The Ghana Study Abroad trip immerses students in traditional musical performance practice within modern Africa. As a group, we travel throughout the country to experience the dynamic range of musical cultures present. Participants will study with renowned master drummer and gyil virtuoso, Bernard Woma, at his Dagara Music Center near Accra, the nation’s capital; the Dagbe Cultural Institute and Arts Center located in the village of Kopeyia with renowned Ewe drummer and dancer Emmanuel Agbelli; in Tamale, the heart of the Dagomba region with the exponent Bamaya dancer, Sulley Imoro; a residency with the Palace Players Dance Group in Kumasi, the center of the Ashanti kingdom; and a workshop in Ghana’s National Theater with the National Dance Company of Ghana.
Specific activities will vary depending upon individual interests but each student will have the opportunity to study music, dance, and culture, participate in tours, attend music and dance performances, experience Ghana’s ecosystem in Kakum and Kintampo National parks, and visit the UNSECO World Heritage sites of Elmina and Cape Coast.
In this course we investigate music as culture. We will study defining perspectives in the discipline of ethnomusicology and experience immersion in four distinct Ghanaian cultural groups: Dagara, Ewe, Ga, and Dagbamba, to explore the range of ways that humans create and use music.