IJMSTA - Vol. 1 - Issue 2 - September 2019
The Dagbon Hiplife Zone in Northern Ghana Contemporary Idioms of Music Making in Tamale
Authors: Dominik Phyfferoen
Abstract - In this paper we discuss the results of a survey study we conducted in the cosmopolitan city of Tamale on the local urban informal popular music industries we called the Dagbon Hiplife Zone in Northern Ghana. By means of music examples, we show how traditional African idioms of music-making creatively blend with cross-cultural and cross-musical components that stem from Africa, Afro-American, Bollywoodish and Western inspired idioms of music making. The aim of the survey study was to map the radius, location, and organization of the local informal popular urban music industries in and around Tamale, including its artists, stakeholders and various distribution channels. We conducted a survey research on the consumption of music in this city in both the digital idioms and the traditional idioms of music making and a survey on transformational processes, continuity and change in the traditional and contemporary idioms of music making in several Senior High Schools in and around Tamale. The paper starts with a small introduction on the dynamics of music making in the traditional and contemporary idioms in Dagbon society with the emphasis on the Dagbon Hiplife Zone in Tamale. The Dagbon Hiplife Zone is an intangible cultural in-betweenness where transformational processes are taking place. It as a mind-set where new musical idioms are developed. Traditional idioms of music making are blended and merged with contemporary idioms of music making. The fusion of traditional structural and cultural components into new idioms of music making is in Dagbon represented in "The Hiplife Zone", an intangible liminal imaginary creative time space zone of cultural interaction. Music components coming from the traditional idiom interact with components coming from the local, regional and global contemporary idioms of music making. It is a mind-set of the young talented creative artists, working and exploring new ways, methods and ideas of making and creating music by interacting with each other on the level of the local informal music industry in Tamale. The concept of the "Northern Ghanaian Artists" as a cultural cosmopolitan identity for the local artists in Tamale is a very interesting phenomenon and a good example how cultural identities are blended, created and represented in a cosmopolitan city and in cyberspace.
Keywords: Hiplife Zone, Northern Ghanaian Artists, The Intensity Factor, The Sahelian Factor, Transformational processes in African music-dance, Traditional and contemporary idioms of music making, Embodied music interaction, Cultural ambivalence
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Phyfferoen, D. (2019). The Dagbon Hiplife Zone in Northern Ghana Contemporary Idioms of Music Making in Tamale. IJMSTA. 2019 Sept 1; 1 (2): 81-104.