Yoruba Music in the Twentieth Century: Identity, Agency, and Performance Practice


    From the primeval age of Ayanagalu the Yoruba pioneer-drummer-turned-deity-of-drumming to the modern era, Yoruba musical traditions have been shaped by individual performers: drummers, dancers, singers, and chanters, who express self-mediated visions of their social and cultural environment. Yoruba Music in the Twentieth Century explores the role of the performer and the performing group in creating these traditions, contributing to the ongoing reorientation of scholarship on African music toward individual creativity within a larger social network. Drawing on extensive field research conducted over the course of two decades, Bode Omojola examines traditional Yoruba genres such as bata and dundun drumming as well as more contemporary genres such as Yoruba popular music. The book also addresses a spectrum of social issues, ranging from gender inequality to the impact of Christianity and Islam on Yoruba musical practice. Throughout, Omojola emphasizes the interrelatedness of the different components of the Yoruba musical landscape, as well as the role of specific individuals and groups of musicians, who have continued to draw from indigenous Yoruba musical resources to create new musical forms in the process of engaging the social dynamics of a rapidly changing environment. Awarded honorable mention in the 2014 Kwabena Nketia Book Competition of the African Music Section of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Bode Omojola is a Five College Associate Professor of Music at Mt. Holyoke College.

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    Number of Pages: 296
    Format(s): Hardback - ISBN: 9781580464093
    Publication Date:
    Listed in: Theory of music & musicology, Folk & traditional music, Regional studies, Indigenous peoples
    Publisher: University of Rochester Press

    Books by Bode Omojola


    RRP: £55.02

    Sale Price: £35.47

    Save: £19.55 per copy!

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