Label: Jovinco Brothers and Co., Onitsha - JBC 006 • Format: Vinyl LP • Country: Nigeria • Genre: Blues, Folk, World, & Country • Style: African, Highlife
Southern Nigeria covers a geographical area of over square kilometres and is home to over ethnic groups, many with different languages and dialects, with tonal influence on the varied forms of music prevalent in the sub-region. As a result, the traditional music of these areas is soberana - Various - Samba Do Brasil diverse as the peoples therein.
However, the common ethnomusicology of the varied peoples of southern Nigeria is as striking as its ethnic diversity. Music in traditional societies in You Were There (4 Strings Remix) - Resistance D - You Were There Nigeria was employed for the broad purpose of socio-cultural expression.
It is deployed in virtually all areas of interaction — work, social events from birth to death, religious and ritual ceremonies, state and court ceremonies, leisure and entertainment, and even for martial military purposes. The common instrumental platform of The Prisoner - Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast African music in general, of which southern Nigerian music is a part, is the rhythm.
Rhythmic influence is at the heart of the music of this region, with the drum being the key instrumental driver of the traditional music of Southern Nigeria. Almost every traditional form of music in southern Nigeria has the drum as a central force. While exceptions do exist, these are few and largely found in purely vocal arrangements. Traditional instruments in southern Nigeria naturally display regional variations in form and tone, based on the specific ethnic origins of a people.
There are different drum types in Southern Nigeria, which vary in both design and sound. The drum is designed to produced tonal variations the voicebased on the manipulation of leather strings, verged in even length across the span of the wooden core and attached to the edge of both sides, which produced sound variations when struck with the curved wooden drum stick.
The other drum-type unique to Yoruba-speaking southern Nigeria is the multi-drum composite called the Bata drums. Historically these drums are believed to have been designed and played for the Yoruba God of Thunder, Sango, who would perform an eponymously named dance, known as the Bata. Other drums indigenous to the region are the Sakara drum, a flat circular drum played with the fingers or a stick, either by a single performer or as part of a larger drum orchestra, driven by the Gangan.
In areas occupied by the Egun people bordering with the Republic of Benin can be found the giant Sato drum - a 6-foot tall, cylindrical drum played by groups of drummers and Come Softly To Me - Various - Rock N Roll Double in unison, according to ancient ritual.
In Edo land of mid-western Nigeria, the most common drum-type is the Emaa medium-sized, hollow drum similar in length to the ubiquitous Djembe. In the Igbo-speaking part of south-eastern Nigeria, the most common drum is known as the Igbaa medium-sized, hollow tom-tom drum, played with sticks or hands, mostly in a larger drum orchestra.
Another drum type in this area is the Ikoro drum, which can vary from medium to giant sizes. The largest example of an Ikoro drum was an eight-foot specimen at Umunze, which was sadly destroyed by Christian missionaries in the s due to its association with sacrificial rituals in the late 19th century. Amongst the Efik and Ibibio peoples two very distinct ethnic groups in south-east Nigeriathe most common drum types are the Ekomo Efik and the Ibid Ibibio. Both are medium-sized, leather skin tom-tom drums, a variant of which is also used by the Ijaw people of the Niger Delta.
Percussive Instruments are usually applied either as an adjunct to drum rhythms or in limited instances as a stand-alone accompaniment to voice. In Yoruba speaking south-west Nigeria, the key percussive instruments are the shekere shakers - generally a circular calabash bounded by a complex string of cowrie shells and Agogo gongsalso known as Ogene.
There is also the wooden block instrument with a hollow slit, known as Ekwe by the Igbo and Obodom by the Ibibio. Also popular in the region are the three-stop flute known as Oja and the Okike elephant tusk trumpetas well as the Uta cow-horn trumpet of Ibibio-land, which is capable of producing a four-part harmony.
The oldest example is a year old piece discovered at Igbo-Ukwu in Anambra Cool Blue Stole My Heart - Joan Armatrading - Classics Volume 21 and held in a museum in the same town. The Ikon xylophone is used in Ibibio-land and although it produces melodies, it is often classified as an idiophonic or percussive instrument.
