Kwabena Nketia was a renowned scholar, linguist, composer, poet, researcher, teacher and musicologist in Ghana. His writings have become standard reference works on African musicology, and his work spanned many countries and interests. Nketia maintained a strong interest in Afro-American concerns, African musical traditions and Africans and blacks in the diaspora; and he worked tirelessly on establishing a theoretical framework of African music; consciousness of African identity in music; and to produce publications representing his own musical culture.
This biography concentrates on the educational and research aspects of Nketia’s work, assessing the importance of his contribution to African musicology, thought on music education, and practical application of ethnomusicology and composition in teaching method, and exercises in African rhythm.
The volume in hand deals with modes of inquiry and interpretation broadly organised into sections on theory, and historical and creative studies. The section on theoretical issues comprises papers on: the problem of meaning in African music; musicology and African music; the juncture of the social and the musical; integrating objectivity and experience in ethnomusicological studies; the aesthetic dimension in ethnomusicological studies; universal perspectives in ethnomusicology; and contextual strategies of inquiry and systematisation.
The section on creative and historical topics covers the following: the history of music in African culture; history and the organization of music in West Africa; historical evidence in Ga religious music; processes of differentiation and interdependency in African music; African musical roots in the Americas; and developing contemporary idioms out of traditional music.