Research/Areas of Interest:

Intersections between historical/lived experience, music, and social values; music ethnography; compositional conventions and theories in Akan music; Akan heritage of tangible and intangible stool regalia; music and social change, and Popular music.


  • PhD, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, United States, 1999
  • MM Theory, West Virginia University, Morgantown, United States, 1994
  • Dip Music, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana, 1990


Kwasi Ampene received his Diploma in Music from the University of Ghana, his Masters in Music Theory from West Virginia University, and his PhD in Ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh. Ampene specializes in the rich musical traditions of the Akan people of West Africa. He has disseminated his research at national and international conferences and speaking engagements at major universities in Africa, United States, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, and South America. He has provided expert advice for public engagement projects on Akan culture and music to the British Library, and Princeton University. Ampene's book publications include, Asante Court Music and Verbal Arts in Ghana: The Porcupine and the Gold Stool (2020). Asante Court Music is the winner of J.H. Kwabena Nketia Book Prize by the African and African Diaspora Music Section in the SEM for the best monograph on African music in 2022. Additional books include, Engaging Modernity: Asante in the Twenty-First Century (2016) and Female Song Tradition and the Akan of Ghana: The Creative Process in Nnwonkoro (2005). He is the leading editor of, Discourses in African Musicology: J.H. Kwabena Nketia Festschrifts (2015). He has published several articles in prestigious journals. Ampene is the producer of the film documentary, Gone To The Village: Royal Funerary Rites for Asantehemaa Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II. Ampene is currently the President of Ghana Studies Association (an international affiliate of the African Studies Association); Chair of the Society for Ethnomusicology Council; a member of the Editorial Board of the SOAS Studies in Music Series at the University of London; and the past Chair of the African Music Section in the Society for Ethnomusicology.