Traditional music in Ghana comes in a number of forms, including string-focused music with lutes and fiddles as the dominant instruments and drum-centered music. Different types of music originated in different areas in the country, with string-centered music more prominent in the northern part of Ghana.
Most traditional music arose from use in everyday life, including songs for working, funeral songs and music performed at various ceremonies. Drums, gongs and bells played with complex polyrhythmic patterns originated in the southern part of the country. In the north, the calabash gourd was the traditional percussive instrument.
In the early 20th century, both traditional forms fused with music influenced from various parts of the world to create Ghanaian Highlife music. With nearly a century of lineage, Highlife may also be viewed as traditional.