Role of Drumming and Dancing in Ghana

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The art of drumming and dancing holds an extremely important role in the traditional cultures of Ghana, Africa. The fact that this music and dance is remembered and performed without ever being scribed holds testament to its important role in the Ghanaian culture. Even with the world molding into a place in which modern technology has reached almost everywhere, there are still people willing to appreciate and perform the traditions that have been passed down for many generations. Both drumming and dancing are combined and used for a very wide range of events. The content heavily relies on where in Ghana one is located. Although Ghana is a single country, its music styles can be placed into two main groups. The southern part of the country typically has integrated, polyrythmic bell and drum rhythms. Northern Ghana is known for having wind, string, and light percussion instruments in their music. This is not to say that stringed instruments are only used in the north, while drums are only used in the south. For instance, the Seperewa is a multi-stringed instrument played in the southern areas of Ghana. Also, some music associated with southern Ghana contains wooden xylophones. In comparison, northern Ghana uses a drum referred to as a “talking drum”. Although the music from the south in mainly bells and drums, and the music from the north contains mostly tonal instrumentations there are many forms of music which transcend this notion. In old Ghanaian culture drumming played an extremely important role in not just social gatherings, but also communication. In fact, the spoken word was invented after communication was established by drumming, and this verbal language directly mimicked the sounds that the drums made. The people of Ewe refer to this drum speech as vugbe. The drums of the Ewe people of Ghana are established much like a family. Each drum has a specific

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