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Musical Practice and Creativity: An African Traditional Perspective

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... The functions of ufie music in the traditional settings are limited to ozo title-taking, coronation of a king, the ofala festival, funeral of a title person, Iguaro or Iwaji festival. Nzewi (1991) classified this type of music as -Event-Music,‖ with the subheading Egwu Ogalanya (Title music). According to him: ...
... It could be used to reproduce tonal speech as well as play melodies within the scope of the drums and skills of the performer. Nzewi (1991) remarked that: -Ekwe is a melo-rhythm instrument whether as Ikoro or Ufie; it can stimulate spoken language and other lingual expressions and as well perform an intrinsic musical function.‖ (p. ...
... It is a mark of great honour to host this musical genre as it is not considered an ordinary music that the ordinary people can partake in. It is categorized by Nzewi (1991) as Egwu ogaranya (i.e. music for the affluent). ...
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The role of ufie music in the traditional society cannot be over emphasized. It is one of the oldest and most revered musical instruments performed in the traditional Igbo society. It symbolizes dignity, prestige, nobility and class distinction and is associated with the aristocrats and men of honour in the society. Its impact in the occasions like festivals, rituals, and significant communal events is quite overwhelming. The secrets in the performance lie on the techniques of the performer and language of communication. Ufie music, which is the cultural heritage of the Igbo people, faces the risk of extinction as a result of lack of interest by the younger generation who find 211 other types of music more interesting. The lack of interest stems from contact with other cultures of the world and consequent acculturation, and enculturation that has resulted. This work examines the spiritual connotations of ufie music, socio-cultural implications, performance norms and prescriptions. This descriptive survey employed musicological tools. It provides information on ways and means of preservation and maintenance of the instrument for the well-being of the society and posterity. This will be of great benefit to the Igbo world, music educators, scholars, historians and the media practitioners.
... It is a communal practice. Nzewi (1991) reiterates that "it is not an experience to be enjoyed in isolation without other human beings" (p.96). ...
... What music meant to them was more than mere entertainment; it did more than to sustain social or celebratory functions. It was also ritualistic in nature (Sowande 1967, Olukoju 1987, Adegbite 1988, Meki 1991, Vidal 2012and Abiodun 2011 (1) as evocative or creative in its own right and as itself (2) the organization of the raw materials of sound into formal structural pattern that are meaningful and generally acceptable to that society in which the organization has taken place (3) that traditional music is functional at root because it enabled its creator and practitioners to bridge the gulf between the visible and invisible worlds. (1967, p.245) Traditional music then also functions to evoke the spirit of the gods, entertain during moonlight plays, correct the social ills in the society and more importantly praise the king and chiefs. ...
... There has not been a thorough investigation of the correlation between the practice of traditional music and the structure of the music as reproduced in art music. Meki (1991) observes that "systematic African musical art studies are inchoate" (p.4). ...
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Art music in the Nigerian context is the composition of Nigerians who have formal music training and have composed using Western medium to express traditional Nigerian music. This paper sets out to illuminate the technicalities involved in this form of musical composition and proposes a model of art music instruction for Nigerian schools. The author posits that the teaching and performing of art music in Nigerian schools will bring music closer to the people. He argues that whereas art music is an aberration from Nigerian traditional music, yet with concerted efforts and skill, the practice of art music will help in preserving Nigerian culture on paper and facilitate the promotion of its local music to the global level. The paper concludes that traditional music elements that are entrenched in art music composition can constitute a model and parameter for identifying and appreciating Nigerian music. The teaching of art music therefore must be encouraged by Nigerian music curricular planners. Art music in Nigerian context is the composition of Nigerians who have formal music training and have composed usingWestern medium to express traditional Nigerian music. This paper sets out to illuminate the technicalities involved in this form of musical composition and proposes a model of art music instruction for Nigerian schools. The author posits that the teaching and performing of art music in our schools will bring music closer to the people. The author equally argues that whereas art music is an aberration from our traditional music, yet with concerted efforts and skill, the practice of art music will help in preserving our culture on paper and facilitate the promotion of our local music to the global level. The paper concludes that traditional music elements that are entrenched in art music composition can constitute a model and parameter for identifying and appreciating Nigerian music. The teaching of art music, therefore, must be encouraged by Nigerian music curricular planners.
