World music: Ghanaian Highlife
Time: 15:00 - 17:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: ME723
Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)
What is the course about?
You will be introduced to this popular urban genre from Ghana. Highlife music developed from Akan traditional rhythms played on percussion and guitars. In concert halls the genre developed with the introduction of brass and saxophones, bass and drumkit.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
We will work from traditional percussion and dance styles such as sikyi, agbadza, and the Ga kpanlogo. We will add instruments to cover Highlife hits from different periods, by E.T.Mensah, Kwabena Frimpong, C.K. Mann, Bessa Simons and Alfred Bannerman.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
Appreciate the call and response and percussive style of Highlife.
Enjoy practical experience of playing music from specific origin.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Bring your instrument! Highlife is played on percussion, with voices, brass, guitars and saxophones. The course is suitable for relative beginners, and will offer insight and a challenge for those who already play music. Improvisational skills will be of advantage.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
These are practical rehearsal sessions. The music for study - by ear and from notation - will be approached in both theoretical and practical ways.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Bring your instrument. Percussion and sheet music/recordings will be supplied in the google classroom.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may also be interested in our other non-Western music courses : Klezma, Afro-Cuban, South African township jazz, Bollywood.
Sarha is an experienced teacher and gigging musician, performing on the saxophone, arranging and composing on the piano, in classical, jazz and world music genres. Her principal band, Bollywood Brass Band, is the UK’s pioneering Indian-style wedding band, performing tunes and compulsively danceable rhythms of Bollywood films. Twice nominated for Songlines World Music Awards, the band has performed across the world in concerts, festivals, and Indian weddings in the UK, Europe, India, Thailand and South Africa. Sarha played with Ghanaian Highlife band Orchestre Jazira, and socialist big band, The Happy End. She also plays in the Charlie Mingus jazz cover band Hog Callin’, The Great Yiddish Parade marching band and Freylekh klezmer band. Sarha’s specialist area is World Music, and she has a PhD on the study of the Flattened Supertonic across different cultures. At CityLit she teaches jazz and classical piano, saxophone, world music styles (practical and academic courses), musicianship and music theory.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.