Embodied Listening: Grassroots Governance in Electronic Dance Music Venues in Accra (Ghana)

Leila Adu-Gilmore

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The latest iterations of West African electronic dance music, such as Afrobeats, azonto, and akayida, have been gaining ground in Accra and around the world since the 2010s. Sound is part of the societal fabric of Accra; there are noise control and building regulations in Ghana, but they are outdated and easily ignored. This research reveals that nightclubs, bars, and restaurants with dance music are an elongated historic phenomenon due to the fact that the intermingling of dance and music-described here as “embodied listening”-morphed organically from traditional and popular Ghanaian dance/music genres into electronic versions. Afrocentric indigenous auto-ethnography and informal interviews with music communities, as well as local news articles and public policies, foreground an afrocentric discussion of the electronic music scene and community networks. Government interventions such as arts policies, building codes, and sound control policies that are relevant in the Global North are found to be potentially harmful in Ghana, as well as other similar communities in the Global South.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationElectronic Cities
Subtitle of host publicationMusic, Policies and Space in the 21st Century
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9789813347410
ISBN (Print)9789813347403
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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