In the same genre is the Agidigbo large thumb piano box of Yoruba-land, which though capable of producing melodic sounds possesses the tonal character of a percussive instrument. In general, southern Nigerian traditional music is classified differently from Western music, particularly in terms of the instruments influencing the classifications of genres, as well as the specific purposes for which the music is intended for example court, martial music, funeral dirges, celebrations, sport and recreational music, and ritual music.
There were also musical forms, stylised to indigenous dances of the various peoples of southern Nigeria, which have acquired the form and stature of genres in the various areas.
This is notable especially in music generated to support the dances of the various masquerade groups that are prevalent across southern Nigeria. Among the Yoruba of south-western Nigeria, genres include Bata music, named after the ancient dance; Geledeceremonial music performed during a festival and dance of the Ije Elu Uwa - Enugu Musical Society - Folk songs from Nigeria With Love name; Biripoa dance Ije Elu Uwa - Enugu Musical Society - Folk songs from Nigeria With Love by the Ikale people; and Totogirimusic played in Owo-land during celebrations like birth and marriage.
Aside from dance music, in this same area hybrid forms influenced by Islamic religious practices arose over time. These included Were and AjisariIje Elu Uwa - Enugu Musical Society - Folk songs from Nigeria With Love forms used to Ije Elu Uwa - Enugu Musical Society - Folk songs from Nigeria With Love the faithful for prayer during Ramadan. Sakara and Apalaon the other hand, are more recreational in purpose. In Edo-land in the mid-west of Nigeria, Ekassa music emerged in the 16th century, a prime example of a traditional dance giving rise to a musical genre, having been devised as a royal dance by the legendary Queen Mother Idia.
In south-eastern Nigeria, the predominant influence on genre classification was the influence of dance. With dance being an extremely important vehicle of cultural expression, music has long been an essential counterpart to it. Examples of this being among the Igbo people. For example, Egwu-Igede represents the backing music of the Igede dance of northern Igbo-land, while Igba Ndi-Eze represents the backing drum music played to the dances of kings.
The Ikprikpi Ogu war dance music of the Ohafia-Abam people is another example of this. Sometimes genres would be classified according to the masquerade group they support, such as the Egwu Ijelethe music played in accompaniment to the dance of the foot tall and fearsome Ijele masquerade eminent in many parts of central Igbo-land.
This is much the same in other parts of south-eastern Nigeria, with the dance-influenced pattern of music classification also seen in the Ekombi music of the Efik people, the Ukwa war dance music and the recreational Mpok-eto music made popular recently by contemporary artiste Iyanya of the Ibibio people.
Among the Ijaw people of the Niger Delta, this trend is seen in the Owigiri and Ekegene dance music which are largely celebratory dance music. There are certain distinct traditional forms, however, that are not necessarily related to dance, such as Ekpili music, which is music played in the Anambra area using the Ubo Aka thumb piano and distinctly narrative in character.
The players being more focused on transmitting oral traditions and idioms in the style of the Griots of West Africa. Despite being the product of an evolutionary process over hundreds or even thousands of years, traditional music continues to occupy an important cultural position in the lives of the people of southern Nigeria.
It has been at the heart of musical innovations over the years, including emerging popular music hybrids such as highlife, FujiAfrobeat and even modern Nigerian hip-hop. Nonetheless, there are several rare forms of southern traditional music that have already been rendered extinct by the sheer pressure of societal change, one prime example being the Dadakuwada of south-western Nigeria.
Traditional genres In general, southern Nigerian traditional music is classified differently from Western music, particularly in terms of the instruments influencing the classifications of genres, as well as the specific purposes for which the music is intended for example court, martial music, funeral dirges, celebrations, sport and recreational music, and ritual music. Traditional music in a modern context Despite being the product of an evolutionary process over hundreds or even thousands of years, traditional music continues to occupy an important cultural position in the lives of the people of southern Nigeria.
References: Akpabot, S. Foundation of Nigerian Traditional Music. Omojola, B. Identity, agency and practice. A contemporary study of Musical arts informed by African Indigenous knowledge systems. Like Share to newsfeed. Reeperbhan Festival. Most popular. Top 10 SA house songs of Top 10 Naija dance songs of Top amapiano songs of Top gqom songs of Best African songs of — part 1.
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