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Fújì: Indigenous and Islamic Popular Music Fusions in Nigeria



During the 1960s in post-independence Nigeria, Síkírù Àyìndé Barrister (1948-2010) pioneered and coined the term fújì, a Yorùbá genre of popular dance music. While Barrister was a soldier in the Nigerian army in the late 1960s, he transformed wéré/ajísari music, songs performed by and for Muslims during the Ramadan fast, into this new style of dance music. Fújì is characterized by its Islamic-influenced vocal style, Yorùbá praise poetry (oríkì), and driving percussion. Fújì’s popularity hit a peak in Nigeria and on the global stage in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and fújì bands continue to record their music and perform throughout Nigeria and across the globe into the twenty-first century.
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List of Contributors
Abimbola Kai-Lewis is a special education
teacher in the New York City Department of
Education. She has a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology
from the University of California Los Angeles.
Gabrielle Kielich is a Ph.D. candidate in the
Department of Art History and Communication
Studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
Debra Klein is Professor and Director of the
Anthropology Program in the Department of Social
Science at Gavilan College, Gilroy, CA, USA.
Ekkehard Knopke is a research assistant to
the Chair of Media Sociology at the Bauhaus-
Universitä t, Weimar, Germany.
Daniel Kü nzler is Lecturer in Sociology, Social
Policy and Social Work at the University of Fribourg,
Lizabé Lambrechts is a research fellow at Africa
Open Institute for Music, Research and Innovation
at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
John Lloyd Chipembere Lwanda, an honorary
Senior Research Fellow in Sociology at Glasgow
University, Scotland, UK, is a social historian, music
publisher and writer specializing in Malawi music,
medicine and culture.
James Makubuya is Professor of Music at
Wabash College in Crawfordsville, IN, USA. Born
and brought up in the culture of the Baganda
in Uganda, he is an ethnomusicologist with a
disciplinary focus in organology, a choreographer
and a proficient performer on several East African
traditional instruments.
Minette Mans is a retired Associate Professor of
Music and Dance and Chair of Performing Arts at
the University of Namibia.
Didier Mauro is a social anthropologist, film
producer and professor of cinema. Since 1988 he
has dedicated himself to research in Madagascar
and has been elected a member of the Acadé mie des
Sciences d’Outre-Mer de la Ré publique Franç aise.
Heather Maxwell is Host and Producer of the
worldwide music radio program Music Time in
Africa on the Voice of America.
Jason McCoy received his Ph.D. from Florida State
University. He currently lives in Fort Worth, TX,
USA, and teaches courses in musicology at Dallas
Baptist University.
Pinkie Gomolemo Mojaki is an
ethnomusicologist and lecturer in the Department
of Music at the Teacher Training College in
Molepolole, Botswana.
Shawn Mollenhauer holds a Ph.D. and an MA in
Ethnomusicology from the University of California,
Riverside, USA.
Ché rie Rivers Ndaliko is an assistant professor of
music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill and Executive Director of the Yolé !Africa
Institute in Goma, Democratic Republic of the
Magnus Nilsson is Professor of Comparative
Literature at Malmö University, Sweden.
John Nimis received his Ph.D. in French from New
York University, and taught African Cultural Studies
at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Mwenda Ntarangwi is a cultural anthropologist,
researcher and administrator with an interest in the
popular music of East Africa.
Joachim Oelsner founded the musical archive
Arc Musica in Yaoundé , Cameroon, where he has
lived since 1991.
Caleb Chrispo Okumu was the Executive
Dean, Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies,
and Associate Professor of Music in the School of
Creative and Performing Arts at Kenya Polytechnic
University College. He died in 2012.
Emmanuelle Olivier, an ethnomusicologist, is
Research Fellow at Centre National de la Recherche
Scientifique and Lecturer at the É cole des Hautes
É tudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France.
Kathryn Olsen is a lecturer in the School of Arts,
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Olupemi Oludare, Ph.D., is a lecturer in the
Department of Creative Arts (Music), University of
Lagos, Nigeria.
Stephen Olusoji is Associate Professor in Music in
the Department of Creative Arts (Music), University
of Lagos, Nigeria.
