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Popular Music In Nigeria

There are three major periods in the development of latest nigerian music the classical period (beginning of time until the mid-19th century); the postcolonial period (mid-19th century to 1960); and contemporary popular music (1960 to present).

The traditional period

Nigeria is a cosmopolitan and diverse nation with more than 250 ethnic groups with distinct languages ​​widely influencing different musical styles. Music plays an important role in traditional societies in collective celebrations and various social events during religious celebrations, rituals where for entertainment purposes. Traditional music is the popular music of yesteryear.

The drum is the device commonly used by all ethnic groups. Each region has its own drum: in western Nigeria and one can see the Gangan (or talking drum) and the massive drums Gbedu and Sakara. In the north, there is the kalangu (talking drum) and Tambari (timpani) among others. In eastern Nigeria, large Ikoro drum, the drum igba (medium size) and the hollow drum clay called Udu. These drums give their names to the music and dance they represent. For example, music kalangu, music and dance Ikoro, Bata dance and dance igba. Melodic instruments are used in parallel with rhythm instruments namely Ogene or Agogo (gong), or Ekpili Shekere (bells), the UBO (thumb piano)

The post-colonial period and Western influence

The Anglican Church founded several churches across the country in the mid 19th century, and hymns sung during masses become popular musical themes in Nigerian society especially when the priest Josiah Ransome-Kuti (the grandfather of Fela Kuti) started composing hymns in Yoruba. Following his popularity, he was invited to London in 1922 to record an album. Two popular musical trends exist at that time. In the late 19th and early 20th century, choral music and classical music are the musical styles favorites educated Nigerian rich. The less fortunate classes promote traditional music. This changes with the advent of the fanfares. These are emerging in the police and the colonial army and become popular by the recovery of traditional pieces, exposing them to a wider audience. Of civilian bands which form Calabar Brass Band, one of the most popular.

1925 is an important date in the history of popular music in Nigeria, and corresponds to the first popular music recordings Ladipo Solanke, lawyer and political activist, and Domingo Justus of Afro-Brazilian origin. Both albums feature folk songs Yoruba.

The palmwine transcending ethnic barriers and is one of the oldest and most revolutionary of popular music forms. A Latin fusion music and Caribbean to African traditional songs emerged in the 20s in southern Nigeria with the first stars of the genre namely Irewolede Denge, Ayinde Bakare, the Three Night Wizards Tunde King and later Julius Araba. This music is appreciated by the working class.

Settlers introduce dancing (waltz, foxtrot etc.) accompanied by large orchestras (army and police); the preserve of high society. Later, the merger of the palmwine and large orchestras will create the highlife.

Highlife music is the lingua franca of Anglophone West Africa from years 40. In Nigeria, a plethora of stars emerges: Bobby Benson, Ishola Willie Payne, EC Arinze, Bala Miller, Victor Olaiya, Fatai Rolling Dollar, among others . We witness the same period in the creation of the record company Phillips Records West Africa in Lagos, as well as the output of local artists albums in the 30s this record company and the launch of the Lagos Rebroadcast Service (radio service) help popularize highlife and other popular genres.

Rock and roll, soul, R & B, jazz and American music are also popular at the time. August Agboola Browne is the first Nigerian artist to record a jazz album. Album recorded in Poland in 1928. The jazz is a genre dominant in the 50s, including Chris Ajilo (which records the first Afrobeat song), bassist Steve Rhodes, drummer Bayo Martins, trumpeters Mike Falana and the young Fela Kuti.