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Traditional Music as a Sustainable Social Technology for Community Health Promotion in Africa: “Singing and Dancing for Health” in Rura Northern Ghana

Michael Frishkopf
David Zakus
Hasan Hamze
Mubarak Alhassan
Ibrahim Abukari Zukpeni


Music is a social technology of enormous potential for improving community
health. This paper reports on a series of applied ethnomusicological interventions, enacted as a participatory action research project in northern Ghana, for health promotion. Initial interventions, performed by local professional urban artists, proved effective. But as they were not sustainable, we followed up by training village-based amateur youth groups, rooted in the local community, to perform a similar repertoire. These methods can be transposed to other societies maintaining participatory musical traditions, leading to improved community health whenever behavior is a primary determinant, as is so often the case (WHO 2002).

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eISSN: 2458-746X
print ISSN: 0855-1502