Halifu Osumare is Professor Emerita of African
American & African Studies at the University of
California, Davis, USA. She is the author of The
Hiplife in Ghana: West African Indigenization of Hip-
Hop (2012).
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16th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies,
Trondheim July 2007, eds. Harald Aspenet et al.
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rough Təzəta.Journal of Ethiopian Studies 46:
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During the 1960s in post-independence Nigeria,
Síkírù Àyìndé Barrister (1948–2010) pioneered
and coined the term fújì, a Yorùbá genre of popular
dance music. While Barrister was a soldier in the
Nigerian army in the late 1960s, he transformed wéré/
ajísari music, songs performed by and for Muslims
during the Ramadan fast, into this new style of dance
music. Fújì is characterized by its Islamic-inuenced
vocal style, Yorùbá praise poetry (oríkì) and driving
percussion. Fújì’s popularity hit a peak in Nigeria and
on the global stage in the late 1980s and early 1990s,
and fújì bands continue to record their music and
perform throughout Nigeria and across the globe into
the twenty-rst century.
After Barrister, fújìs most renowned and prolific
bandleader is K1, King Wasiu Àyìndé Marshal (b.
1957), credited with expanding the original fújì
ensemble of Yorùbá drums, percussion and vocals.
In the early 1980s Àyìndé introduced synthesizer,
saxophone, electric and pedal steel guitar, and drum
set into his band. Fújì’s rise to popularity in the
1980s coincided with the proliferation, marketing
and pirating of audio and video recordings. From
the 1980s through the early 2000s fújì recordings
provided the soundscape for public markets, bus
depots, restaurants and parties. In Nigeria, fújì’s
performers and fan base are predominantly Yorùbá
Muslims, due to the cultural specificity of fújìs
Yorùbá-language lyrics, praise song interludes and
associations with Islam. Overseas fújì audiences
are dominated by Yorùbá expatriates. However, the
addition of synthesizer, saxophone and electric and
pedal steel guitar to the fújì sound has made fújì more
accessible to fans of highlife, jùjú and Afrobeat, the
most popular genres of Nigerian dance music prior to
fújì’s emergence on the competitive Nigerian music
During the yearly Ramadan fast, aspiring male
vocalists created wéré music – vocals accompanied
by harmonica, bells or drums – to wake up Muslims
in their towns to prepare the morning meal, called
sari in Arabic, before sunrise. Wéré means ‘quick,
referring to the music’s wake-up call function. Ajísari,
an interchangeable name for wéré, means ‘waking up
for sari.’ Toward the end of the colonial period, in the
1950s, Yorùbá kings began to invite town performers
Genres: Sub-Saharan Africa
to their palaces for wéré competitions to celebrate
the end of the annual month-long fast. Whole towns
attended to enjoy the show, judges were appointed
and kings awarded the best groups with trophies.
These annual competitions gave talented performers
status and recognition, inspiring them to rehearse
throughout the year. Wéré competitions became
much-anticipated and competitive events, ultimately
producing the first generation of fújì vocalists.
The origin of fújì is traced to what is believed to
have been Barrister’s divine inspiration to transform
wéré into a popular dance music that would exist
alongside other forms of Yorùbá popular music.
When Barrister was making the decision to leave the
army for a career in music, his friends, mentors in
the music industry (notably Ebenezer Obey and King
Sunny Ade) and royal advisers (including the kings
of Ìbàdàn and Ìlrin) gave him their blessings and
encouragement. They believed that Barrister’s talent
was God-given and that he was destined to succeed as
a professional musician and founder of fújì. Barrister
was particularly inspired by the kárà (round, single-
skinned frame-drum) music of Yusuf látúnji and the
highlife-jùjú fusion music of Ebenezer Obey. Barrister
created the sound by combining the sákárà drum,
drums from the Yorùbá dùndún ensemble and wéré-
style vocals.
