Some Traditional Ensembles in Ghana
* Gabada etc
In this presentation, I will talk about only two of them. That is Apatampa and Atsiagbekor.
Apatampa, an ensemble performed by the Fantis has the same history as Adzewa. It is believed to have been created by women of No 2 Asafo Company of Cape Coast for their recreational and entertainment needs. However, its performance now is not limited to only the women of this company. Membership is open to all, although usually daughters replace their mothers as members of local Apatampa ensembles.
Although Apatampa started as an ensemble, played by only females, males joined when they were recruited to play the instruments used in the ensemble.
Instrumental set up: castanet, pati, Tamalen (frame drum), Adaka (wooden box).
Performance organization: Instrumentalist sit with singers standing behind the instrumentalists. Dancers dance in files.
Occasions for performance: Funerals of members, durbars, festivals, etc.
The dance is performed mostly by the Ewe communities in Ghana. During the period of inter-tribal wars, Agbekor dance was performed to incite people for war. When inter-tribal war subsided Agbekor becomes an object of art and other dances developed out of the Agbekor dance. One of these dances is the Atsiagbekor is performed as an art object which help people to reflect on the tribal wars. Thus, some of the dance pattern depicts war-like movement.
Instrumental set up: Atsimevu, Sogo, Laklevi, Kidi, Double bell and a rattle.
Performance practice: in the performance setting, the instrumentalists sit in a horse-shoe formation with the singers standing behind them. The lead singer begins the performance by singing an introductory piece in free style. The master drummer plays the bell...