ISBN 9789964701475
Pages 38
Dimensions 280 x 210mm
Illustrations B/W Illustrations
Published 1994
Publisher Afram Publications, Ghana
Format Paperback

African Pianism

Twelve Pedagogical Pieces

by J. H. Kwabena Nketia

African Pianism refers to a style of piano music which derives its characteristic idiom from the procedures of African percussion music as exemplified in bell patterns, drumming, xylophone and mbira music. It may use simple or extended rhythmic motifs or the lyricism of traditional songs and even those of African popular music as the basis of its rhythmic phrases. It is open ended as far as the use of tonal materials is concerned expect that it may draw on the modal and cadential characteristics of traditional music. It’s harmonic idiom may be tonal, atonal, consonant or dissonant in whole, in part, depending on the preferences of the composer, the mood or impressions he wishes to create or how he chooses to reinforce, heighten or soften the jaggedness of successive percussive attacks. In this respect the African composer does not have to tie himself down to any particular school of writing if his primary aim is to explore the potential of African rhythmic and tonal usages.

The pieces in this book were written to give the African piano student something with African rhythmic and tonal flavour that may enrich the experience, shape orientation, sense of timing and coordination of rhythmic and tonal events.

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About the Author

J. H. Kwabena Nketia

J.H. Kwabena Nketia is perhaps Africa’s most distinguished and renowned composer, musicologist and scholar. His awards include the Ghana Book Award, the IMC-Unesco Music Prize for Distinguished Service to Music, and the Prince Claus Award for Distinguished Service to Culture and Development. He is a Foundation Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts & Sciences, Honorary Member of the International Music Council and Member of the International Jury for the Proclamation by Unesco of Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.