International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Remembering Kwadwo Donkoh and Stan Plange: Ghanaian Dance Band Highlife Music Composer and Arranger
Mark Millas Coffie, Edwin E. A. Ferguson, Stephen Ayesu Nyanteh

The purpose of this study is to reflect on the life, music and contributions of Kwadwo Donkoh and Stan Plange to the development of Ghanaian dance band highlife music. It also examines the compositional devices and arranging techniques employed in one of their popular highlife songs, Wobe kume (you will kill me) as a contribution to music theory. Employing document review and interview for data collection, the paper reveals that both Kwadwo Donkoh and Stan Plange composed and arranged for several bands. A formal analysis of the song, Wobe kume also reveals manipulation of sequential interlocking patterns, repetitions, variations and transposition in the vocal melody, while the arrangement employs a technique of ‘double theme brass and vocal alternation’. The study concludes that the song is a contribution to music theory; and therefore, recommends the use of Ghanaian dance band highlife songs for the teaching of composition and ‘big band’ arranging techniques, and musical form and analysis in music institutions.

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