Ampene releases second edition of book on Asante royal regalia

Kwasi Ampene
Kwasi Ampene

Kwasi Ampene, an African music specialistand editor of Discourses in African Musicology: J.H. Kwabena Nketia Festschrift, is celebrating the publication of the second edition of his latest book, Engaging Modernity: Asante in the Twenty-First Century.

The 330 page book combines text with more than 300 colour photographs to construct a subtle and nuanced view of the material culture associated with Asante royal court in the 21st century.

The first edition was launched on April 26, 2014 to coincide with the 15th Anniversary of Otumfuo Osei Tutu ll and on the occasion of Asanteman Adaekese in Kumasi, Ghana.

“Engaging Modernity is the definitive history of Asante royal regalia and music ensembles. This second edition includes an ethnographic account of the 2014 Asanteman Grand Adae festival that prominently features the complex heritage of the visual and the performing arts in motion.

“It interrogates how the performing arts are individually and collectively created and experienced and how musical instruments and various aspects of performance are historically constructed and socially maintained through time.”

Ampene’s contextual account illuminates the historical narratives the regalia objects render as they move through space and time, as well as the metalanguage embodied in the objects and the symbolic language they convey in Akanland.

Engaging Modernity is an essential and a vast transdisciplinary resource for the humanities and beyond”.

His previous books include Female Song Tradition and the Akan of Ghana: The Creative Process in Nnwonkorɔ (Ashgate, 2005). His articles and book reviews appear in the American Music Research Centre Journal (2012), American Ethnologist (2009), and Ethnomusicology (2007).

He has given numerous presentations on various aspects of African musics and cultures at major universities, national and international conferences including Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro-Brazil (2015), SEM/ICTM Joint Forum in Limerick, Ireland (2015), Central Conservatory of Music Beijing-China (2005/2014), School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London-UK (2013), Rhabindra Bharati University, Kolkata-India (2013), Tufts University (2012/2016), University of Ghana (2008), and Princeton University (2005/2016).

Since 2009, Ampene has been doing extensive field research at the Asante King’s court in Manhyia Palace in Kumasi-Ghana. With rare and unrestricted access to the centuries old heritage of tangible and intangible stool regalia, he is documenting the court music, verbal art forms, musical as well as sound producing instruments.

Ampene holds a joint appointment in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance and the Department of Afro-American and African Studies and is the Carnegie Diasporan Fellow at the University of Ghana.

Engaging Modernity is published by Michigan Publishing in the US and is currently available on Amazon (at in the Paperback format at a cover prize of $69.99

Source: GNA

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