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Sound of joy, noise of pains, the falling of a leaf, flowing of water,
blowing of wind. The falling of a tree with its gigantic sound. The thunder,
the father of sound with its unexplainable lightning colours and its music.
The birds with their melodies chirping.
The cows, goats, chickens, elephants make use of their voices. Even
the earthquake which I have never experienced and won't pray for, has got
its own noise with its lava explosion. Human music apart from using the
voice as an instrument for singing, starts from knocking stone on stone
or wood against wood for example a xylophone which has different forms
and shapes. Metal instrument can also be melodious or rhythmic.
Calimber Ã¢â‚¬â€œ steeldrums Ã¢â‚¬â€œ flutes Sanza, copper aluminium etc. are also
family of steel out of which mouth organ, saxophone, trumpet etc. are being
To mention some strings production which are half wood half metal are
guitar - cello - violin - kora zither etc. The most important is the performer,
his or her condition before touching (operating) the instrument. Psychologically-physically-philosophically
what he or she wishes to express on the instrument. Let's look at the drums
(carved) made out of trees, covered with animals skin. In different continents
- countries or towns and tribes they all have different names and sizes.
For example: The biggest drum today built by my students in Germany
sold to a Japanese customer is carved and designed with our historical
background, the Journey I had through the Sahara with the family of mine
after spending fifteen years in Germany and also the death of my wife (Gruma)
R.I.P. Elke Omoniyi was portrayed on the drums. The Osun Osogbo festival
and its fish symbol was not left out in the drum carving and later blessed
with the name of biggest drum.
My personal experience with the Japanese Kodo drums, while I was in
Japan Tokyo in sunshine cultural centre to perform on the biggest drum
with two of my Students one German one Nigerian. Our instruments Iyalu
- talking drum of the Yoruba in Nigeria, Agogo bells, Sekere Olowoeyo -
shake with Kauri shells, Apintin of the Ashanti known in Europe as Congas,
Agbaja drums of the Ewe Togo, Odondo and Kpanlogo drums of the Yoruba -
with all these mentioned instruments we were able to perform to the Japanese
audience satisfactory. Which I know that it is a pride for me for Nigeria
Traditional music has its own feelings, who ever knows about it can
simply identify it through the way it's being performed. Let's start with
songs, they are songs with energy and mostly with chorus. The backing instruments
may be drums or Sekere shake. In some case by the Yorubas Aro the two iron
roundbells which are knocked against each another rhythmically.
To mention some of the musicians who performed good on strings called
Goje was Baba Legba who is dead but still has his record on the market,
he played Sakara music (Yusuf Olatunji).
Some of the Yoruba well known drummer in America with the name Olatunji.
A Ghananian famous master drummer Mustapha Tettey Addy whom I met in Germany
from the Ga tribe playing Tigari-Kpanlogo Agbaja etc. The frankophone drummers
with their djembe and Koras will not stay unmentioned.
Thanks be to the Almighty who gave to our ancestors the energy for such
artistical product left behind, which we have been improving day by day
because the more you do the more you get. Lift up the culture.
Jerry Handsome and African brothers of Ghana. These are some of the
highlife musicians with their groups. Highlife music started from palmwine
bars and today is a recognised Saloon music with its electrical instruments.
It started all as the colonial masters entered into the continent.
Mouthorgans rhythmic guitars enriched the palmwine bars. Songs were
composed while enjoying the palmwine - Accordion was also then introduced.
Clubs hotels and halls were developed where musicians were given the
possibility of entertaining their audience. Gate fee was collected or free
of charge, today shows are no more comparable to that of yesterday. The
musicians posses electrical instruments such as E.-guitar, keyboard, synthesizers,
setdrums, leadguitars. Mostly without microphones a musician can have a
performance, also the instrumentalist because of electrification. Victor
Uwaifo, Bobby Benson are other names of the known musicians in Nigeria.
Though highlife is known to be modified in style of composing but still
have its root in the ancestral rhythm.
Philosophy story tales are sang, jokes are served with laughter even
france are sometime exposed in their music.
Incantations with guitar are already introduced in the music of highlife.
As means of jokes big vocabularies are sometime explained.
Such musician as Fela Anikulapo Kuti who song most of his songs in Pidgin
English known as West African English. Religion is not like formerly inherent
in highlife music, but most of the musicians are christians from birth
and they seem to be proud of their christianity.
They perform under different etiquettes such as Afro Juju, Afro beat
or Afro rock.
The newest of the society in Yorubaland of Nigeria are the moslems with
their Fuji-musicians with their stars. Ayinde Barrister, Kollington Ayinal
- Iya Aladuke and Sefiu Alao whom I have to crown on an occasion at Osogbo
sport club as - Alayeluwa of Fuji an award from the Ratawu (Radio and theatre
workers union) from which I'm appointed as grand patron. With all these
illustrations you can see that trend of highlife music has changed from
that of yesteryears, through modernisation.
In case of apartheid music has helped in south Africa, such name for
example Masekela the trumpeter, Miriam Makeba the kswahili famous singer
known as the Queen of Africa. The pianist Ibrahim Dollar Brand who is known
for playing drums on his piano fought musically against the apartheid which
has brought them their freedom today. Osibisa a musical group of Ghananians
based in Great Britain, mix themselves up with Jamaican Trinidad and some
Nigerian and were able to release some albums. Afro rock was a type of
music they play, with this they were able to bring continents together.
In togetherness music plays important part. Music notes have not been
existing in our ancient African society. Every music was orally delivered.
In our modern world of today reading of music notes is introduced in
music lessons. Music students do write them and play according to notes.
Written music is part of preservation and survival of the missing thoughts.
Writing promotes the music of Africa Cultural centres and Universities
and Institutions promoting the culture of our society through the government.
I observed the Senegal National Ballet which is widely known respected
to be of good help to their economy one and secondly inviting tourists
who are culturally interested to their Motherland.
Madagascar an Island in Africa has toured round the world with good
musicians, dancers and acrobats, it makes the country or continent known
to the other part of the world of ours.
The national ballet of Congo which I personally experienced in Dusseldorf,
Germany was a very exciting crew.
Their performances brought our ancestors back to life through their
Despite the colour of north African which is mostly white, they give
respect to cultural identities. African music and dances were exported
through Asia to Europe