Kobom_1989_small.jpgNorthern Ghana has amazing and beautiful large pentatonic xylophones. I have 3 of these instruments: two with 16/17 keys and a smaller one with 14 keys. In 1989 I met a virtuoso player, Joseph Kobom, and studied with him, later returning to his home town of Nandom to further research and record the instruments and their music. I have transcribed many of the songs and also arranged some of them. You can play this music on western and classroom xylophones, learning from notation or aurally, but it's more fun on the real instruments.


There are easy pieces you can learn with little previous experience, such as the funeral piece, Derkpee.

  xylo_music_cover.jpgA selection of these pieces have been published by White Cliffs Media and the book+CD are available through Amazon.

For more advanced players, you can learn traditional tunes like Vielu daa na Nandomme minyu (Nandom people drink very good beer) as either a solo (recorded by Joseph Kobom), or arranged for 2 xylophones (2-3 players), 3 flutes, and 2 percussionists (computer realisation).

I can also teach East African Amadinda/akadinda music for xylophones that uses hocket techniques to create complex music while the individual parts stay relatively simple.