The Functions and Spiritual Connotations of Traditional Music Performance with Particular Reference to Ufie Music in Igboland
AbstractThe 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 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.
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