Over the past two days, the Yale Percussion Group and members of the Yale Concert Band have visited villages in coastal Ghana to watch and record performances of local music and dance traditions. The video and audio recordings will be used to make transcriptions for publication. “Ekrodo,” in the village of Eduma, is traditionally a dance for farmers when they want to relax and have fun, especially at harvest time. “Osoode” drumming, in the village of Oguaakuma, was originally for young people for the purpose of having fun; it is rarely performed today. Both of these involve singing and clapping in addition to the drumming.
“Bosoe” drumming, in the village of Waakron, is a celebratory dance for events such as the christening of babies. The musicians in Waakron play several homemade folk instruments, built from everyday objects.
Two dances in the village of Yamoransa are “Apatampa,” a traditional dance for women to have fun, and “Adzewa,” once performed for royalty but now used for festivals and funerals.
In addition to the recording projects in local villages, the Yale Percussion Group visited the University of Cape Coast to study with faculty and students there. More information on that is forthcoming.
(Photos by Dana Astmann)