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USE OF VOCAL MUSIC AS BASIS FOR AFRICAN ART MUSIC COMPOSITION: A CASE STUDY OF “BIGI MAN” BY AYO OLURANTI, “KABIYESI” BY LAWAL OLAOLU AND “THANKSGIVING CONCERTO IN G” BY SEUN OWOAJE

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African Music | Мusic Gateway

ABSTRACT 

Nigerian composers from the 19th century till date have embraced musical quotation as a major compositional tool. ‘Bigi Man’ for SATB by Ayo Oluranti, ‘Kabiyesi’ for SATB by Olaoluwa Lawal and Thanksgiving Concerto for the orchestra by Seun Owoaje are representative of creative outputs that make extensive use of quotation. These works are subjected to analysis with theoretical findings compositionally applied in the creation of an original electroacoustic composition, which makes use of different sound worlds as building blocks in expounding the quoted materials.

Figure 29                                                                                                                     31

TABLES OF CONTENT

CERTIFICATION                                                                                                     I

DEDICATION                                                                                                          II

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT                                                                                         III

LIST OF TABLES                                                                                                     IV

LIST OF FIGURES                                                                                                   IV

TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                           VI

ABSTRACT                                                                                                               VIII

1.0 INTRODUCTION                                                                                               1

  • GENERAL CONCEPTS OF STUDY 3
  • Quotation 3
  • African Melodic And Harmonic Construction 3
  • Vocal Music As Basis Of Instrumental Music 4
  • Tonality 4
  • ANALYSIS I BIGI MAN 5
  • SECTION A 7
    • Unison 8
    • Homophonic Harmonization 8
    • Call and Response 9
    • Ostinato 10
  • SECTION B 10
    • Modulation 11
    • Polyrhythm 11
  • Final Section 12
    • Polyphony 13
    • Coda 14
  • ANALYSIS II KABIYESI 16
  • SECTION A 17
    • Unison 18
    • Homophonic Harmonization 18
  • SECTION B 18
    • Antiphonal Singing 19
    • Bridge/Transition 20
  • SECTION C 20
    • Homophonic Ostinato 21
  • ANALYSIS III THANKSGIVING CONCERTO 23
  • Exposition 24
  • Development 26
  • Recapitulation 26
  • COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS 28
  • QUOTATION 28
  • ANALYSIS IV OF ELECTRO ACOUSTIC MUSIC 30
  • SECTION A 31
  • SECTION B 32
  • RECAPITULATION 32

8.0       CONCLUSION                                                                                             33

9.0       REFERENCES                                                                                              34

APPENDIX I APPENDIX II

APPENDIX III

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

As the earliest form of musical expression, vocal music, has contributed to the development of musical compositions and formal artistic and academic documentation of music traditions. In African societies, there is a longstanding practice of music composition and musical documentation through oral tradition.Through the activities of the European missionaries, new Nigerian vocal music traditions have emerged in the churches since the mid-19th century. As a result, some religious tunes have been adapted as material in the composition of modern African art music (Omojola, 1995). This is because the general acceptance of Christianity in Nigeria and Christianity is a religion in which music is an integral part most traditional folk tunes and rhythmic patterns are being adapted for sacred purposes and quoted as a resource for modern African art music compositions. These adaptation and quotations are evident in the choral arrangements being analyzed in this study.

Writing about the history and development of modern Nigerian art music, Bode Omojola (1995:8) stated that:

European influenced musical idioms have been emerging in Nigeria since the beginning of this century. These idioms can be classified into four distinct categories: indigenous church music, urban syncretic popular forms, modern folk opera and Nigerian modern Art Music. The emergence of these forms is a result of an historical process which began in the middle of the nineteenth century.

 

This influence did not just affect music but also influence the individuals. This is a condition that facilitated the emergence of hybrid music culture. The influences were in education, religion and economy, which gave the indigene the opportunity to experience a new kind of music which they replicated using traditional materials and characteristics. The influence in music gave rise to the four categories of music listed above by Omojola. In Nigeria, before the arrival of European explorers, missionaries and colonialism, music in traditional Nigerian was primarily a religious or social affair. The concept of music as a purely contemplative tradition was not general. Although there were examples of traditional musical performances which took

place outside specific social or religious contexts, music was regarded as an integral part of social or ritual events. In addition, a musical performance was often conceived as part of a multimedia experience (Omojola, 1995: 8).

In this study, two vocal arrangements and one orchestra music will be analyzed to explore the usage of quotations in the compositions. The compositions are ‘Bigi man’ by Ayo Oluranti, ‘Kabiyesi’ by Lawal Olaolu, and ‘Thanksgiving Concerto in G’ by Seun Owoaje. Bent and Pople (2006) described music analysis as ‘the interpretation of structures in music, together with their resolution into relatively simpler constituent elements, and the investigation of the relevant functions of those elements’. In musical analysis, the first step is to analyze the formal structures and then the surface detail to determine how the voice leading creates motif structures that create the melody. These are then placed in the context of a musical style. Once these have been accounted for, it will be shown that the underlying structures reveal patterns in root progressions that create the musical phrase structures. Through music analysis, understanding how the underlying phrase structures works are enabled. Also, the process of joining complete and incomplete structures in the music to form larger units would be better appreciated. Musical analysis helps us to evaluate why a piece of music is effective or not and, more importantly, what can be done to improve it. In other words, musical analysis is the key to understanding music, communicating effectively about it, offering constructive criticism and appreciation of music compositions.

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