... The hegemony and potentially domineering character of Western harmony (Nzewi 1991;Agawu 2016) complicate its application within a project that aimed to centralise Gogoke's core musical elements mentioned above. An unwitting application of Western harmony was capable of undermining the essence of Ogu traditional aesthetics in Gogoke's music, resulting in its overt transformation. ...
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This article discusses reciprocity in research as engaged scholarship and, more specifically, applied ethnomusicology. It draws on two ethnographic studies and their associated activism in Cape Town, South Africa and Lagos, Nigeria. The article investigates the histories of engaged scholarship and applied ethnomusicology and suggests that each community requires a method of engagement based on its contextual specifics. Hence, the case studies may be seen to animate workable approaches in different socio-cultural contexts. The paper concludes that these methods may serve as frameworks for developing site-specific strategies of engaged scholarship in other parts of Africa.
... The main findings of the current study are that: 1. The form and content of Pedi Thanksgiving Songs is characterized by musical creativity and practice achieved through "performance-composition", which according to Nzewi (1991;1997 and, is the art of musically marshalling, interpreting and aesthetically enriching the ongoing events as well as contingencies of a performance context. Taking this into consideration from a music educator's point of view, individual and group creativity centred around narration and enhanced with music (including singing and dancing) should be provided for in a music curriculum. ...
Article
This article is the dissemination of an investigation of the Pedi tradition of Thanksgiving Songs that continued in spite of all cultural suppression. This article discusses the form, content and functions of Pedi Thanksgiving Songs as guided by the research questions and hypothesis of the study. Content is discussed with reference to African indigenous knowledge about what a ‘human-musical product’ entails in the African world view. It is a creative-artistic content informed by human, philosophical, artistic, spiritual, socio-contextual, and health perspectives indigenous to Africa. The particular Pedi Thanksgiving Song discussed here serves as an example and/or representation of the general African traditional perspective of musical practice and creativity. Specifically, the study attempts to establish the reality that music making is not restricted to organized sound only; it also includes a symbolic expression of a social and cultural organization, which reflects the values, the past and present ways of life of human beings.
... Invariably, the deaths are honoured with musical renditions such as dirges and other songs that have some significance to the occasion. It is dialectically called egwu ọnwụ (death music) which according to Nzewi, (1991), "... is any music which is played specifically in a death situation and the sound of which evokes death sentiments and therefore, evokes the transcendental emotions about death in the hearer" (48). In event of death one hears such songs as ...
Book
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Igboscholars International Journal is one of the brain children of Igbo Scholars Forum born out of the zeal to get the young Igbo scholars together so as to start thinking like Igbo sons and daughters through paper publications, meetings and symposia. As a matter of fact, Igbo Scholars Forum was founded by Dr. Onukwube Alexander Alfred Anedo and born at the launching of a festschrift in honour of their life patron, Prof. Obed Muojekwu Anizoba (Ozonwa) on the 15th day of December, 2012. In his kind gesture, Prof O. M. Anizoba therefore established a website http://www.igboscholarsforum.com.ng for them to use in telling the world who the Igbo people are, about their life, what they believe in and their relationship with people and other cultures of the world outside theirs. Other journal outlets through which this Forum wants to let Igbo people and their culture out to the world are Ideal International Journal and Ekwe International Journal which is solely written only in Igbo language.
... Invariably, the deaths are honoured with musical renditions such as dirges and other songs that have some significance to the occasion. It is dialectically called egwu ọnwụ (death music) which according to Nzewi, (1991), "... is any music which is played specifically in a death situation and the sound of which evokes death sentiments and therefore, evokes the transcendental emotions about death in the hearer" (48). In event of death one hears such songs as ...