After seeing a poster of Mount Fuji in an airport,
Barrister is reputed to have named his new music
after Japan’s mountain of love and peace. Nigerian
newspapers often described fújì, upon its arrival
on the music scene, as ‘high-energy trance dance
music.’ In 1973 Kollington Àyìnlá, one of Barrister’s
best friends in the Nigerian army, started his own
fújì band and became a prolific performer and
Barrister’s musical rival. The competition between
Barrister and Kollington became fújì’s original ‘big
man’ rivalry and helped to propel it into national
The Fújì Sound
Fújì’s signature sound is dominated by vocals and
percussion. In order to produce a full-bodied sound,
bands include many members: several vocalists,
often 15 to 20 percussionists and since the 1980s a
keyboardist, saxophonist/s and/or electric and pedal
steel guitarist/s. Barrister’s first band, Alhaji Sikiru
Ayinde Barrister and His Fuji Group, was a 25-piece
band. Many bands employ percussionists who
have trained within Àyàn (the spirit of the drum)
lineages, extended families whose boys and young
men apprentice to the profession of drumming and
perform in local ensembles. While most popular music
in southwestern Nigeria incorporates drumming, fújì
relies on its extensive and diverse drum section for its
sound and ‘vibe.
Àyà n lineages train professionals in two distinct
drumming, singing and dancing traditions: bàtá
and dùndún, each ensemble comprising at least
three different drums in the same drum family. Each
of these ensembles performs a repertoire whose
rhythms interlock and create a rich sound for dancing
and/or summoning the spirits. The supporting drums
of each ensemble are responsible for the underlying
rhythms that sustain and drive each song, while
the master (lead) drums improvise within rigorous
rhythmic structures and text frameworks. Both
ensembles employ surrogate speech technologies to
intone praise poetry and proverbs to communicate
with the spirits and entertain. Rhythms and songs use
binary (2/4 and 4/4) or ternary (12/8 and 6/8) meters,
foundational patterns in West African musical styles.
Dùndún drums are the most numerous in any
fújì ensemble, particularly the gángan, the smallest
of the double-headed, hourglass-shaped drums.
Players hold the drum, often with a strap over the
left shoulder, under the left arm while striking the
forward-facing goatskin head with a curved wooden
stick called ò.pá. Dùndún drums are commonly
known as ‘talking’ drums; drummers mimic the tones
of the Yorùbá language by squeezing and releasing
the tension straps to change the pitch of the skin to
imitate speech. In the context of a band, however,
dùndún drums do not normally intone speech; their
role is to provide a fast-paced and constant groove.
Bàtá drums are double-headed and conical,
said to have been commissioned by King àngó
during his fifteenth-century reign of the town of
Ò.yó. Since àngós death, bàtá drums have been
played to invoke the Yorùbá spirits as well as for
entertainment. Kollington introduced the bàtá
rhythmic accompanying drum into the fújì ensemble
during the 1980s. Since then several fújì bands
include the bàtá omele ak (two small drums joined
together), played with two cowhide beaters called
bílálà striking the upward-facing goatskin heads
called áá. In the 1970s bàtá drummers added
another drum to the omele cluster, called omele
mé.ta (three), so they could mimic the tones of the
Yo r ù b á la n g u a g e . Fújì drummers have added even
more drums to the cluster, increasing the melodic
range. Like the dùndún drums, however, the role of
the omele ak (double) bàtá drum is not to talk but
to fulfill a rhythmic function. The inclusion of bàtá
in fújì bands can be controversial, particularly for
devout Muslims who reject anything associated with
the Yorùbá spirits. When Kollington added bàtá
drums to his band, he was celebrating his cultural
heritage while experimenting with a new sound, for
which he coined the term ‘Bàtá Fújì.
The kárà drummer, typically male, plays a key
role injì bands; he constantly communicates with
the lead singer/band leader, percussion section and
dancers. He sits on a chair very close to the lead singer
as they collaboratively determine the breaks and
transitions throughout the performance. The sákárà
is made of goatskin tightly stretched over a round
frame. The sákárà drummer can produce different
pitches by pressing his left thumb into the back of the
membrane while striking the other side with a stick in
his right hand. By varying the pitch in this way, skilled
sákárà drummers ‘talk’ by mimicking the melodic
contour of Yorùbá, a true-tone language with three
relative pitches (Villepastour 2010, 51). Like the lead
drummer in a or dùndún ensemble, the sákárà
player often improvises and/or talks against the steady
rhythmic accompaniment provided by the percussion
section. The sákárà drummer also frequently decides
when to break into a faster dance rhythm and when
to pull back again into a slower-paced section that
features vocals.
