Presentation on theme: "Joseph Hanson Kwabena Nketia (b 1921 in Asante Mampong, Ghana) displayed exceptional talent and sensitivity to music during his studies at the Presbyterian."— Presentation transcript:
Joseph Hanson Kwabena Nketia (b 1921 in Asante Mampong, Ghana) displayed exceptional talent and sensitivity to music during his studies at the Presbyterian Training College, Akropong, under the mentorship of the music theorist and organist, Robert Danso.Nketia
As a linguistics student at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, he took private music lessons.
His role as a pioneer of African musicology and art music is internationally known. He taught at the University of California (UCLA) from 1968, retired from Pittsburgh in 1992 and directed the International Centre for African Music and Dance (University of Ghana, Legon) from 1993 to 2003.
Among his more than 200 publications is the pioneering classic, The music of Africa (1974).
J.H. Kwabena Nketia's work exemplifies the concept of creative ethnomusicology. Although Nketia is internationally known as a scholar, his compositions are little known outside Ghana. Nketia's idiom is based on the pretwentieth century Western practice and 'dissonance' is almost totally absent from his music.
For this reason, Western composers and critics who regard tonal harmony as decadent are apt to dismiss his music. And yet close inspection of his music reveals that Nketia's use of harmony is not a carbon copy of the Western.
It would appear that tonal styles deriving from the influence of African tonelanguage texts on melodic constructions have begun to characterize the harmonic idiom of modern African composers.
For example, the works of Sowande and Bankole of Nigeria contain the beginnings of a modern form of African progression, based on Western chords, but not strictly on the Western progression. Similarly, the compositions of Amu and Nketia show a peculiarly Ghanaian progression, although derived from Western chords.