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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A century of changing locations of Ghanaian commercial popular entertainment venues
Author:Collins, John
Periodical:Transactions of the Historical Society of Ghana (ISSN 0855-3246)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Ghana
West Africa
Subjects:popular music
performing arts
History, Archaeology
Popular culture--History
Abstract:The changing venues and locations of Ghanaian popular music and drama since the late 19th century are presented in a historical sequence that also touches on the social class background of the performers and their audience. The artists, actors and participants in early Ghanaian popular performance and art have generally come from social groups 'intermediate' between the national bourgeoisie and the vast class of subsistence farmers. These 'intermediates' were cash crop farmers; newly urbanized Africans, semi-literate and semi-skilled; young mission-trained Africans. Often they were highly mobile. Also important were African soldiers who served in the colonial armies abroad. The very earliest documented form of Ghanaian transcultural popular music was 'adaha', an Africanized form of fife-and-drum and brass-band music that appeared on the Fanti coast of Ghana in the 1880s. The historical sequence continues with pre-war elite ballroom venues, which gave rise to the term 'highlife'; pre-war low-class urban saloon and rural palm-wine bars; the Second World War and its influence on Ghanaian night life; the early independence era and the growth of night spots for the masses; high-status urban hall dance bands and low-class concert bands; Congo jazz, Western 'pop', Afro-music and 'cultural' groups in the 1960s to mid-1970s; the demise of live music in the late 1970s-1980s; the recent rise of new popular music genres and their venues, most importantly performance styles related to imported techno-pop styles (like disco and rap), to the growth of local church gospel music, and to idioms that have a 'folkloric' focus, a trend encouraged by tourists and 'World Music' fans. The two most recent developments with a positive impact on Ghana's live music and performance sector are the reduction of import duties on musical instruments in 2004 and the integration of the entertainment sector into the government's Poverty Reduction Strategy in 2005. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]