Gaa & Ewe drum traditions
Polyrhythmic ensembles of drums, gongs, bells and rattles dominated the southern and coastal music among the Ewe people for social dancing. Several types of drums are used to create different sounds.
On the playlist: Atsiagbekor by Ewe drum orchestra. On Roots of Black Music in Africa (1972) & Obo Addy Kolo Mashi from Okropong 1989.
Akan Adowa & Kete
This percussion-based music is from the Akan-speaking people, and often associated with funerals. Common instruments include gourds with beads around them, drums, as well as handclaps. Often played by women.
On the playlist: Akonodey by the Akan Adowa musicans. On Roots of Black Music in Africa (1972).
In Northern Ghana, a common instrument is the gyil or balafon, like a xylophone. The music is traditionally played by pairs of men at funerals.
On the playlist: Harvest Songs by Three Lunsi drummers in Accra. On Music of the Dagomba from Ghana (1978).
This is a traditional Akan instrument that is said to ‘speak’. It is a harp-lute and relates to the West African griot tradition of entertaining kings.
On the playlist: Adowa (Otanfo) by Seprewa Kasa. On Seprewa Kasa (2008).