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Music and Dance Traditions of Ghana event is May 24

Music professor Paschal Yao Younge will present book


The Authors@Alden Series and the Culture Showcase Series are combining for a celebration of music, dance and performance called "Music and Dance Traditions of Ghana" from 2-3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 24, on the fourth floor of Alden Library.

During the event, Associate Professor of Multicultural Music Education Paschal Yao Younge will present his book, "Music and Dance Traditions of Ghana."

His book discusses the concepts of music, dance and performance of Ghana's four main ethnic groups. With his insight on cultural perspectives and his expertise on the various music types and dance/drumming ceremonies, Younge's book serves as a guide to multicultural education, which include teaching methods and curriculum development tips.

The book helps guide educators and interested readers to learn and teach the dynamic traditions of Ghanaian music and dance. The purpose of his book and of his presentation is to clarify the misrepresentation of the so called "music from Africa."

"There is no word equivalent to 'music' in any African language," explained Younge. "To Africans, music is what you see, hear and experience. Music is life expressed through various art forms."

Most books on African music and specifically Ghanaian music are written from the western understanding of music, dance and theatre.

"I want people to see the whole, not the pieces of what people are calling Ghanaian music. If you are in music, there is a lesson for you. If you are in theatre, visual arts or dance there is a lesson for you. If you study history or geography, there is definitely knowledge to gain from the book," said Younge.

Younge is a specialist in African choral and brass band music, a clinician in sub-Saharan African music and dance, and an advocate of multicultural music education. His recently published works include the vocal and performance recordings: "Ghana: Rhythms of the People," "Mano Efe Dusime," "Yeve: Ritual Music and Dance of a Secret Society," and "Four Choruses from Ghana."

Refreshments will be provided.