Book
Full-text available
Igboscholars International Journal is one of the brain children of Igbo Scholars Forum born out of the zeal to get the young Igbo scholars together so as to start thinking like Igbo sons and daughters through paper publications, meetings and symposia. As a matter of fact, Igbo Scholars Forum was founded by Dr. Onukwube Alexander Alfred Anedo and born at the launching of a festschrift in honour of their life patron, Prof. Obed Muojekwu Anizoba (Ozonwa) on the 15th day of December, 2012. In his kind gesture, Prof O. M. Anizoba therefore established a website http://www.igboscholarsforum.com.ng for them to use in telling the world who the Igbo people are, about their life, what they believe in and their relationship with people and other cultures of the world outside theirs. Other journal outlets through which this Forum wants to let Igbo people and their culture out to the world are Ideal International Journal and Ekwe International Journal which is solely written only in Igbo language.
... A musician is a relevant and necessary institution in the society who uses the medium in which he is proficient to express the societal values in a language the people understand and appreciate. Nzewi (1991) asserted that: ...
Article
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In this 21st Century Africa, most music of today –the hip hop, rap, dub-step etc are inappropriate and have foul language. They are not leading people to the right parts. Critical evaluations of such music show that they are pointless (music without meaning- bad songs, bad vocal, poor message and so on). Our perception of music and appreciation today is not based upon real musical worth but rather upon heavy commercial marketing which often mislead critical evaluation of music in print, radio, and television media sources. Definitely bad music is produced not by musicologists that are competent both in theory and practice but rather by untrained/quack musicians. This paper examines the leadership role of musicologist in the 21st century Africa and was discovered that musicologist (composer, historian, music theorist, performer and so on) as a valid member of a society, a societal conscience and watchdog performs tremendous leadership role in all sphere of life including political system (in government). He functions as a social critic, a historian, a social witness and recorder of events. He functions in social mobilization, in social stability, in social control, and in external affairs. As an oracle of the society, he directs and redirects the mind of people, leading people aright. It is hoped that this paper would open people’s minds and souls to follow the right parts through right music which when evaluated, will be music that have immense worth for our African society. It recommends that the untrained musicians should use their musical power in the right context and not passing jargons and pointless music across. Key words: Musicologist, Leadership, Role, Music
... The musical life of the African children, like that of the Igbo children, have been variously discussed by eminent scholars and researchers (e.g. Blacking 1965;Ifionu1979;Nzewi 1980Nzewi , 1991Nzewi , 2003Agu 1984;Okafor 1989 Emeka 2002;Udensi 2004). These have served as valuable contributions on the musical activities of the Igbo, as well as the African child. ...
Article
The life of the Igbo children of Eastern Nigeria is surrounded by music and musical activities. The aim of this research is to survey the various levels of involvement of the Igbo children (from childhood to adolescence), in music learning and performance. The socio-cultural activities and similar occasions, on which these children’s music and musical activities rotate, were investigated. Some of the children’s music genres focus on entertainment, ordinary games, labour execution, character formation, learning (education) and so on. The benefits derived from performance of these genres are very rewarding. They range from making the children socially fit, to making them culturally, mentally and physically sound. The methods of imparting all musical knowledge vary according to age and music type. This research attempts the classification of these methods and brings to bare, their approaches and effectiveness as regards competence and excellence. Key words: Education, Igbo culture, Igbo children, Musical development, Organization, Creativity, Performance
... xvi-xvii). Published books on Nigerian music include Echezona (1963), Akpabot (1986), Kofoworola and Lateef (1987), Ajirire and Alabi (1992), Nzewi (1991Nzewi ( , 1997, O. Omojola (1995;B. Omojola, 2012), F. Uzoigwe (1998), Idolor (2002, Omibiyi-Obidike (2001), Ekwueme (2004), Okafor (2005), Onyeji (2008), and so on. ...
