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Music and Dance Section

The ‘Music and Dance’ section is one of the founding wings of the Institute right from its inception in 1962. The section, as its name depicts, embodies the music and dance sub-units and the Ghana Dance Ensemble. The section is responsible for two mandatory introductory courses, namely: UGRC 225 (African Dance) and UGRC 227 (African Music), for undergraduate students as a requirement for their degree programme. The only requirement for students who sign up for these introductory courses is that they must be all but dance/music students.

At the graduate levels, the section offers two ethnomusicology courses each at the Master's and PhD Levels’ for both music/dance and non-music/dance majors. These include:

  • AFST 617: Traditional African Music
  • AFST 618: Contemporary African Music
  • AFST 709: New Directions in Ethnomusicological Discourses
  • AFST 708: Sound, Sense and Identity in Black/African Art Music

Even though a background in music and/or dance at the bachelor’s level offers some advantages, non-majors have always had equal chance at going through the mater’s courses when they work as hard. This is because the master’s degree courses are designed to emphasise on traditional and contemporary African/diasporan music histories/ethnographies/ anthropology with little technicalities that disadvantage non-music majors. Thus, in addition to music-major students, other students who have offered African Oral Literature, African Religions, Gender Studies, as their elective areas have also found the music courses very helpful to their chosen areas of study. The Master's degree training in African music/ ethnomusicology blends the conventional music knowledge base with that of ethnic history and its musical aspects.

The PhD courses on the other hand are designed for those with interest in academia. The courses interrogate/examine the nature and scope of emergent theoretical and analytical ideas in ethnomusicology, including new developments in field methods and ethnography, influences of emergent debates and practices in cognate fields such as neuroscience, mobilities, ecomusicology, heritage and sustainability studies, and dialectics of music in war/peace/conflict zones. A strong background in ethnomusicology/ music theory, dance anthropology/ ethnochoreology/ performance studies are therefore prerequisites.


  • Dr. Nii Moses Dortey, (Coordinator, Music and Dance Section)
  • Professor Daniel K. Avorgbedor
  • Mr. Benjamin Obido Ayettey
  • Mr. Zakariah Abdallah Zablong