Fújì percussion often includes a drum set in
addition to bells and rattles used in various styles
of Yorùbá music. Most fújì bands include è.kè.rè
(gourd rattles), and many bands include agogo (metal
gongs) and aro (a pair of circular iron idiophones
clapped together). Syncopated chords played on the
synthesizer often provide hooks, which help to make
fújì songs and albums recognizable and memorable.
Synthesized sound effects, such as strategically placed,
high-pitched glides, were perceived as modern and
edgy additions in the 1980s. Fújì saxophone and
guitar styles borrow from jùjú pedal steel guitar
(appropriated from country and western) and horn
arrangements recalling highlife, creating a more laid-
back vibe.
Fújì’s vocal style is typically melismatic (whereas
most Yorùbá song is syllabic) and has a nasal
timbre, characteristic of Arabic singing and Quranic
recitation. Vocalists frequently employ glissandi,
which are often imitated by synthesizers. While most
fújì vocalists have informal or no vocal training, they
have learned to sing in wéré competitions, Quranic
schools, prayer groups and/or social events. Teachers
or group leaders often encourage talented vocalists to
join competitions, after which aspiring singers may
find sponsors to help launch their careers.
Many successful fújì vocalists are also skilled praise
singers who have learned to sing oríkì, a Yorùbá
performance genre that most Yorùbá speakers know
and appreciate as part of the fabric of Yorùbá culture
(Barber and Waterman 1995, 249). Since the spread
of Islam into Yorùbá cities and towns from the late
sixteenth century onward, Islamic singing and
chanting have influenced and shaped preexisting
vocal styles in the region. Thus fújì vocal styles are
a synthesis of indigenous Yorùbá praise singing,
Arabic singing and Quranic recitation. While many
fújì songs, recordings and performances open with
a prayer-like song in Arabic, often recited from the
Quran, fújìs popularity transcends boundaries of
religion and culture.
Fújì lyrics include a wide range of themes
concerning social and political issues, morality and
audience members’ histories. Such themes emerge
from artists’ everyday lives and are stylistically rooted
in ewì, a neo-traditional style of moral and topical
Yorùbá poetry. Ewì songs often begin with invocations
of Allah, the ancestors and/or the òrìà (Yorùbá gods
and goddesses) and include praise songs, prayers,
proverbs and stories. Some common ewì and fújì
themes are wealth and poverty, success and failure,
politicians and their legacies, good versus evil,
people’s sources of power, infidelity, secrecy, magic,
greed, pregnancy, money, loyalty, war and love. True
to its wéré and ewì roots, artfully weaves its moral
and spiritual foundation into its popular dance music
themes about having fun on and off the dance floor.
Fújì as Performance and Profession
In Nigeria, in Yorùbá diasporic communities and in
venues across the globe, fújì bands play for weddings,
Genres: Sub-Saharan Africa
funerals, baby-naming celebrations, birthday parties
and other social events, and the more famous bands
play concerts for ticket holders. In Nigeria, typical fújì
performances start in the evening and end early in the
morning, lasting from six to eight hours. In addition
to charging their hosts a flat rate, fújì bands count on
the cash they earn throughout their performances
as audience members ‘spray’ (place bills on the band
members’ foreheads or on the stage) the performers
in exchange for being praised and entertained.
Throughout Nigeria, fújì performers are unionized
by the state under the umbrella of The Fújì Musicians
Association of Nigeria (FUMAN). FUMAN is
one branch of the larger union, The Performing
Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN). FUMAN
chapters are responsible for helping performers
organize, negotiate fair pay and working conditions,
launch new CDs and DVDs and discuss all aspects
of their profession. Fújì bands revolve around
their bandleaders who are responsible for hiring,
managing and firing band members. Successful
bandleaders work with managers and promoters
to secure recording contracts, performance venues
and marketing deals. Some managers collaborate
creatively with bandleaders, helping them with album
concepts and song content.
