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Watch the Manding online guitar lesson by Zoumana Diarra from West African Guidebook

This style was originally played on the kora, ngoni, and balafon. On the guitar, the basic part is an octave pattern, called dubbelgam, originally played on the kora. The second part was played on the ngoni, and the third part on the balafon. Here we play all the parts on the guitar. All melodies have a name, which was given to it based on the first song that ever used it.

Music is almost like a dialect in West Africa: If the language changes, the music changes with it. After World War II and the return of African enlisted soldiers, the guitar became the symbol of neo-traditional music. Two important proponents of Manding are Salif Keita and the Railband du Bamako.