In Search for Comprehensive Philosophy of Music Education in Ghana

Mawusi Foster Eddison


DOI: 10.7176/JEP/11-9-21

Publication date:March 31st 2020


One of the critical issues in the philosophy of music involves a study of basic questions regarding understanding music or musical meaning; what music is, how people perceive music in the context of their culture, how cultural perceptions influence music and what is the relationship between music and emotions.

One discipline that is so complex to define is music. Many philosophers and ethnomusicologists did a lot of works in defining music yet the fact still remains that none of these giants was able to holistically define what music really is. Many people have different views and definitions about music. These differences emanate from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. No person defines music better than the one from that particular cultural setting. “Music is an immersive sonic and social phenomenon that is at once both physical and emotional. Communication takes place through the processes of musical creation, performance and response (processes which are by no means discrete from each other), and music carries multiple meanings, communal and individual, intentional and unpredictable. People turn to music every day throughout their lives to create a sense of identity, to connect with others and to express, reflect and change their emotions. Music is a pervasive feature of life. Music engagement both underpins and accompanies many of our day-to-day activities from our earliest years as well as marking the significant moments of individual and collective life.” (

This paper focuses on the Philosophy of Music Education like any other discipline and I tried to express my opinion from the Ghanaian cultural perspective.

There are people who define music as pleasant sound that appeals to the ear. However, what sounds pleasant in one cultural setting will possibly be a noise in other setting. Others define music as singing and dancing neglecting very vital constituents of the discipline. In this paper, the definition of music is based on the cultural perception of what music really is to the performers. The definition embedded how the focused setting value music and how their perception influences music.

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