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    Who defines GOOD MUSIC in Ghana?

    by Osarfo Anthony
    posted Saturday, 06 April 2013 19:49| 0 Comments

    Fiifi Banson, a fortnight ago said most hiplife music are disposable music. Latest to share a similar dictum is Abrekyireba Kofi Sammy who says hiplife musicians are not musicians.

    The question therefore is; who defines good music in Ghana?

    So if one does not do highlife music, then he or she is not a musician or doing good music? Or if one does not use live band or manual musical instruments to produce music, then it means the music is of low quality?

    Who says music produced by or with live band or manual musical instruments is good music? I describe all those so called lovers of old school music who think highlife music is the best form of music as shallow thinkers.

    They keep repeating this myopic and improvident analysis on music all the time and think they are speaking as authorities in the field of music. I say they are shallow thinkers once again!

    Fact is, the orientation every human being is exposed to at a younger age is what he or she grows to believe in or live by. If you grew up listening to music produced with live band or manual musical instruments, it means the melody, beat and rhythm of such music is what tickles the fantasy of your ears and consciousness musically. Another person might

    also grow up listening to music produced digitally or with computers. If such a person enjoys digital music more than live band music, is it the fellow's fault for being born in an era where music is produced with computers? Indeed, the “oldies” and the “todays” are two worlds apart.

    I often hear some characters in our arts industry say a good musician is; 'one who composes songs and can play at least one musical instrument.'Is that the Ghanaian definition of who a good musician is? Of course they sampled that definition from either Google or Wikipedia. Why should a definition of who a musician is on Google or Wikipedia be the standard for Ghana? If there is any erudite logic in that definition as posited by Google or Wikipedia, then why did those same westerners bring the concept of digital music production?

    Because, if a musician can produce music with digital beat, it therefore becomes an issue of choice and not a rigid law to be obliged! It is not necessary or by force for a musician to play live band or manual musical instruments to qualify for who a good musician is.

    For instance, I am a professional screenwriter. The fact that I don't direct my own scripts or edit shots on bench does not make me a bad screenwriter, neither can directing and editing be used to define me as a good screenwriter. If I can direct or edit, it's just an added advantage; just as a musician who can play at least one musical instrument or live band.

    In as much as we all learn from the internet, sometimes we need to pause, question and examine the common sense application of those knowledge to our settings in Africa or as Africans. We sit in an industry where we don't want to rack our brains and define standards for ourselves in whatever we do.

    The result is that, everything is subjective to anybody's own understanding, isms, credo, reformism, and rubrics.

    No one should allow anyone to force his/her thoughts on him/her. We can all think for ourselves.

    As a showbiz industry, the mature thing we can do to grow the industry is for all the stakeholders in all the various fields of our arts – music, movies, fashion, modeling, poetry, sculpturing, painting, publishing, etc to convene what I call“industry standardization stakeholders forum” and use such a meeting to set standards to define every creative art work. That is the strategy the westerners we are in a haste to copy used to get to where they are. Until we do so, no one should assume any authority or school of thought and impose his/her ideologies on anyone.

    Who defines good music or who a good musician is? In my artless opinion, currently, NO ONE! I will not accept what any individual sits on radio or television to impose on others. Highlife music is not the good, better or best music in Ghana, neither is hiplife or any other genre of music.

    No one should be allowed to waste our ears with his/her music preference, as the definition of what good music is or should be. I repeat, we must have an “industry standardization stakeholders ‘forum” and set standards to define every creative art work. Until then……MOTWUM!!




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