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Overview for Balafon

Jaliya V4 is a new, innovative teaching software for Westafrican music und instruments.

The Archive gives access to a huge library of authentic tunes.
The Notation Player/Editor with its intuitive user interface makes it very easy to understand and learn the music.
The Tuner allows you to tune the software to your instrument and to experiment with scales and modes.

Everything you need for your Balafon studies is there.

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Archive

The Archive is the library and the administration center for the notations.

Here we find authentic notations of traditional pieces for the heptatonic Manding Balafon, based on interpretations of professional musicians, as well as music for pentatonic Burkina Balafon.

The number of Balafon notations in Jaliya V4 is still small compared to the Kora or the Djembe, but will grow in the future.
Currently there is no separate Jaliya Balafon Edition, the notations are all included in the Complete Edition (Full Version).

Archive for Balafon

We select a title from the list.
The properties of the notation are shown and may be adjusted.

Now we can Load the notation for playback and editing.

 

Notation Player/Editor

Here we see the Editor interface, the controls for the Notation Player and the Instrument Visualization.

The song Mamaya is loaded. The schematized keys on the Balafon show the notes being played. The music is played with sampled sounds of original instruments.

Player/Editor for Balafon

The control bar allows several playback related and other operations:

exit the notation, save your modifications and return to the Archive
show and hide the Editing Area
show and hide the Instrument
loudspeakers on/off
show and hide the Tuner
play the notation from the first position at the left in the editing area
adjust playing tempo in Beats per Minute
adjust Swing feeling
metronome
position counter
show and hide the Archive from where further notations may be loaded
show the documentation (web)

 

The Notation Window has two parts.

The upper part is the Overview for the notation, the scrollbar lets you navigate quickly forth and back.
The measures are numbered on the lower border.
The little squares represent the notes on the instrument, from high to low. The solid ones are sounding normally, the outlined ones are dampened sounds. The colors indicate which hand plays the note: red = left, blue = right.
The time is subdivided by the vertical metrum lines: a measure contains a number of beats and every beat contains a number of pulses, one pulse being the finest resolution in time.
The black rectangle defines the Editing Area within the notation, to be displayed in the lower part.
The green vertical line indicates the cursor position in the editing area. When the notation is played the cursor moves over the scrolling notes. The notes at the cursor position are displayed accordingly as flashing strings on the Kora bridge in the Instrument Window.

The lower part is the Editing Area for the notation.
The measures are numbered on the lower border and the beats on the upper one.
Here the notes are represented by note symbols. They may be set or reset by clicking on the note lines.
Note-by-Note playing: Moving the cursor from left to right will also sound the notes, where notes on the same vertical metrum line will sound together at the same time.

 

The Instrument Window is synchronized with the notation.

A Balafon is shown schematically from the player's view.
When the notation is played or the cursor is moved over the editing area the keys on the Balafon related to the notes are displayed with flashing colors. Thus it is shown which hand (left, right) strucks which key in which way (sounding, dampened).

In connection with the Beats per Minute tempo slowdown and with looping parts of the notation the Instrument Window is most useful as an infinitely patient teacher for the notations being played.

Clicking on the circles will sound them to control the tuning.
Clicking on the note symbols activates the Tuner Window.


How to loop and edit parts of the notation.

Instrument Window for Balafon

Clicking on a measure number at the lower border selects the measure for looped playback. This works also for the beat numbers at the upper border. Cut/copy/paste editing is available also as well as changing the number of pulses in a beat or a whole measure.

 

Tuner

How to tune the instrument:

Tuner for Balafon


Clicking on the Tuner button brings up the Tuner Window.
The sounds of the instrument can be tuned up and down microtonally in Cents (100 per halfnote) or chromatically in halfnote intervals (12 per octave).
Volume and Panorama can be adjusted.
Predefined traditional tunings can be chosen, custom tunings can be created.

How to tune single sounds and octaves:

Tuning single sounds/octaves

Clicking on a note symbol in the Instrument brings up the Tuner.
The tuning will affect only the selected note and optionally all its octaves.

 

Fun stuff

Change the instrument before you load a notation in the editor, i.e. play Kora tunes with Percussion or with pentatonic Balafon - strange music!

Change the tuning, use equidistant or modal tunings, the music gets a different mood!

Play around with the Swing slider, the rhythm gets a different feeling!

Play around with the Transpose slider, shifting the played notes up or down on the instrument changes the modal scale!

 

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Copyright © 1997-2007 Harald Loquenz. All rights reserved

 

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