From Ephraim Amu to Newlove Annan: Generational Factors in Ghanaian Art Choral Music Tradition


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Department of Music


This study traces the history of Ghanaian art choral music tradition from Ephraim Amu until the present. It examines generational factors in the development of Ghanaian art music; an aspect that has consistently been ignored in Ghanaian musicology. Selected compositions of major Ghanaian composers representing four generational groups will be examined.The study focuses on compositional styles, socio-cultural issues; impact of personal and generational ideologies and idiosyncrasies on composers' creativity as well as audience reception of their works. The study argues that although Western choral music composition tradition with its fixed canons has influenced much of Ghanaian art music, generational modifications and re-interpretations which are reflective of changing socio-historical and cultural realities of the Ghanaian society cannot be undermined. The study is significant for the generational map which it will develop as well as contribute to discourses on continuity and change in the ethnomusicology of contemporary African music.