Dembe Mounouma ka soro ka ta ma
kono ni ye, lu ba la kono ni ye, djigike alla yé,

Pattern C is used to announce this part of the song:
kono ni ne djo tigillele yé, ne mana po i ti ke allah ye
kono ni ye, lu ba la kono ni ye, djigike alla yé,
kono ni ne to di kele yé, ne mana po e ti ke allah yé

Ninki Nanko
A song from Senegal by Toure Kunda: “Casamance au clair de lune”. The song can be sung well with the rhythm of Sin Té Ko Fè:
A Iya oo wayo, Iya oo wa net
Dau na sa ne koulo bou te, Kou lo bou ten te ben donna
Ninki Nanko bino bala, bala bino bala te mousso la
A Iya oo wayo, Iya oo wa net
(Play the tam-tam for me, to make me stronger,
Because Ninki Nanko the dragon is not far away)

A few nice examples of interpretations:
Sin Té Kono Fè

With IDON !, the band in which I played for almost 10 years as a djembe, sangban the balafon player, we made two trips through West Africa. The first time was from The Gambia via Senegal to Guinea and back. We drove four cars ourselves and we had a great adventure. Here a picture of that trip. You can read a travel report (in Dutch) here

Papa Goni: Sinte Konofe at Tuka Tuka 2016

‘African Market’ playes Sinte Konofe,….. also in Japan!

Seydou ‘Kanazoé’ Diabaté

Baba Coulibali

Instructional Video – Sin Té Kono Fè – Baragnouma

French instructinal video

Salif Kone (Worldbeat 101)


Lessons from Inizo Julien Coulibali and Hakiri Koeta in Burkina Faso.
Singing at several places in Burkina Faso, Book: ‘Die stimme der Balafon’ (Moussa Hema / Adrian Egger), CD Foofango.

Update history
  • 30 March 2021: New on the website
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