Composing art songs based on Igbo traditional music:concept and process in contemporary times

  • C Onyeji


Composing modern African art music from the African stock has drawn the attention of many African and non-African composers and scholars alike in recent times. The common interest to decipher the creative concept and process of the new works emerging from the attempts of African composers at creative continuum of African traditional music has been so strong too. While musicologists and music scholars in general, attempt to discover the creative concept and process of such works, it is necessary to have the composer's perspective of his creative endeavours. This would offer deeper insight to the creative output, leading to the appreciation of the creative intention and the ‘soul' of the works. It would also offer some guides to the understanding of the approach of the composer. This paper introduced the creative concept and process employed in my attempts to draw creative idioms and resources from Igbo traditional music in some of my songs. It presented a discussion on the creative approach as well as offered some analytical insight to selected musical examples from my songs. Basing my discussions on deeper musicological and philosophical foundations of Igbo musical arts, attempt is made to present my discussions in the light of developments in modern African art music.

Nigerian Music Review Vol. 6 2005: pp. 27-46

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1116-428X