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Highlife Saturday Night: Popular Music and Social Change in Urban Ghana [Paperback]

Nathan Plageman

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Book Description

Nov. 1 2012 African Expressive Cultures

Highlife Saturday Night captures the vibrancy of Saturday nights in Ghana—when musicians took to the stage and dancers took to the floor—in this penetrating look at musical leisure during a time of social, political, and cultural change. Framing dance band "highlife" music as a central medium through which Ghanaians negotiated gendered and generational social relations, Nate Plageman shows how popular music was central to the rhythm of daily life in a West African nation. He traces the history of highlife in urban Ghana during much of the 20th century and documents a range of figures that fueled the music’s emergence, evolution, and explosive popularity. This book is generously enhanced by audiovisual material on the Ethnomusicology Multimedia website.

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"Explores a relatively unknown period of an important social and cultural institution—highlife music—and brings new insights and signficance to popular expressive forms." —Suzanne Gott, University of British Columbia, Okanagan

(Suzanne Gott, University of British Columbia, Okanagan)

"Going beyond a mere account of highlife's origins and development, it offers a history of popular music and its relationship to the cultural, gendered, political, and social fabric of urban Ghana." —Stephan F. Miescher, University of California, Santa Barbara

(Stephan F. Miescher, University of California, Santa Barbara)

About the Author

Nate Plageman is Assistant Professor of History at Wake Forest University.

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