Associate Professor, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS)
Associate Professor, School of Music, Theater and Dance (SMTD)
University of Ghana-Carnegie Diasporan Fellow, University of Ghana

  • Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh, 1999
  • Master of Music Theory from West Virginia University, 1994
  • General Diploma of Music from the University of Ghana (West Africa),1990
Research Interests 
Intersection of Akan court music and dance, verbal art forms, and visual arts; Compositional conventions and theories in Akan; Akan heritage of tangible and intangible stool regalia, Music and social Change, Popular music

Book Publications

Engaging Modernity: Asante in the Twenty-First Century 

2nd Edition

Michigan Publishing, June 2016

Discourses in African Musicology: 
J.H. Kwabena Nketia Festschrift, 
University of Michigan Press,
May 2015
 Engaging Modernity: 
Asante In the Twenty-First Century, 
University Lithoprinters, 
April 2014
 Female Song Tradition and the Akan of Ghana: 
The Creative Process in Nnwonkoro, 
Ashgate Publishing, 
August 2005


    As an African music specialist, Ampene specializes in the rich musical traditions of the Akan of Ghana. His current research interrogates how the performing arts are individually and collectively created and experienced and how musical instruments and various aspects of performance are historically constructed and socially maintained through time. His book publications include Discourses in African Musicology: J.H.Kwabena Nketia Festschrift (2015), Engaging Modernity: Asante in the Twenty-First Century (2014), Female Song Tradition and the Akan of Ghana: The Creative Process in Nnwonkorɔ (2005). His articles and book reviews appear in the American Music Research Center Journal (2012), American Ethnologist (2009), and Ethnomusicology (2007). Since 2009, Ampene has been doing extensive field research at the Asante King’s court in Manhyia Palace in Kumase-Ghana. With rare and unrestricted access to the centuries old heritage of tangible and intangible stool regalia, he is documenting the court music, verbal art form, musical as well as sound producing instruments. Ampene has given numerous presentations on various aspects of African musics and cultures at major universities, national and international conferences including Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro-Brazil (2015), SEM/ICTM Joint Forum in Limerick, Ireland (2015), Central Conservatory of Music Beijing-China (2014/2005), School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London-UK (2013), Rhabindra Bharati University, Kolkata-India (2013), Tufts University (2012), University of Ghana (2008), and Princeton University (2005).

    Teaching (Classes Taught)
    Performing Arts and Power in Africa, African musics and Cultures, Symbolic Language and Communication in West African Visual and Performing Arts, Introduction to Ethnomusicology, Ethnography in Ethnomusicology, Field Research Methods in Ethnomusicology, World Musics: Americas and Africa

    Graduate Seminar
    Field Research Methods in Ethnomusicology
    Seminar in Musicology: Ethnography in Ethnomusicology

    Undergraduate Seminar in DAAS, U-M
    AAS 206 Issues in African Studies: Performing Arts and Power in Africa

    Chair of Dissertation/Doctoral Committee
    Daniel Nunez, "Music, Identity, and Afro-Venezuelan Culture: The Dynamics of a Contemporary Tradition as Manifested in the Central Coastal Region," Dec 2010

    Member of several Dissertation/Master's Thesis/Doctoral Exam Committee (See CV for full list)

    Grants Awarded for Research and Creative Productions (Selected, see full list in my CV)
    • The Anschutz Foundation, to support a two-week residency for Asante Chiefs and a Queenmother, Feb 2010, Amount: $20,000
    • The Colorado Trust, Funding for the 10th Annual Spectacular Highlife Concert, March 2010. Amount: $10,000
    • Roser Grant for Visiting Artists, to support a two-week residency for Asante Chiefs and a Queenmother, Nov 2009. Amount: $10,000
    • The Cowry Capital Group, Funding for the 10th Annual Spectacular Highlife Concert, March 2010. Amount: $1,000
    • Tomadachi Foundation (Eugene, Oregon), Funding for the 10th Annual Highlife Spectacular Concert, February 2010. Amount: $500. 


    • Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Rosa Parks Visiting Professorship, University of Michigan, as part of the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps, Oct 11-14, 2010 
    • CACMA Certificate of Appreciation for the Ethnomusicology Program in the College of Music (CU-Boulder) for Achievement in Diversity. Award shared with Brenda Romero and Jay Keister, Feb 2003 
    Subpages (1): new pic