Music Research Institute

Bridging Musicology and Composition cover 

J. H. Kwabena Nketia
Bridging Musicology and Composition
A Study in Creative Musicology

by Akin Euba.
Published by the MRI Press 2014

192 pages, ISBN 978-1-933459-05-9

$25.95 per copy plus shipping 

Table of Contents

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All too often, the subjects portrayed are not seen in the context of their time and era. This is about one such individual -- Professor J. H. Kwabena Nketia who chose music as his life’s work and has made major contributions to the arts that have yet to be fully realized. Introduced by examples of historical precedents, Professor Akin Euba focuses on Nketia the man, the scholar, and the composer. His compositions provide a bridge between musicology and composition that enter the realm of creative musicology. To place the compositions of Nketia in context, Euba looks at activities of other composers who practise (or have practised) creative musicology such as Jose Maceda (Philippines), Halim El-Dabh (Egypt), Joshua Uzoigwe (Nigeria), Elaine Barkin (USA),Valerie Ross (Malaysia) and Paul Humphries (USA).

Euba defines creative musicology as:

  • the application of musicology to composition. The product of research is the publication of its results in the form of speech discourse, whereas in creative musicology, the product is a composition, or even an entire creative idiom based on information derived from the research.
  • the process of moving from analysis to synthesis.
  • the transformational zone between research and composition.
  • providing a vital link between researching and composing in the form of composition. In creative musicology, the theory of music and the analysis of the sound of music are the main focus of attention. In ethnomusicology (and some recent studies in historical musicology) the social context is the prime focus.
  • involving analysis of certain types of music, including the folk music of all cultures of the world and the traditional and popular musics of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Emphasis is on the music of oral traditions and not written compositions, the study of which, in Western society belongs under historical musicology.

Table of Contents

List of Recordings

List of Photos



PART ONE: Preliminary Discourse

Chapter One: Introduction
A Theory of Creative Musicology
The Relevance of Creative Musicology

Chapter Two: The Historical Context
[Isaac Albeniz, Johann Sebastian Bach, Mily Alekseyevich Balakirev, Georges Bizet, Johannes Brahms, Emmanuel Chabrier, Frederic François Chopin, Claude Debussy, Manuel deFalla, Antonin Leopold Dvořák, Mikhail Glinka, Enrique Granados, Georg Friedrich Händel, Zoltan Kodaly, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Modest Mussorgsky, Maurice Ravel, Nicoli Rimsky-Korsakov, Franz Peter Schubert, Igor Stravinsky, Peter Tchaikovsky, Edgard Varèse, Iannis Xenakis]

The Heritage of Bartok
[Franz Liszt, Mykola Lysenko]

Contemporary Practitioners
[Elaine Barkin, Halim El Dabh, Paul Humphreys, José Maceda, Valerie Ross, Roy Travis, Joshua Uzoigwe]

PART TWO: A Study of J.H. Kwabena Nketia

Chapter Three: The Man

Chapter Four: The Scholar
Traditional Models of Scholarship in Africa
The Application of Traditional Models
Nketia’s Scholarship
Compilations and Studies Relevant to Creative Musicology

Chapter Five: The Composer
An Introduction to Modern African Art Music
Nketia’s Place in Neo-African Composition
The Making of the Composer
Nketia’s Output

Chapter Six: Bridging Musicology and Composition
Theory and Method
Theoretical Framework
Nketia’s Method
Sankudwom: Songs for Solo Voice and Piano
Wonya Amane - - pp. 15-16; MM 9-17
Onipa Dasani - - pp. 20-21; MM 8-12 and 16-20
Maforo Patahunu - - p. 49; MM 4-7 and 9-10
Onipa Beyee Bi - - pp. 81-82; MM 24 -30
Mpere Nto - - pp. 66-7; MM 13-21
Obaa Hemaa - - p. 150-1; MM 5-13
Onipa Dasani - - p. 20; M 9
Obi Reba A - - p.120; MM 5-7
Nnansa Ne Nne - - p. 132; MM 1-4
Obarima Nifahene - - p. 134; MM 12-14
Onipa Dasani M’ Ayeyi Ni? - - p. 20; MM 1-3
Wo Ho Te Sen - - p. 92; MM 1-4
The Choral Music
Works for Solo Piano
Other Instrumental Works

Chapter Seven: Summary and Conclusion
Researching for Composition
Intercultural Musicology
The Future





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