An interview with J.H.Kwabena Nketia: Perspectives on Tradition and Modernity

Wiggins, Trevor (2005) An interview with J.H.Kwabena Nketia: Perspectives on Tradition and Modernity. Ethnomusicology Forum, 14 (1). pp. 57-81. ISSN 1741-1912

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Abstract / Summary

This is a published, edited version of an extended interview that I conducted with Prof. J.H. Kwabena Nketia, the most outstanding African musicologist of his generation, now retired and living in Ghana. The interview is accompanied by a critical commentary written by me and was conducted at the request of Laurent Aubert, editor of ‘Cahiers de Musiques Traditionelles’. The original version was published in French ('Gérer le passage de la tradition à la modernité: Entretien avec JHK Nketia' in Cahiers de Musiques Traditionelles 17/2004, Geneva: Georg Editeur, pp 315 - 337, ISBN 2-8257 0910 7). It was subsequently accepted by the journal, ‘Ethnomusicology Forum’ for publication in English. My photograph of Nketia was used as the cover image for this issue of the journal.

The interview reviews Nketia’s achievements in musicology and music education, re-examines the concept of bi-musicality, issues of the analysis and description of African music, and the impact and future of the International Centre for African Music and Dance, which he set up. As well as discussion through the interview, my accompanying critical commentary places Nketia’s comments in the context of wider debates about post-colonial views of African music and the ways in which African musicians are responding to the preservation and modernisation of their traditions.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: 10.1080/17411910500089138
Additional Information: I subsequently conducted a further interview with Nketia in December 2006, in which we explored his role in the development of what became the model for ‘cultural performance’ during the Nkrumah years of the early 1960s.
ISBN: 1741-1912
ISSN: 1741-1912
Depositing User: Ex Falmouth Staff
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2014 13:48
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 16:04


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