Traditional music of the Ga people

J.H. Nketia

Abstract


It is easy for the visitor to Accra to imagine that the activities of bands like the Tempos Band, Blackbeats Band and Rhythm Aces are representative of the musical practice of the Ga people of Ghana today. Modern Ghana music, however, has not ousted the traditional musical types used in Ga area even though it has decreased their supporters by setting up a new community of taste. Traditional music and dancing associated with ceremonies of the life cycle worship, festivals and indeed with recreation are still practised in Ga villages and towns as well as in Accra by those for whom these activities still constitute part of their way of life. Much of this music is vocal music with or without instrumental accompaniment. The instrumental emphasis is invariably on drums and idiophones (gongs or bells, rattles, etc.,). Wind instrumentsin the form of hornsare restricted to chiefs, or in a few instances to senior gods (e.g. Sakumo of Tema). There appears to be no survivals of traditional flute or stringed instruments. A summary of the characteristics of this music is given subsequently, beginning with the music of idiophones and drums.

Keywords


Musical instruments -- Africa ; Ga (African people) -- Music ; Ghana -- Songs and music ; Drum -- Ghana -- History

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21504/amj.v2i1.523

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