Solo Acoustic Guitarist | African and Contemporary | Composer and Performer

Toumani Diabate Scores

NB: Print all scores landscape. 

Full list of scores click here

click on the title bars of each score for a preview of each score. To listen to recordings of these arrangements listen to One Night on Earth here

Jarabi – Toumani Diabate

Jarabi is a traditional kora piece from the Manding Empire. This version is a solo guitar arrangement of Toumani Diabate’s two recorded versions of Jarabi (one on the album Kaira and on on The Mande Variations). He now calls his version Cantelowes. This score is for classicalor acoustic steel guitar in an alternate tuning with a Capo. It is made up of variations on a bass line with both cycles (called Kumbengo or K) and melodic themes (called Birimintingo or B). You can make your own variations on this piece by bringing in these themes and cycles at different times. The piece is notated in a tablature specially designed for transcribing this type of music. You can read about this tab here and watch it being played here

Jarabi Cycles for Beginners

The basic cycles of Jarabi are given here in step-by-step lessons in 21 pages. Demonstrates the tuning, how to learn the piece in the easiest way possible, and the basic cycles of Jarabi. This will help immensely when tackling the full score.

Jarabi in staff notation for non-guitarists

This version is in the sounding pitch that results from the retuning of the guitar with the Capo. It is not possible or desirable to play this version on the guitar. It is intended as a notation to be used by other instruments such as the harp or the piano. I have chosen not to create a staff notation version for classical guitar due to the use of alternate tunings and the fact that the tablature is just far clearer once you get used to reading it. To date this score has been played by a few harpists.


Konkoba  is a piece from Toumani Diavate’s first solo kora album (Kaira). It is a traditionally a piece about farming so in my recording I have used the title Konkoba (Earth). This piece has some interesting rhythmic challenges. It is in an alternate tuning with a capo.

Tubaka – Toumani Diabate

This is a piece from Toumani Diabate’s first solo kora album, Kaira. The score requires you to retune the guitar and use a Capo. It is possible to play only small sections of the piece, guided by the performance letters, to make shorter and easier pieces. The score is 253 bars / 13 pages long.

Elyne Road – Toumani Diabate

This beautiful composition by Toumani Diabaté arranged for solo guitar in four pages of interactive score (you create your own structures). I have written this score by hand to make it look more beautiful.