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: 23235 | Envoyer à des amis  ! | Imprimer ! | Réagir(0)

PLUS DE NOUVELLES


  Sawanité : La rentrée
( | 24.09.2006 | 18672 hits  | 0 R)

  Espoir en l´Afrique !! Par Francis Bebey
( | 19.09.2006 | 22811 hits  | 0 R)

  HOMMAGE AU PROFESSEUR NJOH MOUELLE
( | 19.09.2006 | 21795 hits  | 0 R)

  UPC: Union des Populations du Cameroun
( | 15.09.2006 | 20628 hits  | 0 R)

  UM NYOBE NOUS A APPRIS A REFUSER D’ETRE ESCLAVES
( | 13.09.2006 | 22124 hits  | 0 R)

  La crise du Muntu (Monga-Mbembé-Eboussi Boulaga)
( | 07.09.2006 | 22291 hits  | 0 R)

  UM NYOBE, héros national, Assassiné ce 13 Septembre 1958
( | 06.09.2006 | 35289 hits  | 8 R)

  Me Black Yondo parle
( | 06.09.2006 | 23256 hits  | 0 R)

  Ruben Um Nyobe
( | 06.09.2006 | 22858 hits  | 0 R)

  11 SEPTEMBRE 2001 : CINQ ANS APRES (par Sam Ekoka Ewande)
( | 06.09.2006 | 22746 hits  | 0 R)

  Ruben Um Nyobè, Précurseur des Indépendances Africaines Avait Prévenu !
( | 06.09.2006 | 22539 hits  | 0 R)

  Cameroun : la guerre d’indépendance oubliée
( | 06.09.2006 | 22076 hits  | 0 R)

  Le " NGOSO " : Origines de l´" ESSEWE "
( | 01.09.2006 | 19775 hits  | 0 R)

  Les racines africaines de la musique noire d’aujourd’hui.
( | 30.08.2006 | 31324 hits  | 1 R)

  JO TONGO
( | 29.08.2006 | 28307 hits  | 0 R)

  The Highlife Music, predecessor of modern African Music
( | 29.08.2006 | 31081 hits  | 1 R)

  The Rebirth of Highlife
( | 29.08.2006 | 14719 hits  | 0 R)

  ETIENNE MBAPPÉ - another great Cameroonian bass player
( | 28.08.2006 | 18047 hits  | 0 R)

  BAKASSI, GUERRE OU PAIX ?
( | 24.08.2006 | 22331 hits  | 0 R)

  BAKASSI: LA FIN DE L’OCCUPATION MILITAIRE (Sam Ekoka Ewande)
( | 23.08.2006 | 18672 hits  | 0 R)

  Hommage: Un film sur la vie de Samuel Eboua
( | 21.08.2006 | 26603 hits  | 0 R)

  TRAGEDIE DU LAC NYOS - 20 ANS APRES : NE PAS OUBLIER
( | 20.08.2006 | 24303 hits  | 0 R)

  KEMIT Conference: SURVIVANCE DE L’EGYPTE PHARAONIQUE DANS LA TRADITION AFRICAINE
( | 20.08.2006 | 23555 hits  | 0 R)

  1986: Hundreds gassed in Cameroon lake disaster
( | 20.08.2006 | 14841 hits  | 0 R)

  Le Nigeria remet officiellement la péninsule de Bakassi au Cameroun
( | 15.08.2006 | 22140 hits  | 1 R)

  Tradition, invention and history The case of the Ngondo (Cameroon)
( | 11.08.2006 | 16803 hits  | 0 R)

  Germany pays for colonial errors in Namibia
( | 10.08.2006 | 21834 hits  | 1 R)

  Le “ Ngondo ” et la “ Civilisation de la croix ”
( | 09.08.2006 | 31642 hits  | 1 R)

  Evocation de la vie et de l´exécution du nationliste camerounais
( | 09.08.2006 | 22481 hits  | 0 R)

  Résistance Sawa : La force du souvenir
( | 08.08.2006 | 22534 hits  | 0 R)

  Georgette L. Kala-Lobè en Solo pour Douala Manga Bell
( | 07.08.2006 | 31639 hits  | 1 R)

  Bialati ba 1500 Mina. Dictionnaire des noms propres Sawa
( | 07.08.2006 | 25988 hits  | 0 R)

  Tet´Ekombo n´est plus
( | 05.08.2006 | 31060 hits  | 2 R)

  Douala: Ville et Histoire - René GOUELLAIN
( | 31.07.2006 | 27732 hits  | 0 R)

  Rudolf Douala Manga Bell, premier opposant à l´Apartheid
( | 31.07.2006 | 25129 hits  | 0 R)

  Rudolf Doualla Manga Bell: propriété familiale?
( | 31.07.2006 | 23682 hits  | 0 R)

  Douala autrefois - Michel Viallet
( | 29.07.2006 | 30526 hits  | 0 R)

  Douala un siècle en images - Jacques SOULILLOU
( | 28.07.2006 | 25887 hits  | 0 R)

  Vivre à Douala L´imaginaire et l´action dans une ville africaine en crise - Gilles SERAPHIN
( | 27.07.2006 | 26568 hits  | 0 R)

  Douala: Croissance et servitudes - Guy MAINET
( | 26.07.2006 | 30321 hits  | 0 R)

  Le procès du Roi Rudolf Duala Manga Bell,martyr de la liberté ...Joël KONDO
( | 25.07.2006 | 35960 hits  | 1 R)

  Ngum’a Jéméa ou foi inébranlable, de David Mbanga Eyombwan
( | 22.07.2006 | 57238 hits  | 0 R)

  Sawanité: l’appel du large ou la rencontre avec nos cousins d’outre Campo
( | 19.07.2006 | 28993 hits  | 1 R)

  Hommage à Rudolf Duala Manga Bell
( | 19.07.2006 | 23887 hits  | 0 R)

  Tet´Ekombo
( | 19.07.2006 | 22473 hits  | 0 R)

  SAWANITE: LA PART DES FEMMES
( | 18.07.2006 | 22967 hits  | 1 R)

  Ce fut le 12 juillet 1884
( | 14.07.2006 | 22861 hits  | 2 R)

  La Renaissance Panafricaine par Thabo Mbeki
( | 14.07.2006 | 22936 hits  | 0 R)

  EXCEL NGOH NI NSONGO 2006: AVANT PROPOS
( | 14.07.2006 | 19898 hits  | 0 R)

  EXCEL NGOH NI NSONGO 2006: Demande de participation
( | 14.07.2006 | 19877 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