As in other Yorùbá musical genres, fújì ‘songs
typically last for periods of 45 minutes to an hour;
thus most fújì CDs contain only one, two or three
tracks. Typical of Muslim forms, fújì vocal choruses
are predominantly sung in unison and employ
minimal harmony. Thus, fújì differs from other
popular Yorùbá music styles, such as jùjú, where
vocal choruses are performed in three- to four-part
harmony, derived from Christian hymnal forms.
Songs generally consist of an opening prayer, lyrics
sung by the lead vocalist, sections of improvised text
sung by the lead vocalist and a chorus sung by lead and
backup vocalists in unison. The leader (usually male)
and chorus sing in call-and-response style, typical of
Yorùbá vocal music. Live performances and albums
consist of expansive sections, which are almost always
improvised praise songs for audience members. An
exemplary fújì front man, Barrister released over 150
recordings (1966–2010) and is revered for the tone of
his voice and his gift for poetic text improvisation.
Male musicians dominate fújì, reflecting fújì’s
origins in and drumming styles. However,
female Muslim artists have developed fújì-related
styles called Islamic, azikir and wákà. Islamic and
azikir are interchangeable names for this genre of
women’s fújì-related music (particularly in and
around the city of Ìlrin), while wákà is a more
general pan-Yorùbá term for this Muslim womens
genre. While numerous labels reflect slight regional
variations, these styles emerged in the late 1950s and
were originally performed by women vocalists for
Islamic events such as weddings and celebrations
for pilgrims returning from Mecca. Since the 1980s
professional Muslim women vocalists have fronted
their own bands and these are identical to fújì bands
in their instrumentation. This genre differs from
fújì in text content, aesthetics and in the gender
of its performers. While its themes and aesthetics
are more closely tied to Muslim morality than fú,
there is a significant overlap between this women’s
genre and fújì. The majority of azikir and wákà
bandleaders and backup vocalists are women, while
the rest of their bands are typically men. Unlike
fújì, women performers of azikir and wákà have a
dominant presence on stage and in videos.
Fújì appeals to young and old dancers alike.
Signature dance steps and moves are rooted in
Yorùbá dance styles that feature small and precise
movements of the buttocks, hips and shoulders, while
the torso is pitched slightly forward. Skilled dancers
who recognize the drum breaks might choose to
accentuate the drum parts with sharp movements
of their buttocks, shoulders or feet. Guests often
spray the hosts of the event on the dance floor with
individual bills, thanking them for throwing a great
party. Guests also spray other guests to compliment
one another’s dancing. Fújì videos are either mini-
films, interpreting the theme of a song, or a series
of dance scenes. Women dancers are often featured
for their skillful and provocative dance moves.
Videos are popular for their portrayals of luxury and
excess through a proliferation of imagery featuring
expensive clothing, cars, jewelry, clubs, nightlife and
Nigerian and overseas cityscapes.
Fújì continues to be a favorite dance music
genre for many Nigerians. Distinct from highlife,
jùjú and Afrobeat, fújì grew out of Yorùbá Muslim
communities. Diverse audiences appreciate fújìs
philosophical and moral themes as well as its
infectious and danceable rhythms. New generations
of fújì artists draw from hip-hop, rap and other
popular genres to produce fusions for Nigerian and
global markets, inspiring debate about the future
of fújìs status, style and aesthetics. While its sound
has changed since its birth in the 1960s – with the
inclusion of synthesizer, electric and steel pedal
guitar, horn sections and drum set in the 1980s – fújì
is still rooted in Yorùbá percussion and vocal styles
that emerged from nineteenth-century drumming
and centuries-old vocal genres.
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Funaná is an accordion-based dance music from the
island of Santiago in Cabo Verde that is associated
with the Badiu, residents of the interior who have
stubbornly maintained their own traditions despite
Portugues e repress ion. Dur ing the colonial era funa
was denounced by the Portuguese authorities for its
‘revolutionary’ content and by the Catholic Church for
the perceived erotic nature of the accompanying dance.
