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Documentation of music making and its integration into religious, martial, governance, and recreational domains of community life in one West African town is presented here. Based on fieldwork and audio and video documenting carried out by Roger Vetter in Anomabu, Ghana, in 1992-1993, the intent of this site is to illustrate how the Fante people—the cultural formation to which belong the majority of Anomabu residents—perform their shared identity through communal music making. Drawing upon Christopher Small’s idea of “musicking” (Small 1998), I attempt here to direct the attention of the users of this site to the relationships between performers, the social and spiritual institutions of which they are a part, the sounds they produce when performing, and the nature of the occasions into which they are integrated. Small argues that it is in these relationships, which are in play during performances, that the meaning of music making as a cultural expression is revealed.

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Citation

Small, Christopher. Musicking: The Meanings of Performing and Listening. Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press, 1998.

Accessibility Note: This site has been tested with VoiceOver and NVDA software. To accommodate links with NVDA, please use tab button to review a list of links on the page or hover over the links. In addition, please note that transcripts of video media are currently being produced and are expected to be posted by August 2017. If you have a request for a specific video to be transcribed, please email donovang@grinnell.edu with the site and video name. Alt text and descriptions of images will also be added by August 2017.