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Ghana and the World Music Boom

Summary of Article , 2008

According to Collins, Ghana spearheaded West African popular music through the 1950s and 60s. However, the political unrest of the 70s left a vacuum which was eventually filled with Christian gospel and synthesizer-driven music. "World Music" fans rejected this as “inauthentic” African music. Today, however, foreigners flock to Ghana’s universities to study African performance. Older musicians are breathing new life into traditional forms and reaching an international market. The Ghaba government has begun encouraging musicianship as a catalyst of tourism and revenue generation. Collins notes the 1991 establishment of a Ghana Folklore Board for the monitoring and monetization of Ghanaian folkloric usage. A support network of private and NGO cultural centers have since been established to teach traditional music and dance, with the University of Ghana School of Performing Arts enrolling many foreign students annually. Collins notes that this local and international attention has reinvigorated traditional Ghanaian musical forms, leading to the generation of new revenue as well as new musical releases.