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Music and Social Dynamics in Nigeria


Edited By Bode Omojola

Music and Social Dynamics in Nigeria explores the diverse ways in which music reflects, and is shaped by, historical and social dynamics of life in Nigeria. Contributors to this volume include some of the leading scholars of Nigerian music, such as Joshua Uzoigwe, Laz Ekwueme, Tunji Vidal, Richard C. Okafor, A. K. Achinivu, Ademola Adegbite, Femi Faseun, and Christian Onyeji. Focusing on ancient and new musical traditions, including modern African art music, and drawing on the methods of ethnography and music analysis, the various chapters of the book discuss the role of music in community life, enculturation and education, political institutions, historical processes, belief systems, and social hierarchies. Conceived primarily for students and scholars of African music, this book will also be of immense value to the general reader.

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Chapter Three: From Traditional Antiquity to Contemporary Modernism: A Multilateral Development of Music in Nigeria


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From Traditional Antiquity TO Contemporary Modernism

A Multilateral Development of Music in Nigeria



The Nigerian music scene today is characterized by a pastiche of styles, fashions and practices: by an array of musical types and musical instruments; by the coexistence of multiple musical traditions and expressions, each with its corresponding community of tastes. Indeed, musical expression in Nigeria today reflects diversity in forms, instruments, sound characteristics and musical styles. Each of the ethnic, religious, social, economic and musical groups in Nigeria practices its own variant of Nigerian music. The various musical expressions can be classified under seven main categories. The first category comprises traditional music in its many ethnic variants, such as the Igbo, Yoruba, Idoma, Efik, Hausa, Edo, Nupe, Ibibio and so forth. The musical traditions of these ethnic groups still continue today at annual festivals, rituals and ceremonies celebrated throughout the various geographical areas of Nigeria. The second category is Islamic music, which consists of Quranic chants and the recitation of the Islamic liturgy before, during and after divine worship. It must be noted that Muslims do not consider liturgical chants rendered during worship to be music. Music is considered too secular a phenomenon to be applied to religious chants. The third category is Islamized music, such as waka, apala, sakara, and so forth. The fourth category is Western classical music and Nigerian contemporary art music practiced mainly...

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