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EJOTMAS: Ekpoma Journal of Theatre and Media Arts

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Reinvigorating the indigenous flute in African dance performance

Mariam Asabe Iyeh, Godwin Onuche

Abstract


This article examines the place of the indigenous African flute as an instrument of communication in dance performance. In doing this, it attempts to explore the usefulness of flute in encouraging vocational and entrepreneurial skills among the youth, with a view to creating job opportunities. Over the decades, scholars and performing arts practitioners have failed to adequately develop the indigenous musical aerophone instruments such as the flute, especially for purposes of communication in contemporary milieus, given the scientific and technological trends in a globalized world. The study is of the assumption that, the flute is a key indigenous musical instrument used in enhancing dance performance in the African context, which has the capacity of not just creating jobs, but contributing to the socio-economic progress of the developing areas of Africa, including Nigeria. Employing descriptive, interview and participant observation methods, the article argues that more attention should be given to the practice and use of indigenous musical/dance instruments, especially the flute as a means of cultural exchanges among indigenous communities as well as the generation of employment, beyond the primary functions of edutainment, mobilisation and infotainment within the African context.

Keywords: African flute, Dance, Youth, Indigenous music, Traditional media of communication




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