Indigenous musical instruments: Media of communication in Nigerian culture


  • Mabel Ugochi Okpara Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka


This paper is aimed at giving an insight into some of the Nigerian musical instruments, their classifications, musical functions, mode of construction as well as their relevance as media of communication. The yearning in people’s hearts in recent times for the preservation of the Nigerian rich cultural heritage led to this research. Many indigenous Nigerian musical instruments communicate in languages which performers or dancers understand. This is to say that indigenous instruments such as the ‘qja’ (Igbo flute) and ‘iya-ilu’ (Yoruba talking drum) speak non verbal languages which only the performers understand; some of these instruments such as ‘qja’ (Igbo flute), and ‘iya ilu’ (Yoruba talking drum) sing praises to heroes and great achievers in the community which are clearly understood by the recipients. This research was conducted through library research and participatory observation. It is designed to enlighten the audience on the role of these indigenous musical instruments a means of communication in Nigerian culture, and the method of constructing them. It is believed that this work will add to the compendium of knowledge on Nigerian culture as well as enlighten the teaming unemployed Nigerian youths on how to construct these instruments and make a living out of this.