African Blackwood and ebony are often mistaken for each other. Botanically african blackwood is related to rosewood, although its origin is not in South America like most other kinds of rosewood but from the African Steppe (Mozambique, Tanzania).
Both types of wood are almost completely black and heavier than water. African Blackwood has a higher density and elasticity than ebony.
It is mostly used for the manufacturing of classical woodwind instrument. Most clarinets and oboes, but also the Great Highland Bagpipe are made from African Blackwood.
Because of its high content of oil and resin African Blackwood is relatively insensitive to humidity and hardly warps.
Due to its dense and hard surface instruments made from African Blackwood have a very strong sound with a certain hardness.