Downloads   Galeries   Forums   Audios   Vidéos   Liens   Livre d´or   Partenaires   Contact   
  Accueil
  Actualité
  Régions/Peuples
  Historique
  Sawanité
  Le Ngondo
  Tourisme
  Littérature
  VIP
  F.A.Q
  Agendas
  Evénements
  Annonces
  Projets
  Communauté



      
29.08.2006

The story of Highlife 

The story of Highlife

Professor John Collins
Musicologist at the University of Ghana

Ghanaian highlife is one of the oldest popular dance-music styles of Africa.

It emerged in the 1880s, a fusion of rhythms from the West African coast and those from Europe, and black people from both South and North America.

Its influence spread to other African countries such as Sierra Leone, the Congo and Nigeria.

In the 1970s, highlife was hugely influential in the work of Ghanaian Afro-rock band Osibisa and the Nigerian Afro-beat star Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.

There were three main forms of early Ghanaian highlife - Adaha, Fanti Osibisaaba and palm wine music.

The first known form could be seen in the local Adaha brass-band music played in the 1880s on the Fanti coast, located in the south of modern Ghana.


´The greatest asset West Africans and for that matter Africans have is highlife music´ Akwasi, London


This was the legacy left by the regimental bands of 6,000 West Indian soldiers, who had been stationed at the Cape Coast and Elmina Castles by the British colonial administration.

The early years

Adaha music spread like wildfire throughout southern Ghana.

In the small towns and villages that could not afford expensive brass instruments, a poor man´s drum-and-voice version called konkoma (or konkomba) developed in the 1930s and spread as far as Nigeria.

The second form of highlife was Fanti Osibisaaba music in which local percussion instruments were accompanied by the guitars and the accordions of sailors, particularly the Kru seamen of Liberia.

They, in the early 20th century, pioneered Africanised cross-fingering guitar techniques.

This technique became key not only to the development of Ghanaian highlife, but also to the Maringa of Sierra Leone, the Juju music of western Nigeria and "dry" guitar music of Central Africa.


Coastal Fanti Osibisaaba highlife percolated into rural Ghana during the 1930s, where it fused with the music of the traditional Akan "seprewa" or harp-lute.

This combination created a more rootsy style of highlife called "odonson", Akan "blues" or "palm-wine music".

Between the 1920s and 1940s, many records of the early guitar highlife styles of Jacob Sam, Kwame Asare, Mireku and Appiah Adjekum were released by western record companies such as Zonophone, Columbia, Odeon and HMV, which were based in Ghana.

Living the highlife

It was in the early 1950s that theatre groups, which travelled around the country and with their "concert party" shows, started to use highlife guitar bands as part of their act.

One of the people to pioneer this was EK Nyame, whose records became popular in eastern Nigeria.

The third type of highlife evolved when poor people laid claim to the music formerly played only by the cream of society, by large ballroom and ragtime dance orchestras, such as the Excelsior Orchestra and Jazz Kings of Accra, formed in 1914.


By combining this so-called high-class music with local street tunes, a totally different type of music was born - the highlife we know today.

One of the first highlife orchestras was the Cape Coast Sugar Babies, who will be remembered for its sensational tour of Nigeria in 1937.

During the Second World War, swing was introduced by British and American servicemen based in Ghana. As a result, the large dance orchestras gave way to the smaller highlife dance-bands.

The most famous was the Tempos band, led by the Ga trumpeter ET Mensah, and which incorporated Afro-Cuban percussion played by the band´s drummer Guy Warren, now known as Kofi Ghanaba.

It was the Tempos´ brilliant fusion style that made such an impact on Nigeria in 1950 and encouraged the likes of Bobby Benson, Victor Olaiya and Rex Lawson to form their own Yoruba and Ibo highlife dance bands.

During the 1970s when Ghana´s economy declined, eastern Nigeria became an important and lucrative destination for highlife musicians.


