Documenting and archiving the Nigerian Musical Arts: Notes on methods, processes and practices

  • Ayorinde Oladele
  • Grace O. Talabi
  • AdeOluwa Okunade

Abstract

This paper explores musical documentation and archiving as central to an effective music scholarship and arts development in Nigeria. The available research on various aspects of Nigerian music, the overwhelming presence of creative outputs (like musical composition) and the emerging musical forms have not only valorised archiving as a key component of knowledge production, but also calls for critical engagements with these available works—for new knowledge and arts development. While there are efforts at institutional levels to archive the available musical works and research, the lack of ‘specialist knowledge’, infrastructure and theoretical models have frustrated rather than encouraged such efforts. Drawing perspectives from contemporary archival practices, experiences and theories, in this paper, we explore possible musical documentation and archiving frameworks and methods that could facilitate the transformation of musical arts research, artistic and creative practices for social, cultural and economic development in Nigeria. In so doing, we explain the political economy of the musical archive and its place in the nation’s developmental process, as well as its implications for individual institutions. Advancing from this, we engage more practical steps and methods that constitute a functioning archive and documentation practice. In sum, we argue that the transformation of music research, education frameworks, artistic and creative practices in Nigeria depends on a higher education agenda that takes seriously the role of music documentation and archiving in knowledge production.

Published
2021-09-03
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1597-0597