The dance and musical traditions of Ghana's four main ethnic groups are covered comprehensively in this book. Discussed are not only concepts of music, dance and performance in general, but also cultural perspectives, performance practices, and the form and structure of 22 musical types or dance drumming ceremonies. Historical, geographical, cultural and social backgrounds of the groups are included, as well as orthographies of each language with their unique characters. As a guide to multicultural education, the book provides teaching methods and components of curriculum development. Numerous photographs, maps, and musical scores serve to generously illustrate the book.
Paschal Yao Younge — Paschal Yao Younge is an associate professor of Multicultural Music Education and the Director of the Annual International Summer Program in African Interdisciplinary Arts and co-Artistic Director of the African Ensemble at Ohio University. A multi-talented musician, he is a recipient of many awards including Marion Anderson/Alvin Ailey Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Arts, Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Outstanding Achievement and Service, Award of Excellence in Service and West Virginia University Division of Music, Award of Excellence in Research.
Younge, Paschal Yao. Music and dance traditions of Ghana: history, performance, and teaching. McFarland, 2011. 448p bibl index afp ISBN 0786449926 pbk; ISBN 9780786449927 pbk. Reviewed in 2012mar CHOICE.
Twenty-two music genres representing four ethnic groups, transcriptions of 41 songs, notations in score for 21 drum ensembles--this is a list that is hard to match. Younge (Ohio Univ.) includes all of these, plus outline maps, diagrams, and very clear black-and-white photos of all instruments, individual players, dancers in step-by-step poses, and full ensembles. Also included are 25 color photos of musicians and dancers in traditional attire. A set of ten DVDs is also available. The author, a Ghanaian himself, writes clearly about the technical details of the music but also makes a strong point about the interdisciplinary nature of performance in Africa, noting that instrumental music is always associated with singing, dancing, and community involvement. Specifically, the book includes all one needs for teaching the following music/dance genres: seven southern Ewe, four central and northern Ewe, three Ga-Dangbe, four Akan, and five Dagbamba. Historical background sketches are given for the country as a whole and the individual groups. All African terms are written in proper phonetic spellings, with guides to pronunciation and tonal inflection. This book is a boon to an already-popular subject, and will be greatly welcomed by anyone involved in African music and dance.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers. -- R. Knight, emeritus, Oberlin College