Thursday, April 16, 2009 'Fela Sowande – African Symphony'

[The Organ Works of Fela Sowande: Cultural Perspectives by Godwin Sadoh; Quality Paperback (2007)]

Thursday, April 16, 2009
Fela Sowande, Nigerian composer, collected African melodies and developed them into original compositions. One of his many works, the African Suite, written in 1944, combines well-known West African music with European methods. For the opening movement, Joyful Day, Sowande uses a melody written by Ghanaian composer Ephrain Amu. In Nostalgia, Sowande composes a traditional slow movement to express his nostalgia for the homeland, and the finale, Akinla, began as a popular Highlife tune. This music is recommended by and Akinla is depicted in the cartoon animation, Oni Dodo – An African Symphony. Fela Sowande was 82 when he died of a stroke on March 13, 1987.”

Fela Sowande (1905-1987) is the subject of a biographical profile at It relies principally on the book Nigerian Art Music (1995) by Bode Omojola, Ph.D. and on an excerpt from Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma's manuscript on Black composers: 

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