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University music education is a recent phenomenon in Nigeria. The founding of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, with autonomy to grant degrees for courses in nearly all fields of study, enabled it to initiate music degree along the lines of the Euro-American university music education in 1961. This article, relying on historical analysis with historical evidence derived from primary and secondary documents, delineates some cultural, philosophical, political, social, and economic forces that have shaped the development of university music education in Nigeria before and after its establishment. It finds out that significant changes in university music education in Nigeria are being negotiated with national policies, accrediting agencies, certification requirements, and curriculum mandates. It proffers solutions to some of its ongoing problems by calling for a university music education in which music conferences and festivals are combined with creative and productive music teaching and learning, and where participants’ observation is emphasized.
... In the opinion of Onwuekwe (1998) music can be effective with special needs children in music with learning difficulties when it is offered as a reward for particular behaviour. Nzewi (1990) believes that indigenous musical instrument and the development of some instructional materials would motivate children into action, to enable learning to be retained. ...
... Once again, it is necessary to remember the importance of music itself for the human experience in the first place, especially from an African perspective (Nzewi, 1991;. With this in mind, understanding music as a basic need of the human species (in individual as well as in collective instances), it soon becomes more intelligible the relevance also of instrumental music in the anti-racist/anti-colonialist struggle -recovering again the constant concern of the colonialists to deprive Africans of their cultural heritage. ...
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This research departs from the teachings of Kwame Ture on the difference between mobilization and organization in the panafricanist struggle to analyze then the use of Music within the anti-racist and anti-colonialist struggle in Brazil.
... Hence the narrative experience of Euba goes beyond the application of the theoretical knowledge that he acquired from literature, but a practical fundamental tutelage that he received, and, that exposed him to the clear understanding of the norms governing the world of indigenous music of the Yoruba society. Furthermore, the mastery of the usage, roles, significance and application of each indigenous rhythm(s) that constitutes the performance context of a particular ensemble in the Yoruba institutional ceremony, enhanced the in-depth insightful expression of Euba in promoting African identity through the concept of African pianism (Euba, 1974;Omojola, 1986;Nketia, 1974;Akpabot, 1986;Nzewi, 1991;1997). ...
... Music is a potent medium of communication for expressing human actions and gauging reactions in Africa (Nzewi, 1991). It provides a platform to "mirror the society so that members could understand things better and learn more about life" (Titus & Bello, 2012, p. 166). ...
Chapter
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This chapter examines the performative turn in Nigeria's political landscape through an analysis of YouTube videos involving three leading politicians in the country. It argues that Nigerian political actors use dance and music as strategies to wield power. The videos analyzed are the “Conqueror Dance” of Olusegun Obasanjo, a former Nigerian president; the “Elephant Dance” by Bola Ahmed Tinubu, national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC); and Senator Dino Melaye's “Ajekun Iya Ni Oje.” The authors employed the critical discourse analysis as the conceptual framework and drew on Norman Fairclough's three-dimensional model as the analytical framework to examine the messages inherent in the songs, thus providing insight into the way Nigerian politicians use musical performances to propagate political inequality and abuse of power. The findings suggest that political actors in Nigeria employ tropes as performative devices to entrench mockery, intimidation, threat, vainglory, name-calling, political war and conquest, and imperialism.
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The author closely examines the contribution of Igbo rural women in West Africa (south-eastern part of Nigeria, West Africa) as creative personalities. Analytical summaries of selected transcribed music of the women are presented, while focusing on the creative intentions behind the music as outlets for processing social and economic solidarity. In their roles as creative personalities, the women provide not only musical entertainment for comprehensive social interaction in conformity to cultural norms and values but also moral, ethical and cultural education to the entire community through the musical arts.
