Ghanaians must know the greatness of J.H. Nketia: Story of the "Special One"

Ghanaians must know the greatness of J.H. Nketia: Story of the "Special One"

Professor John Hanson Kwabena Nketia or J.H. Nketia, as most of the world popularly knew him, was one of the greatest musicologists the modern world ever saw.

Prof Nketia was born in 1921 and remained the only child of his parents. As fate would have it, he grew into the "Special One", beautifully achieving above and beyond the expectations for a modest Mampong boy.

After winning a government scholarship at the age of 23 to go study at the University of London in 1944, Prof Nketia never looked back until international fame was achieved beginning in the 1950s.

He became the director for the International Centre for African Music and Dance (ICAMD) in 1952. It was at this point the professor's ingenuity began to show.

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Among his praise singers, Ghanaweb.com once wrote that: "His concept and interpretation of time and rhythmic patterns in Ghanaian and other African folk music were revolutionary, and became standard for researchers and scholars around the world."

In simple terms, Prof. Nketia taught the world how to read and write African music.

Prof Nketia took inspiration from mentor Ephraim Amu but then went on to change how Amu wanted music to be studied.

More knowledgeable people in the field of musicology shared Nketia's position when he pointed out that the constant use of triplets in a duple time signature was misleading.

He may have passed on but scholars nowadays have found his theory useful in transcribing African music.

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Prof Nketia composed for both Western and African instruments, and wrote more than 200 publications, including his world-acclaimed The Music of Africa, which was translated into German, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese.

He is considered the best authority on African music and aesthetics and was one of the most prolific African scholars in music.

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Even late into his years, Prof. Nketia was delivering papers and composing for the pleasure of educated ears and the general public.

He will be sorely missed by his family. But the bigger truth is he gave all that Ghana could ask of a man who chose his field and ran the race.

I don't secular music. I do good music with good themes: Kuami Eugene - Star Gist| #Yencomgh:

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Source: Yen.com.gh

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