Graham Savage

Publication Date

Spring 2001


Music constitutes the bed-rock, the grass roots of popular consciousness.-Ronnie Graham As long as societies have existed on this planet, music has existed as a shared activity within these societies.Music acts as a mirrow of culture, allowing a more intimate view of the history, traditions, troubles and successes of those people brought together by the music.Whether it is traditional African music or Western pop music, the idea of sharing something withing the sounds and the silence has always remained the driving force behind musical creation. In this paper, I explore the effects of Westernization on traditional Ga music. What is truely shared in this traditional music and how has the experience changed with the onset of colonization and Western influence? Is the traditional music being overrun in favour of more secularized and mainstream music? How have ethnic groups adapted themselves to the colonial framework and the political realities of globalization? And what, if anything, does this mean for the future of traditional music and dance? By comparing traditional music to the phenomenon of cultural troupe, I hope to bring some of these questions into the open.In addition, by looking at the status of modern Ghanaian music and modern Ga music, I hope to ascertain the current extent to which traditional music continues of affect modern African music.It is also important to notice how colonization has affected Ga communities, and how these changes show in their modern music.Is there a community of identity, and if so, what is that identity that spans generations and generations of traditional life as well as the challenges of modern civilization?