Academic Resources for Ethno-arts in Nigeria

This post is a quick review of the literature before a general language documentation project in Northern Nigeria.

Notable Authors

  • Dr Amanda Villepastour
  • Vicki Brennan
    •  2013. “Up Above the River Jordan”: Hymns and Historical Consciousness in the Cherubim and Seraphim Churches of Nigeria. Studies in World Christianity 19 (1): 31-49
    •  2012. Take Control: The Labor of Immediacy in Yoruba Christian Music. Journal of Popular Music Studies 24 (4): 411-429.
    •  2012. “Truly we have a good heritage”: Musical Mediations in a Yoruba Christian Diaspora. Journal of Religion in Africa 42 (1): 3-25.
    •  2010. Mediating “The Voice of the Spirit”: Musical and Religious Transformations in Nigeria’s Oil Boom. American Ethnologist 37 (2): 354-370.

Database indexes

Africana Periodical Literature bibliographic database

Within that database I found the following article which is relevant.

  • Omibiyi-Obidike, Mosunmola. 1982. Ethnomusicology in Nigeria.Bulletin of the International Committee on Urgent Anthropological and Ethnological Research. 24. 105-112.

This article reviews the current state of etbno-musicological research in Nigeria. The emergence of ethnomusicology in Nigeria is traced; assessed is what has been done so far. Examples of available materials are given and suggestions offered for future development. Approached from a historical viewpoint, the topic is discussed under the headings: the colonial, pre-independence and post-independence periods. Ref.



The development of a sociocultural curriculum in Nigerian studies : an integration of ethnomusicology and social studies

The purpose of this study was to develop a curriculum for ethnomusicological education in Nigerian elementary schools based on the integration of ethnomusicology and social studies. The aims of the curriculum were identified so as to be consistent with the aims of the Nigerian education system and in particular with the recently expressed aims of the Nigerian social studies curriculum which is intended to foster inter- and cross-ethnic communication and understanding and national identity in a country which contains more than 250 ethnic groups. A consideration of appropriate curriculum content led to the identification of five basic concepts in ethnomusicology and five concepts basic to social studies. The integration of these concepts into a unified curriculum was made through an Identity Approach which permitted the identification of relevant cognitive, affective and skill objectives and indicated appropriate learning processes. Three curriculum units were developed in detail and field tested in upper elementary classes in two elementary schools in southeastern Nigeria. This field testing—the classroom phase of the curriculum development— involved 120 students, ten teachers and the administrators of the schools. The staff were given instruction in the curriculum materials and the Identity Approach following which the students were engaged in twenty-four sessions and covered the three units which had been developed. The results of the classroom phase were studied from students’, teachers’ and administrators’ opinions and recommendations and their responses to four opinionaires. All responses indicated a high degree of student interest in the project and evidence of an increase in inter-and cross-ethnic understanding and respect. Teachers found the project to have contributed to their professional development and both teachers and administrators reported community interest and involvement. Problems identified by the staff and administrators related to inadequate funds and provision of materials or equipment. Administrators also noted the need for involvement by the Ministry of Education if widespread implementation were to be contemplated.


These are some journals which have or have have had relevant Ethnomusicology discussions.


  • Waterman, Christopher Alan. 1990. Jùjú : a social history and ethnography of an African popular music (Chicago studies in ethnomusicology). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Myers, Helen. 1992. Ethnomusicology: Historical and Regional Studies. New York: W.W. Norton.
  • Post, Jennifer C. 2011. Ethnomusicology: a research and information guide, 2nd edn. New York: Routledge.
Hugh Paterson III
Hugh Paterson III
Collaborative Scholar

I specialize in bespoke research at the intersection of Linguistics, Law, Languages, and Technology; specifically utility and life-cycle management for information products in these spaces.