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Some of the prerequisites for promoting social stability in a country include, adequate security, socio-cultural and economic viability, political freedom, freedom of expression and association etc., On the other hand, a nation that lacks all these qualities is wrecked morally, socially, culturally and above all, most vulnerable to treason. In such instance, and obviously too, the portrayal of false identity, lawlessness, insubordination and the likes infiltrate or bedevil such a nation.. This paper critically examined the role music and musicians play in achieving stability in the country.
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Performance is one of the major arts in most African countries. Among the Yoruba in Nigeria several genre of oral performance has been researched and documented. These include the ijala, iwi, oriki ekun iyawo, Iyere Ifa, iwure , among others. However, very little attention and studies have been committed to oral performance of Ìrègún chants and songs in Yagbaland. This paper, therefore, focuses on the evaluation of oral performance of Ìrègún chants and songs among Yagba people in Kogi State, located in North central of Nigeria. Primary data were collected through 3 In-depth and 3 Key Informant interviews of leaders and members of Ìrègún musical groups. In addition to 3 Participant Observation and 3 Non-Participant Observation methods from Yagba-West, Yagba-East and Mopamuro Local Government Areas of Kogi State, music recordings, photographs of Ìrègún performances, and 6 chants were purposefully sampled. Secondary data were collected through library, archival and Internet sources. Although closely interwoven, Ìrègún performance is structured into preparation, actual and post-performance activities. While chanting, singing, playing of musical instruments and dancing forms the performance dimensions. Iregun music serves as veritable mirror and cultural preserver in Yagba communities.
Book
Full-text available
Igboscholars International Journal is one of the brain children of Igbo Scholars Forum born out of the zeal to get the young Igbo scholars together so as to start thinking like Igbo sons and daughters through paper publications, meetings and symposia. As a matter of fact, Igbo Scholars Forum was founded by Dr. Onukwube Alexander Alfred Anedo and born at the launching of a festschrift in honour of their life patron, Prof. Obed Muojekwu Anizoba (Ozonwa) on the 15th day of December, 2012. In his kind gesture, Prof O. M. Anizoba therefore established a website http://www.igboscholarsforum.com.ng for them to use in telling the world who the Igbo people are, about their life, what they believe in and their relationship with people and other cultures of the world outside theirs. Other journal outlets through which this Forum wants to let Igbo people and their culture out to the world are Ideal International Journal and Ekwe International Journal which is solely written only in Igbo language.
Book
Full-text available
Igboscholars International Journal is one of the brain children of Igbo Scholars Forum born out of the zeal to get the young Igbo scholars together so as to start thinking like Igbo sons and daughters through paper publications, meetings and symposia. As a matter of fact, Igbo Scholars Forum was founded by Dr. Onukwube Alexander Alfred Anedo and born at the launching of a festschrift in honour of their life patron, Prof. Obed Muojekwu Anizoba (Ozonwa) on the 15th day of December, 2012. In his kind gesture, Prof O. M. Anizoba therefore established a website http://www.igboscholarsforum.com.ng for them to use in telling the world who the Igbo people are, about their life, what they believe in and their relationship with people and other cultures of the world outside theirs. Other journal outlets through which this Forum wants to let Igbo people and their culture out to the world are Ideal International Journal and Ekwe International Journal which is solely written only in Igbo language.
