Journal of the Musical Arts in Africa <p>The <em>Journal of the Musical Arts in Africa</em> (JMAA) is published by NISC (Pty) Ltd in association with the South African College of Music at the University of Cape Town. It is an accredited, internationally refereed journal that aims to combine ethnomusicological, musicological, music educational and performance-based research in a unique way to promote the musical arts on the African continent. This journal also incorporates book, audio and audiovisual media and software reviews.</p><p>Read more <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>. </p> NISC/Taylor & Francis en-US Journal of the Musical Arts in Africa 1812-1004 Copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the publisher. Acknowledgements <p>No Abstracts.</p> Wilhelm Delport Copyright (c) 0 2023-01-29 2023-01-29 19 1 v v Editorial <p>No Abstract.</p> George Worlasi Kwasi Dor Copyright (c) 0 2023-01-29 2023-01-29 19 1 viii xvii ‘The road is blocked’: notions of sound and silence in the Ga Hɔmɔwɔ festival, a Teshie perspective <p>Since the early 2000s the literature on the Ga code of silence, or what is often referred to as a ban on drumming and noise-making, has focused predominantly on the violent clashes that emerge between the Ga Traditional Council, and Pentecostal and Charismatic churches in Accra during the commemoration of the annual Ga Hɔmɔwɔ harvest festival. With most scholars perceiving the code as a ritual that instigates conflict, it has become a dominant point of reference for discussing conflict-related matters in Accra and Ghana in general. My interest here, however, is not to examine the code in relation to the conflicts it incites. As a ‘native researcher’ and ethnomusicologist, my findings suggest that the Ga code is about more than provoking conflict or settling scores with churches or non-Ga residents in Accra. The code presents selective Ga communities with an opportune moment to undergo a degree of introspection through the mediation on indigenous notions of sound and silence so as to renew themselves. In this article, I explore from a Teshie perspective the notions of the code and how it impacts the music performances of the Hɔmɔwɔ festival. I argue that the Ga code, to borrow from Turner (1979), is a ‘frame’ within which Ga society is enabled to inspect itself.&nbsp;</p> Laryea Akwetteh Copyright (c) 0 2023-01-29 2023-01-29 19 1 1 14 Honouring Christopher Kobla Dewornu <p>Christopher Kobla Dewornu, a retired Inspector General of Police for Ghana and a member of the Council of State, is a multi-talented musician-composer, lead singer and drummer. Since his national political responsibilities overshadowed his public musical practice and visibility, a concert was organised in November 2016 in Accra to honour his contribution to the musical arts, while also raising an awareness of his musical impact on his community. This article focuses on the concert in which he performed a selection of his oral-based compositions with Christian texts, which were set to Anlo Ewe traditional melodic idioms within a domesticated environment. Dewornu also sang a few Akpalu songs that inspired audience participation. Restricted by his political work environment, involving moderate social distancing, Dewornu had to navigate his ethnic, professional and religious identities to strategically shape his public musical life.&nbsp;</p> George Worlasi Kwasi Dor Copyright (c) 0 2023-01-29 2023-01-29 19 1 15 37 Texts and contexts: the case of <i>jàmá</i> songs among the youth in Ghana <p>The upbeat, rock-like jàmá song genre has been ubiquitous in the popular culture of Ghana, especially over the last four decades. While the origin of the name<em> ‘jàmá’</em> (also <em>dzama</em>,<em> gyama </em>or <em>djama</em>) remains a mystery, the music evokes characteristics of neo-traditional Ga music. The genre has become an official medium of musical expression for Ghanaian youths at present. Popular music artists like DJ Mic Smith and Gasmilla, the Ghanaian army and police, religious organisations such as Christian churches, and students in schools and colleges perform jàmá songs during social events, festivals, sports games, political rallies, marriage ceremonies, funerals and protest marches. The same jàmá song may be heard on different occasions, generating a myriad of meanings. This paper analyses selected jàmá songs, situates the song texts within their respective contexts, and illustrates the creative devices performers use to convey the meanings of songs in various settings.</p> Divine Kwasi Gbagbo Copyright (c) 0 2023-01-29 2023-01-29 19 1 39 55 Artistic innovation through African concepts: education for art music composers based on African traditions <p>African music studies are generally undertaken within the field of ethnomusicology. Instruction in art music composition is, however, almost always based exclusively on Western practice, with the potential of African culture as the foundation for new, experimental work remaining unaddressed. African music traditions feature unique approaches to musical elements, make extensive use of cognitive phenomena in ways different from Western music, and have different relationships with other art forms. Building upon ethnomusicological research and intercultural collaboration, my approach to teaching concepts from African traditions, which is not intended as an antidote to Western cultural practices but as a broadening of horizons, does not promote imitation or appropriation, leading instead to the development of innovative musical ideas through an understanding of African music practices. In this article, I address a curricular innovation in tertiary art music composition pedagogy: experimental music composition based on concepts from African music traditions. I describe my personal experiences in purposefully undertaking sustained activities in this direction; I explain why I believe this course of study to be valuable in decolonisation and enhancing creativity; and I suggest outcomes to which this might lead. I will refer to selected writings by the Austrian ethnomusicologist Gerhard Kubik as a thread connecting my arguments.</p> Lukas Ligeti Copyright (c) 0 2023-01-29 2023-01-29 19 1 57 73 Indigenisation of orchestral music in Ghana: the Pan-African Orchestra in perspective <p>This article investigates the indigenisation of Western orchestral music in Ghana by focusing on the Pan-African Orchestra (PAO), founded by Nana Danso Abiam in 1988. The factors that influenced the establishment of the PAO and its approaches to indigenisation are examined. Primary research data consist of interview sessions with Abiam, members of the PAO, its patrons, as well as selected cultural officers of the orchestra. Secondary sources consulted include published and unpublished documents, recordings of performances and relevant sheet music. It is concluded that the PAO’s purposeful attempts to combine different indigenous African elements and/or approaches have strengthened notions of the indigenisation of orchestral music in Ghana, which may be linked to the cultural reengineering efforts of Kwame Nkrumah, political revolutionary and former president of Ghana.</p> Emmanuel Osei-Owusu Copyright (c) 0 2023-01-29 2023-01-29 19 1 75 90 Matters of notational practice in the works of Ephraim Amu (1899–1995) <p>The music of Ephraim Amu (1899–1995) is a national treasure in his home country of Ghana. As the architect of the Ghanaian choral idiom, and with a considerable influence on music composition in West Africa, it is inexplicable that the bulk of Amu’s music scores are not available for performance or study nearly 30 years after his passing. In collaboration with Misonu Amu and a team of scholars and choral directors, I am developing a scholarly edition of his complete works. This article explores recurring issues experienced with Amu’s music notations in the editorial process. After a brief description of source materials and the manner in which these scores are employed in practice, attention is focused on the project itself. The methodologies used in the production of 215 newly engraved performance-ready scores are outlined, followed by a discussion of four problem areas encountered with music notation and how these challenges are being addressed. The complete edition will have 7 volumes organised according to voicing, with roughly 30 scores each and will be made accessible online.</p> Felicia Sandler Copyright (c) 0 2023-01-29 2023-01-29 19 1 91 112