Musical Features
Traditional funaná is played on the gaita, a two-
button melodeon, and the ferro, a meter-long iron
rasp that is scraped with a kitchen knife. When
there are lyrics, the gaiteiro (gaita player) alternates
between four bars of singing and four bars of playing.
The performers are generally male, but occasionally
the wife or daughter of the gaiteiro may sing or play
the ferro.
The harmony is built on the alternation of the
gaitas two chords: one chord on the push, one on the
pull. The rate of harmonic change is one chord per bar.
Depending on the key of the gaita, the relationship
between the two chords can be a whole step (I-VII
or i-VII) or a perfect fourth (I-V or i-vm7). The
melodic range is fairly narrow and disjunct, typically
arpeggiations of the alternating chords.
The ferro player subdivides the pulse into a pattern
that repeats every two beats and interlocks with the
push-pull movement of the gaita (see Example 1).
Tempos are relatively quick and specifically chosen
to match the accompanying couples’ dance, which
can be very close or more chaste, depending on the
Traditionally funaná is sung in the Kriolu of
Santiago, which is sometimes unintelligible to other
Cabo Verdeans and certainly to the Portuguese. Prior
to independence, lyrics dealing with the realities of
Badiu life (such as hunger, starvation, lack of rain,
difficulty of travel, romantic problems and sexual
innuendo), based on concrete geographical references
to Santiagos countryside, were forbidden because they
reflected negatively on the Portuguese administration
and were believed to foment revolution.
Funaná is associated with the Badiu, descendants
of slaves who escaped to the interior of Santiago from
the fifteenth century onwards and who, owing to
geography and distance, were able to retain a degree of
cultural autonomy from the Portuguese government.
The term itself is derived from the Portuguese verb
vadiar,’ meaning ‘to idle or loaf,’ and was applied
derogatorily to a population considered backward
and more African than other Cabo Verdeans. After
independence the term came to be used with pride
by those from the entire island of Santiago, not just
the interior.
The gaita, initially called gaita de fole (literally
‘bagpipe’), may have arrived in the interior of
the island as early as 1902. No doubt due to its
portability and strident volume, it was quickly
adopted to accompany dances at parties and life
cycle festivities, often appearing in conjunction
with the batuque dance. Initially the gaita was used
to play waltzes, mornas, viras and marches, and
by the middle of the 1920s a genre built around
badjo di gaita (accordion dances) began to take
form. Around the 1930s a rhythm known as camino
de ferro (railroad), perhaps based on the march,
developed from the badjo di gaita repertoire. This
rhythm, along with adaptations of existing couples’
Example 1: Ferro rhythm
... Considerable research has been carried out on indigenous and popular traditional music in Nigeria (Klein, 2017;Aimiuwu, 2015;Jayeola, 2015), but mostly on music from the Southern and Eastern parts, while North-Eastern music remains widely under-researched. There is a wide gap in the knowledge of written sources on Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) States' indigenous music, especially its documentation through sound archive for posterity and didactic purposes (Mtaku, 2020;Aimiuwu, 2015). ...
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This study argues that indigenous musicians in Zimbabwe have acted as “dissident” archetypes in a country where any formal opposition to power has been met with legal and extra-judicial interventions by state apparatus. This form of dissident expression is drawn from Zimbabwe’s historical political experience tracing back to the pre-colonial period. This chapter employs the concept of the dissident to study Zimbabwe’s post-independence-era musicians (1980–2020) and Mano’s conceptual framework of music as a journalism variant to understand how musicians have relied on lyrics to challenge power. This study finds that four themes have found lyrical expression: Marginalisation, socio-economic inequality, corruption and political violence/repression. The selected musicians for this study are Thomas Mapfumo, Hosiah Chipanga, Lovemore “Majaivana” Tshuma and Wallace “Winky D” Chirumiko. They sing in Zimbabwe’s two dominant languages—Shona and Ndebele— and their lyrics exhibit a dissident tone. The findings of the chapter suggest that the selected musicians coded their lyrics in dissident language which sought to challenge political hegemony, expose corruption and decry poverty under the successive Zanu-Pf rule.
