Live Band Music Must Come Back!!!
In any part of the world music started as part of life. Music came with creation from the sound of animals, the waves of the sea, the sound of the wind; the sound of a fruit dropped from trees and any other sound from the first day to the sixth day of God's creation there was music. This means even before the seventh day God created man music already existed in the Garden of Eden. In effect, human beings gave life to the already made natural music with voices; instruments created out of stone, sticks or leafs, leg tapping, clapping, whistling, mamering, shouting and all human activity that made any sort of noise also became part of music on different occasions in the early days and man still enjoyed music. Today there is civilization, development, technology and other artificial enhancements which have even made things very easy for those who create the music yet some feel too lazy to sing or perform their music with their natural voice and live instruments. Else where you there not call yourself a musician when you can't play a single instrument and sing along. But in Ghana where we find ourselves now, some sole called musicians do not even consider live band music as a very essential part of what they claim as their career. One wonders if it is share ignorance, laziness or deliberate act of unprofessionalism on the part of most of our current top musicians. According to some old musicians, live band used to be the order of the day in Ghana some years back but the curfew which was imposed in the 80s affected music in general and live band music in particular. When most musicians moved to Nigeria to perform with their instruments to make money to take care of their families back home. After the country was stable they had to do with miming which has doomed the music industry up till now. Sounds like a lazy man's excuse because over the years a number of musicians have been able to survive the curfew hung over and are back to their live band. Beside a handful of musicians who own their personal band which is always on stand by for any show, a large number of them depend on people's events for reversals. So when there are no events the artistes only stay dormant and only spend most of their time in night clubs where they certainly do not listen or play live band. Our fascination with modern technology is a good thing. But it must be applied within the relevance of our peculiar environment and the demands of this era. Ghanaian music seems to be drifting away from the good old live band. One of the reasons ascribed is the current international interaction; however, one still finds live band music very much active on the international market. Glad about the soar hip life and the fact that we have something good going but it can be made better if the music scene realizes the power of live band music and its international appeal. Lots of noise has been made about Ghana going international but we always miss the point that it's impossible to break through this great market from the African world if you are unable to play the kind of music or show Osibisa or the Pan African orchestra plays. Thanks for the timely intervention of programs like "TV3 Mentor", "The Search", "Stars of the future" and other shows which teaches the young ones how to play live band from the scratch, to Oman FM for being the first radio station to have live band played as a permanent program at the premises of the station live on air during launch time every week day. This gives the bandsmen job to do; it sinks the massage of live band deep into the minds of the people and brings some level of professionalism in the system. Event organizers must put live band in their events; musicians must insist on live shows and stop miming on stage. Even the gospel folks who are already familiar with live music because of their singing in church background also ignore live band in their stage performances. Sturdily, live is bouncing back but it will take consistency to make it a compulsory part of music in Ghana, like it used to be. We need more musicians and not just singers and rappers. We need well-versed artistes who can play at least a musical instrument. Is it not lovely to find twenty one year old girls in international pop bands playing perfect solo guitar strumming? Can we break through such a market without lending any relevance to live music?
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