Apart from local acts, like Victor Uwaifo, Peacocks, Chief Osita Osadabe and Oriental Brothers, there was also room for Ghanaian artists like TO Jazz, Konadu and Kofi Sammy to make a living.

Although the three types of "traditional" highlife have waned in Ghana over the last 20 years, new types of highlife have appeared.

The "gospel highlife" of the local churches, "techno" forms of the music like "burgher highlife" created by Ghanaians living in Germany and, more recently, vernacular rap "hip-life", a combination of hip hop and highlife.

Over the years, highlife has also influenced Ghanaian traditional music such as the Borborbor recreational music of the Ewe people and the Kpanlogo drumming and "cultural groups´´ like the Wulomei of the Ga people of Accra.


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/africa/3695260.stm

Published: 2004/09/28 14:39:00 GMT
 

Source:  | Hits: 21889 | Envoyer à des amis  ! | Imprimer ! | Réagir(0)

PLUS DE NOUVELLES


  Sawanité : La rentrée
( | 24.09.2006 | 17363 hits  | 0 R)

  Espoir en l´Afrique !! Par Francis Bebey
( | 19.09.2006 | 21355 hits  | 0 R)

  HOMMAGE AU PROFESSEUR NJOH MOUELLE
( | 19.09.2006 | 20508 hits  | 0 R)

  UPC: Union des Populations du Cameroun
( | 15.09.2006 | 19445 hits  | 0 R)

  UM NYOBE NOUS A APPRIS A REFUSER D’ETRE ESCLAVES
( | 13.09.2006 | 20761 hits  | 0 R)

  La crise du Muntu (Monga-Mbembé-Eboussi Boulaga)
( | 07.09.2006 | 20927 hits  | 0 R)

  UM NYOBE, héros national, Assassiné ce 13 Septembre 1958
( | 06.09.2006 | 33815 hits  | 8 R)

  Me Black Yondo parle
( | 06.09.2006 | 21936 hits  | 0 R)

  Ruben Um Nyobe
( | 06.09.2006 | 21457 hits  | 0 R)

  11 SEPTEMBRE 2001 : CINQ ANS APRES (par Sam Ekoka Ewande)
( | 06.09.2006 | 21336 hits  | 0 R)

  Ruben Um Nyobè, Précurseur des Indépendances Africaines Avait Prévenu !
( | 06.09.2006 | 21186 hits  | 0 R)

  Cameroun : la guerre d’indépendance oubliée
( | 06.09.2006 | 20679 hits  | 0 R)

  Le " NGOSO " : Origines de l´" ESSEWE "
( | 01.09.2006 | 18648 hits  | 0 R)

  Les racines africaines de la musique noire d’aujourd’hui.
( | 30.08.2006 | 30134 hits  | 1 R)

  JO TONGO
( | 29.08.2006 | 26770 hits  | 0 R)

  The Highlife Music, predecessor of modern African Music
( | 29.08.2006 | 29426 hits  | 1 R)

  The Rebirth of Highlife
( | 29.08.2006 | 13733 hits  | 0 R)

  ETIENNE MBAPPÉ - another great Cameroonian bass player
( | 28.08.2006 | 16759 hits  | 0 R)

  BAKASSI, GUERRE OU PAIX ?
( | 24.08.2006 | 21203 hits  | 0 R)

  BAKASSI: LA FIN DE L’OCCUPATION MILITAIRE (Sam Ekoka Ewande)
( | 23.08.2006 | 17446 hits  | 0 R)

  Hommage: Un film sur la vie de Samuel Eboua
( | 21.08.2006 | 25170 hits  | 0 R)

  TRAGEDIE DU LAC NYOS - 20 ANS APRES : NE PAS OUBLIER
( | 20.08.2006 | 23229 hits  | 0 R)

  KEMIT Conference: SURVIVANCE DE L’EGYPTE PHARAONIQUE DANS LA TRADITION AFRICAINE
( | 20.08.2006 | 22301 hits  | 0 R)