... Considerable research has been carried out on indigenous and popular traditional music in Nigeria (Klein, 2017;Aimiuwu, 2015;Jayeola, 2015), but mostly on music from the Southern and Eastern parts, while North-Eastern music remains widely under-researched. There is a wide gap in the knowledge of written sources on Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) States' indigenous music, especially its documentation through sound archive for posterity and didactic purposes (Mtaku, 2020;Aimiuwu, 2015). ...
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This chapter appraises the content of Yorùbá musical jingles on COVID-19, since music is an important aspect of the Yorùbá culture and effective tool for socialisation. This is aimed at establishing the roles of music in sensitising community members about the pandemic, especially in the Yorùbá context. Five jingles were accessed from the YouTube and purposively selected because of their indigeneity to the Yorùbá culture. The sociology of literature provides the theoretical orientation upon which the contents of the selected music jingles are appraised in relation to the ethos of the Yorùbá indigenous music. The selected jingles were transcribed and content-analysed. The findings revealed that the selected Yorùbá music jingles revolve around information about what COVID-19 is, its origin, symptoms, effects and preventive measures, prayers against COVID-19, tributes to medical practitioners/government, a call for trado-medical approach and jokes. These are in tandem with the socialisation purpose of music in the Yorùbá society. Songs are used in the Yorùbá culture to pass comments on current social issues, educate and entertain members of the society. The chapter, therefore, concludes that COVID-19 sensitisation jingles effectively educate listeners and entertain them without distorting the message.
... Considerable research has been carried out on indigenous and popular traditional music in Nigeria (Klein, 2017;Aimiuwu, 2015;Jayeola, 2015), but mostly on music from the Southern and Eastern parts, while North-Eastern music remains widely under-researched. There is a wide gap in the knowledge of written sources on Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) States' indigenous music, especially its documentation through sound archive for posterity and didactic purposes (Mtaku, 2020;Aimiuwu, 2015). ...
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Indigenous African popular music has long been an under-appreciated indigenous African media of communication in scholarship. At face value, the significance of indigenous African popular music genres is easily lost to its being seen as pandering to aesthetics and entertainment alone. However, understanding the nature and philosophies of indigenous African popular music will reveal its untapped diversity which can only be unravelled by the knowledge of myriad cultural backgrounds from which its genres originate. Indigenous African popular music is also as robust as the very many artistes who have pioneered, nurtured and succeeded and their protégés who are resiliently sustaining, recreating and popularising its various forms and genres in their respective African communities. Indigenous African popular music genres and artistes have been known to represent the individual African communities and at the same time propagate the communal views about African philosophies and the temporal and spiritual worlds in which they exist. During colonial period and post-independence dispensation, indigenous African music genres and their artistes were mainstreamed in order to tackle emerging issues, to sensitise Africans about the affairs of their respective nations and to conscientise African leaders who have failed and are failing African citizenry about the plight of the people. In fact, some of those emerging issues then have become full blown crises that have adversely affected basic things: food, shelter, health, education that should guarantee the comfortable existence of an average African. This debilitating situation equally has spurred indigenous African popular music artistes, and they have become champions of good governance, marginalised population and repositories of indigenous cultural traditions and cosmologies. After all, artistes, like their counterparts in literary world, can only reflect realities in which they themselves exist. At the same time, indigenous African popular music genres have also served as some beacon to the teeming African youths to express their dreams, frustrations about their environments and to represent themselves. The truth is that African youths are the hope of preserving indigenous African music in their integration of innovative ideas that will help refine African music generally. With the advent of the new media technology, indigenous African popular music and its artistes, the sustenance of indigenous African popular music genres and their artistes has become challenging. Without doubt, it is apparent that all these qualities and functions of indigenous African popular music genres and artistes have not been fully documented; hence, the need for this book: INDIGENOUS AFRICAN POPULAR MUSIC: THE ART AND ITS APPLICATIONS, which attempts to capture all these strands of scholarship in indigenous African popular music. Eighty-one contributors, who are from either academy or professional bodies from fields of knowledge such as Music, African Studies, Media and Journalism, Communication, Political Science, History, Gender Studies, Sociology, English, Indigenous Languages, or Theatre Arts, have submitted their abstracts and proposed topics. Below are summaries of their proposed topics and contents arranged in three sections.