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EDITOR'S NOTE Belgrade Centre for Music and Dance (BCMD) is a founder and publisher ofAccelerando: Belgrade Journal of Music and Dance. BCMD is founded to establish cooperation and communication between local artistic and scholarly scene and the world's. In order to achieve that goal BCMD launched Accelerando: Belgrade Journal of Music and Dance as an open access, double-peer-reviewed online journal. This journal allows Serbian scholars, artists, and educators to have permanent scholarly communication and interchanging of knowledge and information with the world's renown artists, scholars, schools and universities. Since knowledge is fluid and dynamic in nature, and transmitted through discourse, it is important for those who have a stake in advancing the knowledge base to participate in the discourse. Writing, as a form of communication, and publishing are ways of participating in the discourse. Research article is the end product of an investigation that has focused on a specific set of research questions. Research must be carefully planned, conceptually grounded, and methodologically sound, and must provide answers or possible answers and implications for further investigations. Accordingly, the effort of editorial board members and reviewers of Accelerando: BJMD is dedicated to help authors reach the goal and craft the articles in a way that successfully, effectively and persuasively communicates the importance of the study. Through this mutual effort, work, and cooperation we hope that our journal promote values, expanding the base of knowledge and contribute to the discourse. With best regards, Maja Marijan, Editor in Chief CONTENT CONTENT
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This paper on abigbo music of the Mbaise, Igbo argues that indigenous music could be processed beyond its value as a purveyor of historical facts to gain insights into the nature of experiences, trajectories, concerns, fears and projections of a society. The discourse is anchored on the Igbo philosophy of the convergence of the distant past and the distant future at the ever-evolving present, and encapsulated in the theory of cyclic integration presented here. According to this theory, abigbo music not only shows influences from the distant past in the present, but foresees the distant future through occurrences in the past. This is apparent in abigbo song texts, which reveal the perspectives of communities regarding their early encounters with missionaries and the enduring impact these groups had on the Igbo until the present day. A transcription of the abigbo song ‘Ndi Amuma Ugha’ (‘False Prophets’) is discussed to highlight some of the conclusions drawn.
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John Pepper Clark-Bekederemo (formerly John Pepper Clark) is a wellknown Nigerian poet and playwright. Born of Ij]/Urhobo parentage in 1935, Clark-Bekederemo hails from Delta State of Nigeria. Most of his poems and plays reflect this riverain background. Apart from his many plays, Clark-Bekederemo has had one hundred sixty-one (161) published poems to his credit. These are contained in five volumes, namely, Poems (1962), A Reed in the Tide (1965), Casualties (1970), State of the Union (1985), and Mandela and Other Poems (1988). This study focuses on his first volume, Poems, specifically, on “Return of the Fishermen.” It applies the notion of African musical rhythm (within the framework of phono stylistics) to the interpretation of the poem, which some critics have either dismissed as meaningless or have interpreted amiss. Clark-Bekederemo has enjoyed reasonable critical attention as a poet. Critical works on his poetry exist mainly in the forms of books, book sections/chapters, and journal articles. Few of these works, however, issue from a stylistic/phono stylistic perspective. In his book, J. P. Clark, Robert M. Wren, for example, relies mainly on historical and political incidents as well as social and physical setting for his analysis and interpretation of Clark-Bekederemo’s poems. The result is an analysis/interpretation based solely on historical, social, political, and ecological dynamics but devoid of poetic/aesthetic devices deployed by the poet. Similarly, I. I. Elimimian in his full-length book on Clark-Bekederemo’s poetry does not leave the reader in doubt about the fact that he does not approach the book’s subject from a stylistic standpoint (vii). This point is clearly demonstrated by him in his treatment of “Return of the Fishermen,” an issue to which we shall return shortly. In his Three Nigerian Poets, a major section of which focuses on J. P. Clark-Bekederemo’s poetry, N. J. Udoeyop recommends the use of “form [. . . .] language and diction to evaluate our literature” (15); he does not, however, apply these stylistic devices in his treatment of ClarkBekederemo’s poems but relies mainly on politicohistorical details. Udoeyop, however, gives insight into the deployment of phono stylistic features in Clark-Bekederemo’s poetry and explains the source of such features. He does this by citing Clark’s article “Another Kind of Poetry” in which the poet compares English poetry, especially that of the Romantic and Victorian eras, to the udje poetry of the Urhobo people of Nigeria. In English poetry, according to Clark in this article, a system of punctuation, a convention of typographical arrangement, and a convention of stress form the main mechanics of poetry. By contrast, the udje poetry of the Urhobo
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