While one of the forms is progressive and able to adopt the future orientation, the other seems to be quite static. This piece of work will be able to make an analysis of both Ga Kpanlogo and ewe in their musical context and further find out their influence in the society. …
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Comparison of Ga Kpanlogo and Ewe Drumming culture
Ga Kpanlogo and Ewe are more or less Ghanaian cultures and they are West African in nature. Ga Kpanlogo has its origin in the capital city of Ghana, Accra, given this is the traditional home of the Ga people whose culture is manifested here (Lewis 2002, p.5). This type of dance can be termed as the urban youth dance and drumming. In addition, it is mainly a symbol of commitment among the rapidly growing youth in the capital of Ghana. This is due to the advocacy nature of the culture while trying to shape the political vision of the post-colonial Africa (Music 2001, p.10).
Ewe music and drumming, on the other hand, are a combination of musical and drumming activities of the Ewe people of Ghana, Togo and Benin. This community throughout West Africa is known for drumming and their mode is in the form of a sophistication of cross rhythms and polyrhythm borrowing some of their similarities from jazz and Afro-Caribbean music. This form of drumming embraces diversity and therefore, the drums and music are played in so many different ways depending on where the group playing it originates. The Ewe drumming culture is composed of several drums, a bell and a rattle, and this will be different from Ga Kpanlogo, which is generally composed of drums. Each group of complete Ewe drumming is composed of a master drum together with other secondary drums and an iron bell (Lewis 2002, p.8). The Ewe people do not only have a complex drumming culture but also a complex way of their living. One of their beliefs is that if one person is good at drumming and dancing, then it is because they inherited it from an ancestor who was good at it. It is important to realize that for both the Ga Kpanlogo and the Ewe music systems, they exhibit 16 voices in their voice notations in terms of their female and male voices. It is notable that the music and drumming cultures of the two societies have some aspects in common. The two forms of drumming and music relate to the belief systems of their respective societies. For example, in the Ewe people music helps them reconnect with their ancestors as they feel the power of life. The aspect of ancestors is quite fundamental to the people of Ewe as they possess the ability to define an individual’s destiny, hence they must be pleased through music (Music 2001, p.13). Secondly, both the group music and drumming culture are aesthetic. For example, the Ewe considers powerful music as good music. This is as the force of drumming helps people remember their past victories as very important concepts. The drumming and music of the two communities are a significant symbol of their history as well. In the past for example, drumming helped the Ewe people achieve their freedom from their captors through the blessings from their ancestors (Burns 2006, p.24-6). According to this culture, music is a destiny manifested as a gift from the ancestors. For the two communities, music is used for and during special functions such as during war, at funerals and for rituals for the ancestors in the society. After such functions are over, other genres are put in place for continuity (Rentink 2002, p.31-8). Ga Kpanlogo, as played by the Ga ethnic group most of whom live in Accra, existed in the recreational dance and music. It has since spread as bushfire throughout the country, which began just as a mere creative dance (Agawu 1987, p.9). As opposed to the Ewe dance and music, which were influenced by Afro-Caribbean music and jazz, this form of
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