Type: Chordophones > Zither > Idiochords > Tube >
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 312.11
Region: Africa & Indian Ocean.
Description: The valiha is a tube zither that is found in Madagascar. The valiha shares similar details in playing and construction to related instruments such as the sasandu played by the Roti people of Flores Island, Indonesia and other idioglot tube zithers found in Cambodia, the Kong Ring.
Tuning: Traditionally the valiha is tuned to a diatonic major scale such as the C major diatonic scale C / D / E / F / G / A B. Recently a chromatically tuned valiha was developed that is fully capable to handle melodies arranged in the chromatic scale C, C# / D, D# / E / F, F# / G, G# / A, A# / B such melodies arranged in genres outside of traditional music.
Construction: Both the traditional and modern valiha are made rom the same local species of bamboo [valiha difusa]. So in other words a new replacement instrument would have to be made if a string was broken. They are hand carved from the same piece of bamboo. Currently bicycle break cable is favoured and attached onto the valiha by tacks and held together by the same break cable at each end. Bridges made from gourd are added, on both the traditional and modern chromatic versions of the valiha.
Citation: Bibliography: Adams, Rashid Epstein ~ “The Making of a National Instrument: Imagery, Symbolism and the Social Function of the Malagasy Valiha”, Music in Art: International Journal for Music Iconography XLIII/1-2 2018, 141-157 ; Duvelle, Charles 1983 Valiha Madagascar, Liner notes for 33-1/3 rpm record OCORA OCR 18 ; Domenichini-Ramiaramanana, Michel 1984 NGDM v.3: 705-706 ; Emoff, Ron 2002 Recollecting from the Past: Musical Practice and Spirit Possession on the East Coast of Madagascar, Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press ; Discography: Websites: Grinnell College Musical Instrument Collection / valiha ;