  1986: Hundreds gassed in Cameroon lake disaster
( | 20.08.2006 | 13869 hits  | 0 R)

  Le Nigeria remet officiellement la péninsule de Bakassi au Cameroun
( | 15.08.2006 | 20979 hits  | 1 R)

  Tradition, invention and history The case of the Ngondo (Cameroon)
( | 11.08.2006 | 15765 hits  | 0 R)

  Germany pays for colonial errors in Namibia
( | 10.08.2006 | 20646 hits  | 1 R)

  Le “ Ngondo ” et la “ Civilisation de la croix ”
( | 09.08.2006 | 30119 hits  | 1 R)

  Evocation de la vie et de l´exécution du nationliste camerounais
( | 09.08.2006 | 21178 hits  | 0 R)

  Résistance Sawa : La force du souvenir
( | 08.08.2006 | 21001 hits  | 0 R)

  Georgette L. Kala-Lobè en Solo pour Douala Manga Bell
( | 07.08.2006 | 30017 hits  | 1 R)

  Bialati ba 1500 Mina. Dictionnaire des noms propres Sawa
( | 07.08.2006 | 24531 hits  | 0 R)

  Tet´Ekombo n´est plus
( | 05.08.2006 | 29451 hits  | 2 R)

  Douala: Ville et Histoire - René GOUELLAIN
( | 31.07.2006 | 26431 hits  | 0 R)

  Rudolf Douala Manga Bell, premier opposant à l´Apartheid
( | 31.07.2006 | 23779 hits  | 0 R)

  Rudolf Doualla Manga Bell: propriété familiale?
( | 31.07.2006 | 22265 hits  | 0 R)

  Douala autrefois - Michel Viallet
( | 29.07.2006 | 29230 hits  | 0 R)

  Douala un siècle en images - Jacques SOULILLOU
( | 28.07.2006 | 24629 hits  | 0 R)

  Vivre à Douala L´imaginaire et l´action dans une ville africaine en crise - Gilles SERAPHIN
( | 27.07.2006 | 25290 hits  | 0 R)

  Douala: Croissance et servitudes - Guy MAINET
( | 26.07.2006 | 29034 hits  | 0 R)

  Le procès du Roi Rudolf Duala Manga Bell,martyr de la liberté ...Joël KONDO
( | 25.07.2006 | 34187 hits  | 1 R)

  Ngum’a Jéméa ou foi inébranlable, de David Mbanga Eyombwan
( | 22.07.2006 | 54742 hits  | 0 R)

  Sawanité: l’appel du large ou la rencontre avec nos cousins d’outre Campo
( | 19.07.2006 | 27444 hits  | 1 R)

  Hommage à Rudolf Duala Manga Bell
( | 19.07.2006 | 22612 hits  | 0 R)

  Tet´Ekombo
( | 19.07.2006 | 21093 hits  | 0 R)

  SAWANITE: LA PART DES FEMMES
( | 18.07.2006 | 21826 hits  | 1 R)

  Ce fut le 12 juillet 1884
( | 14.07.2006 | 21685 hits  | 2 R)

  La Renaissance Panafricaine par Thabo Mbeki
( | 14.07.2006 | 21515 hits  | 0 R)

  EXCEL NGOH NI NSONGO 2006: AVANT PROPOS
( | 14.07.2006 | 18596 hits  | 0 R)

  EXCEL NGOH NI NSONGO 2006: Demande de participation
( | 14.07.2006 | 18575 hits  | 0 R)



   0 |  1 |  2 |  3 |  4 |  5 |  6 |  7 |  8 |  9 |  10 |  11 |  12 |  13 |  14 |  15 |      ... >|



Jumeaux Masao "Ngondo"

Remember Moamar Kadhafi

LIVING CHAINS OF COLONISATION






© Peuplesawa.com 2007 | WEB Technology : BN-iCOM by Biangue Networks