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Female Highlife Performers in Ghana: Expression, Resistance, and Advocacy

Female Highlife Performers in Ghana: Expression, Resistance, and Advocacy


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This book offers a detailed analysis of the history of female musicians in the Highlife music tradition of the Republic of Ghana, particularly the challenges and constraints these women faced and overcame. Highlife - a form of West African music infusing Ghana's traditional Akan dance rhythms and melodies with European instruments and harmonies - grew in popularity throughout the 20th century and hit its peak in the 1970s and 1980s. Although women played significant roles in the evolution and survival of the genre, few of their contributions have been thoroughly explored or documented. Despite being disregarded and ignored in many spheres, female Highlife musicians thrived and became trailblazers in the Ghanaian music industry, making particularly vibrant contributions to Highlife music in the 1970s. This book presents the voices of female Highlife artists and documents the ideological transformations expressed through their musical works, exploring the challenges they confronted throughout their musical careers and their contributions to music and culture in Ghana.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498564687
Publisher: Lexington Books
Publication date: 08/13/2020
Pages: 196
Product dimensions: 6.04(w) x 8.68(h) x 0.41(d)

About the Author

Nana Abena Amoah-Ramey is adjunct assistant professor in the Department of African American and African diaspora studies at Indiana University.

Table of Contents

Foreword by A.B. Assensoh
Introduction: The Inception of My Ideology, Formations: Research Method & Preamble
Chapter 1: Evolution and Transformation of Highlife Musical Tradition of Ghana
Chapter 2: “Her-Storical” Legacy: Female Highlife Musicians in Ghana
Chapter 3: Resistance and Survival: The Trailblazing Stories
Chapter 4: Female Musical Compositions: She Advocates & I Analyze!
Chapter 5: The New Deal: New Era of Contemporary Ghanaian Music: From Globalization to Modernization
Chapter 6: Epilogue: Future Research & Theoretical Queries & Underpinnings
Appendix 1: Ghana Travel Map
Appendix 2: Ghanaian Currency
Appendix 3: Highlife Tree
Appendix 4: Interview with Professor Kwabena Nketia
Appendix 5: Interview Photos
Appendix 6: Song Lyrics

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