Ghana Music

Ancient Drums - Classic Highlife - Urban Hiplife

Ghana music is fun! Just like the friendly country itself, the music is full of contrasts: Traditional drumming co-exists with modern urban music. There's something in it for every generation and taste!

Ghanaian popular music - From highlife to hiplife

Ghana's most widely known popular music style is called highlife. It originates in the Gold Coast colonial days of the 1900s and mixes various West African rhythms with jazz, swing, ska, rock and soukous.

The new generation has transformed this style according to its own taste: hiplife is the younger, hipper version of the classic highlife.

Ghanaians, both young and old, absolutely love their popular music! The louder it plays in the streets, the better. This very cool hiplife video (featuring Tinny) couldn't be any more authentic:

Ghana drums
Ghana drums

Traditional music and instruments

Ghana is a drummer's paradise! In this rather small country, you'll find countless types of drums. Each of the many ethnic groups is proud of its own traditional instruments, rhythms and dances:

Ewe drumming is just one example. Its complex, polymetric rhythms are taught in universities all over the world. In addition to the unusual set of barrel drums, the Ewe people use their gankogui bells and axatse gourd rattles to play famous Ghanaian rhythms like agbadza.

Mustapha Tettey Addy is one of the Master Drummers, who studied most of Ghana's traditional music. Students and fans from all over the world visit him in Ghana to study authentic African drumming and dance.

recommended album

Ghanaian Records - Find and buy music online

Although traditional drumming is usually happening out in the villages, many groups do record their music. Most of them though never make it to the West. Even the popular hiplife albums can be rather difficult to find outside Ghana.

Fortunately, a few excellent compilations of Ghana music are available online, with some veritable treasures among them!

Ghanaian Artists

Although there are currently no huge world stars here (like Youssou N'Dour in Senegal or Salif Keita in Mali), Ghana music and artists are more than worth to be explored!

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