All too often, the subjects portrayed are not seen in the context of their time and era. This is about one such individual -- Professor J. H. Kwabena Nketia who chose music as his life’s work and has made major contributions to the arts that have yet to be fully realized. Introduced by examples of historical precedents, Professor Akin Euba focuses on Nketia the man, the scholar, and the composer. His compositions provide a bridge between musicology and composition that enter the realm of creative musicology. To place the compositions of Nketia in context, Euba looks at activities of other composers who practise (or have practised) creative musicology such as Jose Maceda (Philippines), Halim El-Dabh (Egypt), Joshua Uzoigwe (Nigeria), Elaine Barkin (USA),Valerie Ross (Malaysia) and Paul Humphries (USA).
Euba defines creative musicology as:
- the application of musicology to composition. The product of research is the publication of its results in the form of speech discourse, whereas in creative musicology, the product is a composition, or even an entire creative idiom based on information derived from the research.
- the process of moving from analysis to synthesis.
- the transformational zone between research and composition.
- providing a vital link between researching and composing in the form of composition. In creative musicology, the theory of music and the analysis of the sound of music are the main focus of attention. In ethnomusicology (and some recent studies in historical musicology) the social context is the prime focus.
- involving analysis of certain types of music, including the folk music of all cultures of the world and the traditional and popular musics of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Emphasis is on the music of oral traditions and not written compositions, the study of which, in Western society belongs under historical musicology.