Aug 26, 2013

From Ghana: The Jewels & Ghanaian highlife

Unfortunately, I cannot find any information about "The Jewels", 
but any interesting brief history of highlife music in Ghana ...


A little bit of blues, swing, rhythm and blues and African rhythms: So the style of music can sound Highlife from Ghana. Or even completely different: A pinch of samba, a touch of European church music, mixed with sea shanties - but also because the Ghanaian rhythms not missing. Because they are the common denominator of highlife music that is so diverse that it is difficult to characterize.
The roots of the high life in the bustling capital city of Accra in the late 19th Century, when Ghana is still a colony of Great Britain. Especially on the coast meet different cultures. This leads also to a musical melting pot of music from around the world mixed with indigenous sounds and rhythms.
Within the country develop at the beginning of the 20th Century, two different forms of this genre: the high life of the rich and the high life in the bush.
On the coast of Ghana is dancing the black and white elite to dance orchestra Highlife: Africanized foxtrot, waltz and ragtime, played by large string and brass bands. Dance to the rich in tails, top hat and much pomp.
Meanwhile produced within the country of the guitar band highlife. Especially in the simple style of this instrument differs from the elite: The harp lute Seprewa and later the guitar shape this music - and percussion instruments.
The signs of the beginnings: The band "Sam's Trio," which also "Kumasi Trio" was called. As early as 1928 they are in London in a studio and record the song "Yaa Amponsah" on. To date, this structure can be found in almost every highlife number.
Although so many Western influences collide in this music, highlife, after independence in 1957 Ghana's national music and also has political value: The president often takes a whole orchestra with him on his trip abroad.
As it rumbles in the 80s in Ghana - corruption and arbitrariness determine the policy, the economy is declining - breaks the music industry. More and more musicians wander off: Many to Germany, where highlife, funk and rock fused with the so-called Burger-highlife is. Or to Canada, there to wait an enthusiastic audience and a liberal working environment. 

moreover, ... I found an interesting brief history of highlife music in Ghana by John Collins


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