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Listen to a sample of the Harp-Kora

Created by homemade musical instrument enthusiast Dennis Havlena, the Harp-Kora is a double-sided harp that is strung and played like a Kora. There are 10 strings on the right side and 11 on the left side. This Harp-kora measures just over 31 inches tall. Two handles, like on an African Kora, provide a very solid way of holding, when playing the instrument. The Harp-kora's tone is decidedly resonant and beautiful, with good volume as well. While it resembles the tone of a Kora, the metal strings and wooden soundbox give it a bit different, harp-like voice. The Kora is a sort of "stringed Kalimba" in that to play a scale, one has to alternate between sides.

Dennis' focus is always on simplicity, durability, sound and playability, as you can see by the materials he uses:
The two sides (soundboards) are from the 1/8" sides of an old door. The simple frame is made from rock maple. As for the strings --- on the right side (and shortest three strings on the left side too) he used .013" hardened steel wire, obtained by unwinding the eight lengths of hard steel wires inside of 5/16" clear, green, vinyl-coated clothesline sold at Wal-mart for about three dollars per 50' roll. Dennis says it makes first rate music wire! For the longest 8 strings on the left side, he used. 020" (#8) music wire left over from a hammered dulcimer project.

If you would like to make a Harp-Kora or other easy-to-make instruments, please visit Dennis Havlena's website


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