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10.05.2012 General News

GBC Gram Library Digitized

By Daily Guide
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To revitalize the good collection of musical records in the Gramophone, (Gram) Library of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), a CD publication has been produced to safeguard the archives of the library.

The double CD, 'Ghana Muntie,' features musical recordings from the GBC Gram Library and Radio Ghana from 1947 to 1962.

The compilation of the CD for teaching and research purposes was part of the digitization project of the Gram library by GBC, the German embassy and the Center for World Music, University of Hildesheim.

The project, which cost about 124,000 Euros, was funded by the German government under the cultural preservation programme.

The CD presents art, church and choral music as well as a collection of music from different regions and traditions in Ghana.

It has social discourse which focuses on lyrics by different guitar bands in Ghana in the 1950s and 1960s.

German ethnomusicologist and anthropologist, Dr. Markus Coester, who compiled the CD with staff of the Gramophone Library, told the media in Accra that the three and half year-project had been successful.

He said samples of various forms of Ghanaian music on the CD will go a long way to bring to light the recordings that have been in Radio Ghana's archives for 50 years.

'It contains thousands of gramophone records from local, foreign and international recordings as well as vinyl records, cassettes and CDs,' Dr. Coester said.

He said apart from the music, the CD also holds sound recordings (acetate records) of political speeches prior and after Ghana's Independence.

'Commercial recording from all over Africa and other places have been transferred from gramophone, schellack, acetate and vinyl records onto digital media in the last three and half years,' he said.

Dr. Coester further noted that a booklet attached to the CD presents annotations, comments and notes to the music/recordings as well as photographs and record labels.

Thomas Wimmer, Deputy Head of Mission at the German Embassy, said the country has been supporting the preservation of cultural heritage across the globe as part of its cultural preservation programme.

'Between 1981 and 2012 approximately 50.2 million Euros was made available to fund a total of more than 2350 projects in 142 countries,' he said.

He said the project is to preserve cultural heritage in developing countries and to protect German heritage abroad.

'The programme is primarily designed to help developing countries build a sense of national identity, thus promoting the sort of intercultural dialogue between equal partners that is sought by Germany,' Wimmer said.

He further noted that 500 copies of the CD will be distributed for free to schools, libraries and tertiary institutions in the country.

He later called on the public to own the project and help preserve the cultural heritage of the country.

 By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri

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