The sinbi is a traditional instrument of the Mandé. Its history is related to hunting.

Manby, a native hunter from Seriya was the first human to play the sinbi. One day, as he was walking through the bush, he heard melodious sounds coming from a large hole. Curious to see what it was, he approached and saw Niama, chief of the genies, and his people playing an instrument. They were playing the sinbi to celebrate their annual feast. Manby was taken prisoner by Niama, owner of the sinbi and its family. Gwèdè Marama, a daughter of Niama, fell in love with Manby and unbeknown to her father, freed him and gave him the secret of protection against the negative effects of the instrument. This secret thus became the symbol of their union and the first musical composition for the sinbi was the Gwèrè fasa, "Homage to Gwèdè".

The sinbi comprises a soundbox made of a gourd covered with doeskin or goatskin, and a curved shaft, to which seven metal strings are attached with leather rings. It is smaller than the kora, with which it shares certain features, and has a different sound from the kamalen n’goni, th Read More

The sinbi is a traditional instrument of the Mandé. Its history is related to hunting.

Manby, a native hunter from Seriya was the first human to play the sinbi. One day, as he was walking through the bush, he heard melodious sounds coming from a large hole. Curious to see what it was, he approached and saw Niama, chief of the genies, and his people playing an instrument. They were playing the sinbi to celebrate their annual feast. Manby was taken prisoner by Niama, owner of the sinbi and its family. Gwèdè Marama, a daughter of Niama, fell in love with Manby and unbeknown to her father, freed him and gave him the secret of protection against the negative effects of the instrument. This secret thus became the symbol of their union and the first musical composition for the sinbi was the Gwèrè fasa, "Homage to Gwèdè".

The sinbi comprises a soundbox made of a gourd covered with doeskin or goatskin, and a curved shaft, to which seven metal strings are attached with leather rings. It is smaller than the kora, with which it shares certain features, and has a different sound from the kamalen n’goni, the young people’s lute-harp. I learned to play this instrument with my adoptive father, who is a hunter.

Instrument made by Balla Kéita from the village of NanaKéniéba (Kangaba circle), in 1995.


© 1999, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Sinbi (Lute-Harp)

Sinbi

National Museum of Mali, Mali

Wood, gourd, skin, nylon thread
Height: 99.5 cm
© National Museum of Mali, Mali


The sinbi, a seven-string harp, belongs to the brotherhood of Malinké and Khasonke hunters. Its equivalent in other population groups in southern Mali is called donzon kòni, the "hunters’ lute-harp", which is always accompanied by metal castanets and whistles. Played to the rhythms of the Bamanan, Malinké or Wasulun, donzon kòni music stands out through its rhythmic character and its specialized hunting repertoire.
The sinbi, a seven-string harp, belongs to the brotherhood of Malinké and Khasonke hunters. Its equivalent in other population groups in southern Mali is called donzon kòni, the "hunters’ lute-harp", which is always accompanied by metal castanets and whistles. Played to the rhythms of the Bamanan, Malinké or Wasulun, donzon kòni music stands out through its rhythmic character and its specialized hunting repertoire.

© 1999, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Sinbi: Audio

Sinbi: Audio

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Canadian Heritage Information Network, Centre des recherches et études andalouses, Centre des musiques arabes et méditerranéennes Ennejma Ezzahra, Musée de la musique, Laboratoire de recherche des musiques du monde, Musée acadien de l'Université de Moncton, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Musée d'art et d'archéologie de l'Université d'Antananarivo, Musée ethnographique Alexandre Sènou Adande, Musée national du Mali, St. Boniface Museum, Lycée de langues étrangères Alexandre Dumas, Museum of the Romanian Peasant

© 1999, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

The learner will:

  • Understand that music is an expression in all cultures
  • Understand that the relationship between personal feelings and music transcends borders and cultures
  • Develop respect for music from a variety of cultural contexts
  • Examine traditional music practices in selected Francophone countries
  • Demonstrate geographical awareness by identifying Francophone countries
  • Be aware of the musical contributions of various cultural groups in their own community
  • Understand that all world music can be organized within a standard classification system

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