The unprecedented attacks on human lives in the North-Eastern parts of Nigeria have affected the cultural fabric of its people. There is a growing fear that as more villages get evacuated, some of its rich cultural traditions get eroded. Also, many popular indigenous musicians are separated from their roots and their cultural heritage is lost. Hence, there is the tendency that more of such indigenous music performances might be at risk of extinction due to recurring conflicts. This chapter discusses the preservation of disappearing indigenous musical heritage for the retention of originality of cultural elements through sound archiving. Therefore, in order to maintain the unique identity of North-Eastern indigenous popular music, musical performances have to be documented through sound archiving as a means of repatriation for posterity and reaching out to a wider audience. The chapter proposes that taking advantage of current technological developments can be used in preserving some of the aspirations of the musicians who are recorded. The methodological approach of this chapter is purely text review and conceptual basis. The collection of indigenous music performances could serve as building blocks for cultural and political revival and movements in the BAY States.KeywordsIndigenous musicPopular musicPerformance(s)Sound archivingNorth-Eastern NigeriaBAY States
Renowned musicians in Nigeria have formed part of the struggle against the repressive military junta, injustice, corruption, and the crises of the colonial, military, and civilian regimes. Evidence abounds in the literature and the public domain that the orientation of these musicians made them nationalists, and their music an important medium for socio-political and economic development. However, with the upsurge in celebrity politicians, nowadays many orientations are employed by popular musicians to sell politicians. In Nigeria, where empirical studies and global development statistics show that corruption and bad leadership seriously undermine socio-economic development, the roles of popular musicians as crusaders for good governance are under serious scrutiny. This article examines whether the legacy formerly promoted by renowned musicians is still promoted by popular musicians of this era. Analyses of two songs, composed by two popular Fuji musicians, Abass Akande and Wasiu Ayinde, for Otunba Alao Akala and Senator Abiola Ajimobi in Oyo State respectively, show that instead of serving as watchdogs or social crusaders holding politicians accountable to the electorate, popular musicians praise politicians. This detour in orientation undermines the ideals of renowned musicians of the pre-independence and independence era, with serious implications for the nation’s social and political development.
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This article celebrates and pays tribute to the work of Karin Barber by joining analyses of the history of political and economic conditions with analyses of the relationship between people's lifestyles and aesthetic forms of production. This paper analyzes a Yorùbá alárìnjó (traditional singing, dancing, drumming, and masquerade) performance and a recent Yorùbá film by Túndé Kelani to illustrate the interconnections between “lifestyle” and aesthetics (Bourdieu, Distinction). This article concludes that a local performing troupe produced an aesthetics of liminality that emerged from its immersion in local and global markets of the 1990s, while the Kelani film produces an aesthetics of ambivalence, exploring relationships between traditional and modern cultural politics in the early 2000s. Grounded in long-term fieldwork in southwestern Nigeria, this piece illustrates Barber's insight that cultural preservation requires innovation and argues further that popular culture is an important part of this process (Anthropology of Texts).
Since the advent of Islam in Yorubaland in the seventeenth century, it has become an important phenomenon in the historical development of the Yorùbá race. This is also evident in the areas of musical cultures of the people. The conception of music differs from culture to culture. It therefore takes an open mind to recognize this and accept certain human behaviours as musical. The concept of music in Islamic worldview is guided by the ethics of Islamic religion. However, the concept of music of Yorùbá people has traditional backings, which differs from that of the 'missionaries' who brought Islam to the land. This concept is responsible for the hybridization of both Islamic and Yorùbá musical cultures. Both the primary and secondary sources of information collected and codified for this essay established that the contact and the harmony between Islamic and Yorùbá musical cultures produced new musical experience: i.e. islamized Yorùbá music, which is a vehicle not only for popularizing Yorùbá music but also for promoting it.
Saheed Saridon P. London Delight. Bayowa Films & Records International
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