My interest in this study was ignited during a discussion in the school board regarding assessment of Western and African music practicals. In the process, two thoughts emerged. On one hand, there was an argument that the procedure of assessment of Western music practicals is “clear, systematic, tested and organised.” On the other hand, it was argued that assessment of African music practicals “had no established content standards, no clear system, protocols, or an organised regimen.” This bipolar position regarding assessment of western and African music practicals motivated me to find out more about best practices elsewhere through literature review and interviews. Through interviews and focused group discussions with African music lecturers and scholars in Kabarak University and other universities – in Kenya and beyond, I managed to unearth, document and assess key issues in the assessment of African music practicals. Consequently, this article proposes a way forward on the “what” and the “how” in the assessment of African music on the basis of established findings on African music theory and practice.
Keyword: African music, Western music, assessment, African practical